In this story, a neighbor leaves a rude note demanding their trash can back. The author responds with a joke ransom note and is called an a**hole by the neighbor.
A couple weeks ago, my next door neighbor left a note in my mailbox. Apparently our trash carts were mixed up and he wanted his back. Which is fine. But he wasn’t exactly polite. The note read:
“You have my trash cart. The city assigns everyone a specific trash cart for a reason. I expect it returned in good condition.”
For reference, my neighbor is older. Probably in his 70s. We got along fine when we moved in. We saw him and his wife almost every day. We would say hi and chat and they always got our son something for his birthday.
Things kind of went south about two years ago. Our house was built in the early 90s and was starting to look its age. We did new stucco, windows and doors. So now we have what looks like a new, contemporary home next to their home which now looks worse than it did by comparison.
I think this bothered them. Before the remodel, they would come out and say hi just about every time they saw us. After the remodel, the only time we spoke was when they happened to be coming or going at the same time. Maybe once a month if that.
So back to the story. After getting his note, I made a ransom note. I cut letters and words out of my wife’s magazines to write this:
“I have your trash cart. If you want to see it alive again, you’ll do exactly as I say. Meet me at the arroyo bridge at midnight. No funny business. If I so much as smell a cop, you’ll find your cart floating in the river.
– Anonymous “
I thought it was funny. I thought he might even think it was funny. But the next day when I was leaving for the gym, he came out and said, “You’re a real a**hole, you know.”
I was a little surprised, so I laughed. Which I think made him madder. I just replied, “Sorry, man. Just making a joke. Let me get your trash can.” They’re identical as best I can tell. But apparently he was pretty attached to his.
Here are a few comments on the story where it was originally posted: