For the love of God, life can't get much stranger. I just got off the phone w/ my neighbor Bill. Needless to say, he was in a FIT OF RAGE. For 10 minutes and 46 seconds he proceeded to call me every derogatory name in the book. I could hardly get a word in edgewise. I barely know this guy. The 3 or 4 times we've spoken in 5 years, he has always been incredibly confrontational. Not overtly hostile, but always exceedingly direct and caustic. Over the years, we've pretty much had what I'd call a "policy of successful avoidance." Well, until today...
I'll start from the beginning. I had my annual Pre-Memorial Day party on Saturday. Pretty good turnout despite the bad weather. I'd say about 25 people showed up and we had a good time. I got good reviews from everyone I spoke with afterwards. Nothing too crazy - just some drinks, foosball, dome - you know the drill. Anyway, I had about 8 skids and some firewood for the fire pit down below. Nobody went down to the pit because of the inclement weather, so I had my "point man" TFE burn some skids for a nice visual effect from the upper deck. Anyway, there has always been this telephone pole that sits about 3 feet inside my neighbor's yard. I use it to delineate the property line for mowing purposes. Even though it's not exact, it has always sufficed. It's an awkward property line for a variety of reasons. Never been a problem... until today. You see... here's what happened on Saturday. TFE "leaned" against the pole and it started to fall over. So he just decided to knock it over and throw it in the firepit. At the time, I thought to myself, Oh well - it was an eyesore - served no purpose - was probably built by accident - and it's about as half as thick as a normal telephone pole - and the bottom was half-corroded because it stands in the valley of the lawn where water collects. Plus, he never walks over there anyway. The only people who come into remote contact w/ the thing, until Saturday, were his army of hired soldiers (his groundskeeping crew) and I guess Gil White's mom may have brushed up against it a month ago when she charged recklessly into his pool. Anyway, the thing was corroded pretty badly at the bottom. TFE rocked it, it fell over and he threw it in the pit.
Well, all HELL broke loose this afternoon. I get the call. "Bill Adel here! You and your fucking friends destroyed my pole. You came on my fucking property and fucked with my pole! You and your fucking animal friends! You threw it in your fucking bonfire. You vandalized my property! If you don't put up a new pole, I'm going to sue your fucking ass. I know every politician and banker in this fucking town! You're fucking with the wrong guy!"
I swear to you, I"m trying to calm him down and explain the thing was corroded and basically just fell over and we disposed of it (albeit, in a fiery pit of damnation). Keep in mind, this 20 ft. or so pole has never served any viable purpose. At least, no valid function that I can surmise.
Seriously, he unleashed a venomous tirade. Fuck this, fuck you, fuck that. It was borderline insane. I wish I could have taped it, because you can't feign this type of rage. Kind of like Henry Rollins singing Liar, but not quite because he's just acting. Honestly, I can't compare what happened to anything I've ever seen or heard.
I tried to be as conciliatory as possible. After all, the pole (although it was worthless) is technically, but barely, on his property. Even though he accused us of using a chainsaw, I tried to assure him that it basically was leaned on and fell over. He was way to enraged to believe a word I said.
So it's five days later and I guess he realized his "pole" (w/ no intrinsic value) has disappeared. Then he sees the remains of half of it sitting near the fire pit along with the scorched earth. This probably lit the fuse and he went into an uncontrollable rage.
So here's the deal. What do I do? He's PISSED OFF. He's demanding a new pole and he also says he's going to build a split rail fence to delineate the property line. He brought up the split rail fence idea when I first moved in, but backed off because there was really no legitimate reason. Well, maybe he had the foresight to realize something like this could possibly happen. An unthinkable, unjustifiable form of animalistic vandalism.
He also repeatedly accused me and my "animal" friends of wanting to come over and burn his house down. He said he can't fucking sleep at night knowing his life and property are in jeopardy. He can't go away over Memorial Day because he's "afraid of what might happen." I'm not making this stuff up.
