Friday, November 6, 2009

Neighborly Ways

Every once in a while when our neighbor’s music reaches one decibel above brain shattering, I contemplate desperate solutions like:

a) Remodeling our apartment to accommodate a padded cell.
b) Remodeling our neighbor’s stereo to accommodate a shotgun slug.
c) Remodeling our neighbor’s face to accommodate a sledge hammer.

Recently after a neighborly three day music-fest I told my boy, “This is it. Either we buy a house or you visit me in prison.”

Silly me. I thought he would pick the house. (Don’t worry, Mom… that was a joke.)

It was about that time when I saw it: an adorable one-story historic home within our price range.

That should have been the first sign – it was within our price range.

“Historic”, it turns out, was Japanese for “Condemned”.

The floor was dry-rotted. The ceiling was caved. The ceiling tiles were moldy. The kitchen cabinets were ripped out. And to top it off – the house was built in an era when chamber pots were the solution to all bodily functions.

After the grand tour of the home, which I kid you not – took one hour for exactly 800 square feet (the homeowner didn’t want to miss any of the fantastic selling points) – the man offered to sell us this “great fixer-upper” for "just $90,000.00".

I am not lying when I say I actually had to think about this offer. It was either take the house or go home to Woodstock 2009.

In the end, I knew what I had to do. Wal-Mart sells everything except houses, so I bought the next best thing: surround sound. For the past three days I’ve blasted the neighbor with my own music – The Phantom of the Opera.

Wait a minute. There’s a knock on my door. It’s my neighbor… and he’s holding a sledge hammer.

Maybe I'd better reconsider this home-ownership thing.

B.J. Hamrick is a local writer who can be reached at,, or -- unless she’s hiding under the couch.


Laura in Texas said...

Bwahaha! Don't move. Just get a bigger sledgehammer.

Abbie said...

Hi BJ :) I just discovered your blog, and your other site, Real Teen Faith. You are too hilarious, and I so admire you for ministering to teens. Not many people seem to want to "tackle" my generation with humor and real understanding.

Thank you, and keep up the good work. (And the hilarious writing:)

Sheila said...

Ha! I hear you! :-D

banderclip said...

yikes! I remember living in an apartment with two little boys living above us (and their parents). That was something...Hope you can find a solution and some peace and quiet!

BJ Hamrick said...

Laura - Oooh... get a bigger sledgehammer... I like the way you think. Thanks for stopping by my place and leaving a comment. Oh, and I agree -- Mary rocks.

Abbie - Thanks so much! I stopped by your site - I love your sense of humor!

Sheila - Thanks! :)

Christy - Oh boy, that sounds reallly interesting. We had kids in the apartment next door but the neighbor on the other side complained until they moved. It was beautiful. ;)

Anonymous said...

I have also tried to retaliate against my neighbors by blasting music at them (I'm too poor to move), but I never thought of using the Phantom of the Opera. That is a brilliant idea and an excellent choice.

BJ Hamrick said...

Anonymous - I feel your pain! Good luck with Phantom of the Opera. :)

Halee said...

Okay, I'm going to let you in on secret real estate translations. Fixer upper = money pit. Cozy = tiny. Water view = flooding. Recent updates = there was a problem and we're trying to cover it up.

Great deal/recent price reduction = been on the market forever and we're desperate. Great views = in the middle of nowhere. Convenient location = packed in the middle of the city, elbow to elbow with your neighbors.

There ya go. =)

Echoes in Ink said...

Our neighbors used to play rowdy (sometimes dirty) music at all hours when my sisters and I were little. My dad finally plugged in our stereo and blasted the Christian radio station at them.

They didn't bother us any more.

BJ Hamrick said...

Halee - Ha! Thanks for your key-terms guide. :)

Catey - Nice, LOL!

I know all about waiting--for the right guy, for high school to end, for my boobs to come in (two out of three ain't bad).

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