How do I screw my neighbor?
November 13, 2007 10:26 AM   Subscribe

How do I take revenge on my neighbor that is trying to ruin everyone's lives? More after the break...

My neighbor is a bitch. She has nothing to do all day but to make calls to utility companies, department of environmental whatever, building inspectors, etc. She calls them on almost everyone in the neighborhood and they have to come down and inspect our houses. And of course, they always find SOMETHING that is wrong.

One of my other neighbors is being fined for her yard and I recently got a letter stating that my yard is not right by a few feet as well. As good neighbors, we all just ignore little things...but this bitch does not.

Another example of her bitchyness is that she sued her other neighbor for adverse possession. She eventually lost and got her own driveway cut out as part of the land survey. That was a very sweet day. But she's still continuing on her bitchy ways.

I've read other metafilter posts about signing up the neighbor for free mailings and sending Mormons to their house. What else can I do? Something more malicious?

I know they own a restaurant supply business in NJ (I'm in NY). I thought about calling to check if all their business licenses are up to code. What business licences does one need for a supply company like that?

Any suggestions would be helpful.
posted by pikaboy202 to Human Relations (27 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Don't use askme to plot malicious revenge. This is not cool. -- cortex

Yikes. You are heading towards dangerous territory.

I would advise against revenge. The best revenge is living well. Trite but true.
posted by ian1977 at 10:31 AM on November 13, 2007

Revenge rarely works out well.
posted by cmonkey at 10:31 AM on November 13, 2007

Not too helpful, but holy dirt, do you live on my block? I saw NY and thought yes, you must.

We simply have a lawyer friend, and asked him to call the town on a couple of these matters. It's helped a lot. She's still psycho, but doesn't make as many calls.
posted by kellyblah at 10:31 AM on November 13, 2007

(Do you really want to escalate it? She obviously has more time than you do, and time is a dangerous thing when it's combined with malice)
posted by cmonkey at 10:32 AM on November 13, 2007

Any vengeance you could exact will only increase her malice. If you want to discourage someone with punishment, you should be sure to do it very shortly after the behavior you're trying to discourage, and that's probably hard to do in this case, short of immediately going over there and beating her with a lead pipe the next time she dobs someone in.

You could try making friends with her.
posted by Coventry at 10:37 AM on November 13, 2007

You take a deep breath and realize that anything you do will only make the situation worse. Revenge isn't worth it.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 10:38 AM on November 13, 2007

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Taking that seriously, some suggestions: (1) try to avoid exacting revenge, which often has unanticipated consequences; (2) to illustrate #1, broadcasting your interest in taking actions that may be tortious is not likely to yield a lot of suggestions (let alone wise ones), and could help get you in hot water later.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 10:39 AM on November 13, 2007

pikaboy, this woman sounds like a royal pain in the ass, but I would stop the hate. She's miserable and she is looking for attention. Put a plate of cookies on her doorstep with a can't-we-all-just-get-along-note. Kill her with kindness. Ignore her.

Is this naive? Maybe.

The next time she threatens you with a frivolous or untrue infraction, get a lawyer friend to send her a note on their letterhead.

Good luck.
posted by LoriFLA at 10:40 AM on November 13, 2007


Revenge is not a good thing, or an appropriate thing for AskMe.

Do yourself a favor and turn the other cheek.
posted by caddis at 10:41 AM on November 13, 2007

Revenge is a dish best served brown.
posted by bondcliff at 10:43 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

This woman has decided to make everyone else's business her hobby, and you hate her for it.

Now you want to make her business your hobby.

Do you see the problem here?
posted by adamrice at 10:47 AM on November 13, 2007 [2 favorites]

Make a giant Dominoe's pizza order in her name and address. I mean, NO! revenge is bad.
posted by wsg at 10:47 AM on November 13, 2007

You could always take the classic route of toilet papering her yard, egging her house, or leaving flaming bags of dog shit at her door.
posted by greta simone at 10:48 AM on November 13, 2007

Just a heads up... signing her up for mailings can be considered federal mail fraud.
posted by JakeLL at 10:49 AM on November 13, 2007

She has nothing to do all day but to make calls to utility companies, department of environmental whatever

How do you know it's her?

When did all of this start and is there a particular reason why it started?

Has anyone talked to her? Asked her to stop?

