Daily writing prompt
What makes a good neighbor?


I would like to take this opportunity to define a good neighbor by defining what a bad neighbor is, namely, my neighbors, we will call them Ken and Karen.

The Move In From Hell

I am a public school teacher, don’t make tons of money, went through a divorce four years ago, lived in an one-bedroom apartment for two years, finally met a wonderful women, got excited to move into a beautiful neighborhood with my kids and it would of been great, except for Ken and Karen (and the extreme heat/wildfires going on on moving day).

Ken and Karen had beef with my landlord. They were pissed that he had dared to rent his old home out because they would have to live by renters! They apparently had numerous conflicts and showdowns over the years. It was bad enough the cops were called at some point. Ken and Karen were throwing drinks on my landlords son’s car because he dared to park on the street instead of in the driveway. Of course, he did not share any of this with us prior to moving in. The home itself is beautiful. We thought we had really lucked out.

Moving day rolls around. I rented a giant U-haul and we were doing our big move in, hired guys to help out, the whole nine yards. I am trying to back this monster truck into the driveway at 12:00 or so. The temperature is north of 110. The sun is blocked out by smoke intermittently throughout the day due to wildfire smoke.

Ken sees me backing the truck up. His white monster truck looking car is parked on the street a few feet from my driveway entrance. I had one of my helpers get out to help me guide the truck in the driveway. I see him in the sideview waving me into the driveway. Ken is glaring at him because I am guessing in addition to hating renters he hates Hispanic people. We are adjusting the truck I hit the breaks, my helper gives me the pull forward signal to re-align. Ken comes flying down the driveway screaming at me that I hit his truck. I ask my helper if I hit his car. He says in broken English that he was physically in between the two vehicles and it didn’t happen. We go look at the truck, no scratches, dents, damage of any kind. Ken continues carrying on about how I hit his truck and I am going to have to pay, on and on. I eventually tire of trying to be nice and tell him I need to move in and he needs to get out of my face. Does he move the truck? Hell no, just stands in the driveway glaring at us. And so it begins…..We move in on this most miserable day of the year. Inside the truck it is upwards of 125 degrees. Ken eventually loses interest and goes inside.



My girlfriend brought two wonderful dogs with her Panda and Pickles. Panda is a pit-pointer mix and loves to howl and bark at anything in sight. The dogs did not arrive until a week or so after we move in. They are excited, the kids are happy they are with us, and it seems that things will be going better.

The next day I get an email from the landlord that the “neighbors” are complaining about the dog noise. My girlfriend and I decide we have to come up with a plan. We will keep the dogs inside the house most of the time so that the noise will not be an issue as much.

The dogs are outside for 15 minutes in the morning and occasionally during the day. There is some barking, but not more than any other dogs in the neighborhood. The Schnauzer next door has a shrill consistent bark throughout the day. Across the street a hound dog howls in the evenings, part of the soundtrack of Suburbia right?

Ken and Karen continue complaining to our landlord, now threatening to call animal control. Things get heated, but then out of the blue Karen shows up at our door with a cake for us. I am beyond perplexed. She tells me that they will be doing some morning construction and it might be noisy for a while. I apologize for the dog noise, she accepts and things seem good.

The shrill buzz of power tools pervade the morning air, everyday at 7:00 a.m. Everyone in my home complains about it, but hey, we made peace with these people, let’s try and work it out. Construction continues for a good month or so ending in a creepy uber gazeebo or shrine looking structure being erected in Ken and Karen’s backyard. I start wondering what type of cult these people belong to and contemplate joining if the commitment isn’t too much. Our dogs follow the routine, a little barking here and there, but we try to not let them carry on, bringing them inside when they (mainly Panda) are being obnoxious. All is well, or so I think….

My girlfriend and I go fishing at the local lake at around 8:00 a.m. come back home around 11:00 a.m. We had a great time. A nice relaxing Saturday….wrong! Karen comes over to me and starts telling me I need to do something with the dogs. This one day, we left them out in the morning, which by law we can do and apparently they were loud. I tried to apologize for leaving them out, but felt my anger starting to boil over. I just put up with your construction nonsense for a month and this is how your going to repay me? Karen tells me she is going to call animal control. I finally snap and tell her to do what she needs to do. She starts argueing with me and makes the ultimate Karen statement that (I am loosely paraphrasing) we don’t belong in the neighborhood. My kids are 1/4 Hispanic so I wonder if she is pulling the race card on me. Oh no you didn’t!

I start telling her that they are pathetic people who need to find something to do with their time besides make my life difficult. They have two brand new cars, an RV a beautiful suburban home, are both retired and this is how they want to spend their days. She starts getting more animated. My girlfriend hears the commotion and comes running out of the house, yelling at Karen. She is livid. It looks like things might get physical with the two of them, so I start trying to guide Karen back to her suburban bubble. We get to her driveway, both of them are still getting very aggressive towards each other. I am trying to collect my girlfriend and go home. Out of nowhere, Ken yells from the second story that I am an “Dumb Ass” or something to that effect. Ken is a rather formidable looking fellow, probably 6’1, bald head, beard. I tell him he needs to come down and say it to my face b****. I am not about to take that from anybody. I tell him how pathetic and selfish he and his wife are. Further that I love the house we live in and that I might just buy it. Stunned, he just stares blankly at us. The girls have stopped fighting and we make our way back to the house.


….To be Continued

What do you think so far? Looks like this one is turning into a short story!

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15 responses to “Don’t be Like Ken and Karen!”

  1. NICE POST 💚

  2. OMG I am not like that. Was I seeing things or is she cool because I was ready to leave,and I didn’t want too because I invested so much time and thoughts tears and whoever did that hurt me.Someone was trying to chase me off . I’m a very kind person. You will realize that when get to know me. I’m not like those people. I’m a rare 💎 Gem been living in dormant for years . I’ll never bother you again,just been licking my wounds .

    1. I am a little confused, are you talking about me or the story?

  3. Oh boy! I’ve had neighbors like that and I found the best way to handle them is to occasionally flip the bird and mostly ignore them. Those types of people live for the reaction they can get out of you, and if you take that away from them, they tend to get bored and move along. Not always the case of course, but at least a 50%’er. Can’t wait to read the next part.

    1. We have had a tenative peace since the big throwdown, but a few flare ups lately.

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  5. You can’t leave us hanging like this!