Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A neighbourhood mystery I am too tired to solve

My next door neighbour is building something in his carport.

I don’t know what he is building. Whenever I sneak a look over the fence I can just see a wooden wall in the carport. I like to imagine all sorts of things behind that newly constructed wooden wall. Is it a sauna? A tool shed? A meth lab? I guess I won’t know until the whole thing explodes.

I could just ask my neighbour, but our relationship has been strained ever since one of my trees fell on his roof during the cyclone. The way he looks at me now, you’d think I pushed it.

Usually I wouldn’t care what he’s building, but he’s been building it for about four weeks now. Really. He’s building something in his tiny carport that has taken four weeks.  I know this because four weeks ago I was on night work, and spent most of the time lying awake listening to my neighbour’s power saw.

Which would have been okay…but four weeks? I would have expected something more than a wooden wall after four weeks. I don’t know, something impressive like this: 



This awesome house no longer exists, by the way. It was the Sutyagin House in Arkhangelsk, Russia. The local council demolished it because it was all built without a permit. Shows, doesn't it? 

But my neighbour doesn't have much to show for his labours. I was curious at the beginning -- curious enough to wish that Nancy Drew lived in the neighbourhood and would investigate -- but now I'm just tired of it. 

Tonight I am back on night work, and he's still building. Now, the spooky thing about my neighbour is that he seems to know exactly when I am going to lie down for a nap. He'll give me no more than five minutes, and then the hammering starts. Like clockwork. Normally I'd be disturbed by the possibility that this is some sort of Truman Show/evil psychological experiment, or intrigued by the possibility that I somehow have the ability to control the universe, but I'm too tired. Instead, I'll hunt down my earplugs, have a sleep, and think back to those happy days when my tree landed on his roof. 

Three months until next cyclone season. Bring it.

(Meanwhile, how fantastic is that house? I kind of want to live in it. My roommates would be hobbits, alchemists, and possibly the Weasley family.)

25 comments:

  1. I feel like he's either A.) Not building anything and just making a ton of noise to spite you because he's secretly the grudge-bearer of all grudge-bearers, or B.) Building down. Like, into the ground. Like, you're never going to see anything out from behind that wall because it's all going into some super-secret underground lair he's making to house his evil alter ego, Dr. Treekiller.

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  2. ...what if he's the serial killer and he's creating his lair?! OH THANK GOODNESS I AM ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD!

    You, however, may wish to invest in some sort of weapon or self-defense training.

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  3. I think he's building a possum trap. I hear they're bad around your parts.

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  4. Ooh, Francesca! Building down! I never thought of that. How exciting! I might be living next door to a lair. I wonder what that will do for house prices.

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  5. Miss Cole, I will immediately start my Oblivious Neighbour Media Training. Repeat after me: "He was always so quiet. He was always so quiet. He was always so quiet..."

    As you know, I'll be perfectly safe. Didn't I read somewhere that serial killers only go after people with fabulous red hair?

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  6. LG, if it's a possum trap I don't care how much noise he makes. Somebody get that man a cigar!

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  7. That house is just begging for some creative soul to write about it!

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  8. Rebecca, it's amazing, isn't it?

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  9. That house, more finished with windows and insulation maybe, could be fabulous. It's like neo-Victorian-Gothic.

    After watching my dad make me picture frames from scratch, wouldn't be surprised if your neighbor messed something up or had to wait for stuff to dry. Wood working projects take forever. Especially if you don't believe in measuring...not that I suck at crafts.

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  10. Jen, you have to get to the bottom of this! I love the idea of him building down, unless of course, he's building below your house. Then that's just creepy...

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  11. ...gulp...

    Don't forget "he used to smile and wave at me" too.

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  12. I WANT THAT HOUSE!

    Seriously, that makes my own carpentry efforts seem sad.

    Anyway, I do know how long it can take to knock up anything substantial. I built the kids a tree fort and a pirate ship and each of them took me months of sawing and hammering. Are you sure he isn't building bits in the carport and then assembling them somewhere else?

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  13. Hi Steph! Whatever it is, he was at it again today.
    I also don't take measurements when I make anything. It stymies creativity. Also productivity, but the trade-off is sometimes worth it.

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  14. TL, between you and Francesca I'm starting to worry that he's built a tunnel system under the whole neighbourhood. That would be kind of cool though. I'd rather live next door to a mysterious arch villain than a cranky old man.

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  15. Botanist, I know -- it's an amazing house! I want it too, although it didn't look exactly structurally sound. I think that you're probably right that he's doing all the work in the carport for some other project. Here I am maligning him and he's probably putting in bookshelves or something!

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  16. MC, I have just watched the film clip on Youtube, and now I'm feeling a bit freaked out!

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  17. Love that house.

    I bet he's making modern art sculptures from scavenged junkyard finds.... You can't trust artists. :)

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  18. Hi Hektor! It's a great house, isn't it? It's the sort of house that doesn't belong in the real world at all. It belongs in the imagination.

    And I haven't trusted artists ever since one of them held open a taxi door for me. It wasn't until we were driving away that I realised that my umbrella was missing. Last I heard it was part of some sort of exhibit.

    I may have made that up.

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  19. What? That house was built without a permit? Never would have guessed. Are you sure that isn't the Weasley's house?

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  20. I love that house, Cookie! Maybe it's the Weasley's holiday house. I'll bet it has a kitchen elf or two, at least.

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  21. I love it too! I would totally live in it...although, structurally it looks a little iffy. But hey, I've never been one to play it safe, so why start now?

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  22. Sorry about that Tom Waits video. That's why I linked to the lyric - the video is just too freakin' freaky.

    At least with the lyric you can laugh instead of boarding up the windows.

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  23. Freaky in a good way though, MC!

    Freaky in a there's-a-whole-other-story-in-there kind of way!

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