Friday, May 22, 2009

letter about the pole

Alright, here's the letter I'm going to send my neighbor regarding his pole. I made a few changes.

May 23, 2009

Dear Bill,

I feel absolutely horrible about everything that's recently happened. Please let me assure you that I harbor no ill will. When you called me on Thursday, May 21 at 1:48 pm... well, needless to say, it was quite a shock. Considering we hadn't spoken in probably 3 years, I was just kind of surprised. And then you used the f-word on me about 62 times in less than 11 minutes. Well let's just say, I could tell you were agitated and upset. It upset me as well. I know you're from Philadelphia. A good friend of mine is from Philly and he curses a lot too. Not that much though.

Let me just say that I'm sorry my friend leaned on your wooden pole. In all honesty, it was corroded at the bottom and fell over. It almost landed on his foot. I think it's a god-blessing nobody got hurt. Although it was only about 15 ft. high and had a width of 19", the result could have been horrific. What if it had landed on his head? Brian's head would have been seriously dented. LOL. But it's certainly nothing to joke about. He told me he felt really bad, but didn't know he was on your property. He didn't know where my property ended and yours started. He even thought the pole was mine. When it started to tip over, he thought it would just be best to make sure it didn't fall and hurt somebody. That's why he threw it in the fire and burned half of it. I didn't even know until the next morning. I made sure to save the other half and leaned it up against the well. I kind of thought you might be relieved when you saw the rest of it. That way you'd be able to figure out what happened. Boy was I wrong. Brian (his nickname is Tuffy) wants to apologize but I wasn't sure if you wanted to talk to him - if you want, I can give you his number.

I'm always trying to be a good neighbor and that starts with mowing the lawn. I've got to admit, I love the exercise. It's a fantastic workout. In fact, I just ran the Ogden 5K today. I finished with a good pace - 8:33 per mile. They listed me as...

Eric Satersreic, 38, Wheeling, WV - 26:32

How about that? Can you believe they messed up my name that badly?

But the point about me and the lawn - we've always used that pole to delineate the property boundary. I just wanted to point out that I always mow that 10 square ft or so. Doesn't sound like much. I think you own about an acre. Me too, hee hee hee. I know the pole is technically on your property, but nobody ever goes there. Well, except your maintenance crew. You must have 4 of those guys who come all the time. Thank you so much for being concerned about the environment!

So here's what happened. My buddy just leaned up against that old pole. It was late and dark and oh boy, was it pouring down rain that night. Sure enough, the darn pole started to move. The base of the pole was soooo corroded from all the water that settles there. Also, I think it was hit by the old lady (somebody famous) who 2 months ago drove over my hillside. I think she probably bumped into it as well. Her car weighs a lot more than Brian! And I can't believe she drove into your pool. Uggghhhh! And to top it off, the tow truck tore up my lawn when they towed her out. The tow company called me and asked if it was okay they come through my property to remove her car! I was like, well of course you can drive through. We need to get that car out of Bill's pool. How else would they have managed to remove it? I hope you're not upset with her and taking it it out on me. I just want you to know, when I heard about your pool tarp getting ripped apart, I was just as upset! Not sure about the whole thing - I was in Pittsburgh that night, but it was absolutely crazy! Thank God nobody got hurt. There were tire ruts all through my yard! I talked to her son about it and he apologized on her behalf. Not sure if you talked with either of them - I know you like to be left alone but you need to know that she felt horrible about the mishap. I wanted to talk to you about it, but only mentioned it to your housekeeper Karen. She couldn't believe all that happened either. I just want you to know that I know where you're coming from. Wheeling's a small city and I like my privacy just as much as the next guy. No harm, no foul.

I just want to be a good neighbor. All the other Ridgewood Drive residents and me seem to get along. Surely you know, I hang out with Beck and Jake. They live by that gate. You know... the gate that stays open these days. What's up with that??? We have a gate??? You'd think we're Hollywood stars living in Wheeling!

OK - I think I've got a new pole for you. My friend has one and we were planning on re-digging the hole, but I've got to walk on that sliver of your property if you want me to put up a new one. And you just got it surveyed again. I have a hunch that your team of skilled laborers is about to put up another fence. If you're having them put up yet another fence, I was worried it might look weird having a 15 ft. thin pole at the point where the split rail bends. It just would seem strange since the wooden pole never did anything. Ha Ha - some would say it was a utility pole that had no utility! In any event, I need to just make sure you really need/want a new pole. Let's be honest - it would look really weird to have another pole that just stands there next to a fence. Also, I don't want to interfere with your maintenance crew building another fence. My friend Brian said we should plant a nice tree there instead. I told him we can't just go around planting trees on everybody's property. I think he used to be a hippie.

And those particular poles are kind of outdated. My friend from AEP said it's probably their pole. Wouldn't it be crazy if you got so angry and it wasn't even your pole in the first place. OMG. He said, don't worry about it - "when they built the Allen's house, they probably put it up temporarily just to use it as an electricity meter. It's not the end of the world. Eric, if you've mowed that property for 5 years, how do your know it's not your pole? Maybe you own it! Well, maybe not. I'm not sure. If you take care of someone's property for 5 years, I think it legally becomes yours. And hey, why doesn't his lawn crew ever mow the hillside right next to your garage. All he has to do is tell them. It's not like they're going to defy his orders."

I just want you to know how horrible I feel. I just want it to go back to the way it was. We never talked but that's okay. We each have a private acre in the city. I just don't want future problems with that little, tiny sliver of land. Honestly, it's only 10 square ft. or so. I promise you - me and my friends will totally stay clear from now on. After all, I just go down there to mow. It's a great workout. I love it.

If you have any other problems, feel free to give me a ring. I know we've only spoken maybe 4 times in 5 years, but we could always be friends. Or not, it's totally up to you.
Please, let's just be happy nobody got hurt and try to move on. If you need Brian's number, just let me know. You repeatedly mentioned suing me. That sounds horrible. Neighbors should be try to get along and the last thing our country needs is to clog up the courts, especially with the whole Guantanamo Bay prisoner release thing. Like our President says, we need to look forward, not backward.

Your neighbor,

Eric Saferstein

PS - By the way, you're probably not going to like this but I taped our phone conversation and put it on Youtube! Don't worry. Neither of our names are mentioned. You said your name at the start but I didn't hit the record button until about 30 seconds in. The clip has gotten 56 hits since I last checked and some very funny comments. So I guess you could say we're both "famously anonymous" or "anonymously famous." Now I'm sure you'd agree, that is simply hysterical!

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