Well... Well... What to do? I could ask him if we could plant a tree instead. It would look nicer and at least serve a purpose. Trust me, there's no way he'd go for that. He wants his pole back. Believe me, he'd be willing to spend thousands on litigation just to prove his point. The problem - I'm afraid to go near the guy. Well, not afraid per se. I just don't want to see him have a heart attack. I'd have to administer mouth-to-mouth before calling 9-11. Needless to say, even more grounds for litigation. I tried to homophy him or something. I just don't know. In the past, I've spoken w/ him via his housekeeper (possibly the sweetest, kindest woman in the entire Ohio Valley). I'll probably run into her next week so I'll see if he has cooled off a bit. Maybe we can reach some rational accommodation (I doubt it).
You have to understand that this guy is a total xenophobe/hermit/recluse. No friends to the best of my knowledge. I've never seen any visitors, with the exception of his endless maintenance crews. I'm hardly a carpenter or handyman of any kind, but I get the impression he has never even screwed in a light bulb. His housekeeper comes 5 days a week! What normal single man needs a housekeeper 5 days out of the week?
What's even crazier - let's say I find and erect this 20 ft. pole which serves no purpose. Then, there'll be a pole right inside of a newly constructed split rail fence. It's going to look really weird. Keep in mind, this pole is about half as thick as a regular pole. It would have made a cool totem pole. Then, we could have danced around it like wild injuns!
Even funnier, Danno and I talked about chopping the pole down the day I moved in (5 years ago). He thought it would be cool to split it in half and turn it into a hammock (before he had the property surveyed). For the love of Christ! Could you imagine his reaction to that one? I move in and chop his pole down and then he sees me sipping a beer and scotch while dozing off in the hammock. I'm not religious, but for the love of God! The mental anguish would send him checking into Northwood.
I don't think we've heard the end of this one. I guess I'm going to see if we can round up a pole. Everyone who reads my blogs, knows I don't hold back. I report it all, even if it would make me appear guilty. Hell, let's be honest - this is amusing shit. Stuff you couldn't make up even if you tried. Maybe I should go around asking for old mops, poles, brooms and start planting them down in the yard. Some kind of twisted retaliation. On second thought, no.
If anyone out there has a 20-25 ft. pole, lemme know. In the meantime, be on the lookout for a utility pole which has no utility (this kind of irony follows me wherever I go). I'm going to get the dimensions right now - stand by... Alright, my real telephone/utility pole has a 32" circumfrence. This pole is 19" around. I still have about half of it. I'm guessing it was maybe 20 ft. in the air, even though he claims it was 30 or 40 ft, which is totally ludicrous. So I probably need one that's about 25 ft (5 ft. in the ground).
Maybe I should do nothing and claim it was a hazard. Honestly, it could have fallen over and hurt someone on my property. Maybe that's why it took him 5 days to audibilize his rage. He thinks we chainsawed it. I'll say this - there are plenty of "animal eyewitnesses" to back me up. Back in the day, I would have ignored all of this and just laughed it off. Maybe use it as a pick line - after all, it's quite an entertaining story if you know me. But to be honest, I think I'd rather put up a new pole for him, have him install his fence and just steer clear of him. I'm not the only person on our street who avoids him.
One more thing. You'd think the old lady driving into his pool last month and shredding his tarp would anger him. Apparently, not so. Perhaps it's a culmination of senseless vandalism that put him over the edge.
One more thing... Do I have any future ownership claims or liability regarding this useless pole? What if it falls over and squashes a squirrel or turkey? Is it my fault? Could I be held liable? Maybe it would could come back to haunt me. What if he commits suicide by hanging himself from the new pole. And you think I'm kidding??? His estate could sue me. After all he knows "every fucking politician and banker in this town!" I still don't get the banker bit... G Max - you hear what I'm sayin? You are a "fucking eyewitness animal banker!" Help me! For the love of God, help us all!