Just being a bad neighbour

A certain book by a British historian has it that some years ago as World War II was playing itself out, some British spies hatched an elaborate plan to slowly turn Hitler into a woman! At their wits end and with the war now escalating, it was clear that Hitler was in no mood to back down, even in the face of imminent defeat.

The spies’ plan is said to have entailed secretly slipping high doses of oestrogen into Hitler’s meals and it was hoped that over time the oestrogen would make Hitler less aggressive and more docile!

A few days ago I had a little altercation with my neighbour. By all accounts I regard myself as the ideal neighbour, the ultimate dream neighbour. In all the years I have been in my neighbourhood, I have never, not even once; ever had any drama with any of my neighbours and that applies even to my previous neighbourhood, where I resided for over 10  years.  The previous week, I had cleared up an unsightly and decomposing pile of dried leaves after the recent spell of rains.

Two days later and after another round of heavy rains, pulling out of the yard, my heart sank. I discovered that my efforts had  all been in vain, as now fresh piles of leaves from my neighbour’s yard had completely covered the front of the yard once more, in fact, the place looked worse than it was before the clean up! About a year ago, I had to cut down three very problematic flowery trees in front of my yard which I later replaced with palm trees. The reasoning behind that was simple; the trees were not only a nuisance to me, but to my other neighbours as well.


So today I now find myself in this situation and once again, it involves fallen and scattered leaves, a simple act of nature! I  would silently curse at the wind, then at the tree itself. I look at the offending tree then realise that particular tree was different from all the trees in our street then I come to the logical conclusion that it must have been planted by man, possibly by my neighbour. Later in the day when I get back home I once again sweep the leaves then proceed to dump them under the offending tree. As I close my gate, I feel a sense of triumph and sweet justice.

The following morning as I once again pull out of the yard, I am once again confronted by the leaves. This time around though, it is very clear that it was no random act of nature but of a two legged human. The leaves are placed in a neat pile just outside my gate. I bite my tongue then drive off to work, I am already running late.

Later when I get home, I head straight to my neighbour’s house. Because the yard is not even fenced or walled, I just waltz in and like a cop I give the door a few hard knocks. I am prepared for war and I even have my two dogs as back up. No one answers. I then go back to my yard; for the third time, I gather the pile of leaves into a bucket then return them to my neighbour’s yard! Only this time though, I leave them closer to the door. I don’t want her to miss them when she gets home.

Minutes later my doorbell rings. It is clear she was in the house the whole time and as it turns out, she had even deliberately ignored my knock. Because I was expecting the visit, I waste no time and go outside. It is my first time to see this neighbour and there is even a communication barrier between us, she barely speaks English. To cut the long story short, until the offending tree is trimmed or cut down completely, the leaves will continue to be returned back to sender.

 I cannot help but wonder, if my neighbour had been a man, would I have acted the way I did, likewise, if I had been a man, what would she have done under the circumstances? I probably would have acted the same. I really have no choice now because for the past few years I have been in this neighbourhood, the only way I have dealt with those leaves was by burning them without complaining to anybody. That is until  late last year when the other neighbour (female) called the cops and environmental people on me one day for ‘polluting’ the environment. So what to do now?

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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