Why do you think she does? Please don't say because she's a bitch, give your best guest why she's acting out like this.
posted by MichaelKnight at 10:54 AM on November 13, 2007

Take the high road. Be an adult. Go talk to her. Tell her to stop.
posted by pdb at 10:57 AM on November 13, 2007

Is selling your home and moving not an option? I have a bastard neighbor who is like this woman, but he's 86, and I'm stubborn.

I BELIEVE I can wait him out. Unless this lady is very old, you may not be able to do the same.

What I learned with fuckhead neighbor is, if you do something annoying ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY, the police will do nothing.

He sprayed his fence hot pink and lined up crushed cans along the top while loudly cussing and generally being annoying.

He also mows his yard 3 times a day... usually at times like 6 a.m., 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. (whenever he thinks the noise will bother others the most I guess).

If you can find something to do on your own property that will drive her crazy but isn't illegal, good for you. Otherwise, I would maybe set up video cameras (on your property) and see if you can't catch her doing something illegal. I don't see how pranking her will make a difference, except to draw her to accuse someone in the neighborhood of messing with her and ramping up her activity to a degree of N, which you are already upset about.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:00 AM on November 13, 2007

Fill her yard with those gnomes, all facing the front door.
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 11:01 AM on November 13, 2007 [3 favorites]

I once signed a guy up with Save The Children after he hit me with an iceball and then drove off (ah, high school). They're tenacious and will make her feel guilty as hell. (We also used swiped ID to sign someone up for the Marines, who are also remarkably tenacious).

However, that was high school. These days, I'd probably look into using the neighborhood association to deter her, or attempt to deal with the zoning boards. You can also serve a notice from a lawyer that says that you consider her behavior to be harassment. It's likely not, but a letter often shuts people up.

Aside from that, have you tried calling her husband? I realize that this is likely to provoke even more ire, but if you want to get her to stop, having her angry enough to cross a line into actual harassment would likely help. Plus, if skillfully done, complaining to her spouse is a good way to get her to focus on doing her spouse ill, thus removing her spite from the rest of the neighborhood.

Or, hey, you can always go with the "Create a fake MySpace profile and push her child to suicide" route that seems to have worked so well of late.
posted by klangklangston at 11:01 AM on November 13, 2007

Read The Throwback by Tom Sharpe
posted by OmieWise at 11:01 AM on November 13, 2007

Turn the other cheek.

Think about whether you would prefer revenge or peace.
posted by amtho at 11:02 AM on November 13, 2007

OK, my response above was a little glib. I get that it's horrible for you -- I have a neighbor who is kind of like this, and I think that for a while I was a particular target of hers. Ugh.

Rather than just "revenge", maybe think about some action that would satisfy you and have a small chance of showing her why her actions are hurtful.
posted by amtho at 11:06 AM on November 13, 2007

Talk to her.
You should have posted anonymously; you never know if word might get back to her that you were the one who exacted some twisted act of revenge on her.
posted by HotPatatta at 11:07 AM on November 13, 2007

Response by poster: I don't want to do anything illegal or horrible to this woman. I simply want her to taste some of her medicine.

In reponse to your questions: We have spoken to her and clearly she is the one calling all these places. She even came over to apologize on one occasion. But for some reason, she keeps doing it. Her husband has a heart condition and I think he just doesn't wanna be bothered with it.

She is not a woman of reason. She is a psycho. Making peace is not an option because we've tried to do it for more than a year now and she just won't stop.
posted by pikaboy202 at 11:09 AM on November 13, 2007

If you don't have a lawyer-friend handy who could write up a letter for you, maybe you could approach her and tell her that you see this behavior as harassment, and that if not she will be hearing from your lawyer? Maybe just the mention of getting a lawyer involved will be enough? If it isn't, someone in the neighborhood has to know a lawyer willing to draft a letter.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 11:14 AM on November 13, 2007

This doesn't answer your question, so take it as unsolicited advice: Talk to her, try to befriend her. Ask her to address grievances with you before calling inspectors. Don't put her on the defensive, but let her know that as unneighborly as it is to be in violation of whatever code, it is also unneighborly to call out authorities before speaking to one's neighbor.

When she does come to you with a complaint, consider it and try to address it. If it is valid, you're going to have to fix it, but it would be better to fix it on your own than deal with the extra fees from citations.

Or, maybe, becoming friendly with her will get her to overlook the little things.
posted by necessitas at 11:19 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

How do I take revenge on my neighbor that is trying to ruin everyone's lives?

By being happy, successful, and good.
posted by pracowity at 11:21 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

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