That's when Corky released her yappy-dog from the house and it immediately started a ruckus with the chicken. Yapping and clucking (not always from the animals) have a way of disturbing anyone's sleep. The dog/chicken altercations continued intermittently for over an hour, occasionally - and ineffectively - refereed by Corky the Umpire barking orders at yappy-dog. Finally, she punched the icemaker's ON button at 7:08 a.m.
"Time to get up!" demanded the Scotsman Icemaker From Hell. For over two years now, I have not been able to sleep in my bedroom while the icemaker runs, and this morning was no exception. I got up and did a couple small chores while the neighbors carried on more noisily than usual, banging bowls, hollering at dogs, chickens and each other. An Ice Bucket Brigade started up at 7:38.
Just before 8:00, I poured a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats, splashed milk on it, picked up my folding chair, and picked a spot in my front yard to escape the clambor next door. It was a very pleasant Sunday morning, sunny with a soft breeze, light traffic, a few walkers. Most importantly, it is the only spot on my property where the house almost blocks the incessant thrumming of the icemaker. Removed as far from the noise of machines, idiots and animals as I could get, I sat and relaxed and began my breakfast.
Halfway through my cereal, the next six minutes got really, REALLY freaky.
The neighboring driveway gate clanks, a car pulls out and, at 8:09 a.m., Corky turns onto the street. Her accelaration cuts suddenly when she spots me. Quickly sensing the inevitability of my already spotting her, the engine picks up and off she goes, with her yappy lap dog standing in her lap and sticking its nose out the driver's window. I must confess, however, that I am really impressed with Corky's ability to drive a car, handle a loose dog in the car (stupid), and make a cell phone call (illegal), all at the same time.
I know she called the Alpha Female back home because two minutes later, at 8:11, movement in the corner of my eye caused me to turn and I see Lynda Allen quickly pull back behind the huge Italian cypress tree between me and her front porch. I can understand that my crunching on Frosted Mini Wheats is a sight not to be missed.
Two minutes after that - four minutes after leaving - Corky drives up quickly into her driveway (the dog with its nose still out the window), beeping insistently for someone to open the gate and let her in. 8:09 to 8:13 is way too short to complete any conceivable errand, even in a car. I cannot imagine any scenario where she had time for anything except to drive down the street, make a cell phone call, turn around and drive back.
The freakiest final two minutes. Another movement, a long, early morning shadow on the embankment beyond the neighbors' driveway, caught my eye at 8:15. A few seconds later, I heard voices and turned to see shy, sly Lynda talking with James Mason, her neighbor on the other side, both of them regarding me across two yards. I wonder what's so all-fired important that she needed to go call someone else to witness me eating breakfast on my front lawn?
After the 5:47 a.m. wake up this morning, I was truly trying to ESCAPE the noise for a few minutes. But I already know how Allen is going to spin this. "Mommy! Mommy! Billy is looking at me AGAIN... (and I have a witness to prove it.) Make him stop!"
This is an extraordinary situation. I feel like I'm under house arrest.
- They do not want me to get any sleep, but they also don't want me to do or say anything about it.
- They want me to stay in my house or back yard, but they fill my house and back yard with incessant, unbearable noise pollution.
- They are the ones who build their fences higher and plug up every hole in the boards so I can't *spy* on them, yet they complain *loudly* when I report the activities they *broadcast* across the fence night and day.
- They want me to go away, but they are the ones with the illegally operating business on their property.
[A note about *spying*: My ONLY INTEREST in over-the-fence items and activities is regarding TLC Catering equipment (present & abandoned), noisy business processes, and hours of operation not appropriate for a residential neighborhood. Because they run TLCC as an (unpermitted) home-based business, certain aspects of "home life" slop over into "business", such as squeaky hinges on porch doors, verbal interactions with dogs and chickens, and the radio played into the yard while wee-hour food preparations are being made. Anyone who has seen these three "wicked witch[es to] the South" must trust me when I say I have absolutely NO INTEREST in observing their "familial," or non-business, activities. To see one working in their front yard wearing a sports bra and shorts is to risk blindness or a sudden, uncontrollable urge to run screaming madly down the street.]
The former owners of my property must have been either, A) deaf or hard of hearing, or B) intimidated and scared witless by these over-the-fence Medusae. A big, emphatic, "THANKS FOR NOTHING!" goes to the Manteca City Council, City Attorney, and Planning and Police departments for allowing, protecting, even encouraging, this criminal activity to go on for such an unconscionable length of time - and for their spectacularly craven show of impotence and bald cowardice for not correcting this mistake last March 3rd when handed evidence on a silver platter. To put it bluntly, Allen, Brassey, and Corky STOLE the right to quiet enjoyment of property from Roger and Flora Stewart in 1987, while flatulent** City officials abetted them. This common law right must be recovered and restored to me. (Both Roger and Flora died in 2005 from noise pollution and sleep deprivation.)
- 10 days remaining on the noise nuisance lawsuit response deadline -
** flat·u·lent (adjective)
1. causing gas in digestive system -
causing excessive gas (flatus) to be created in the stomach and intestines
2. full of digestive gas -
having excessive gas (flatus) in the digestive system
3. pompous or self-important -
having or showing excessive self-importance