This fantastic tale of malicious compliance comes to us from an elderly gentleman named Joe, who moved into a retirement park a few years ago. After his attempt to offer some friendly advice to his neighbor resulted in aggression on the neighbor’s part, Joe sat back and watched as a series of misfortunes befell him, his house, and his cars. Let’s take a look.
Joe’s New Home
Joe’s new backyard directly touched a county-owned nature preserve.
Although his backyard was relatively small, Joe relished the sight of the lush preserve.
Intriguingly, his neighbor’s yard stretched about eight feet beyond his own, providing the neighbor with a spacious exterior area.
A Direct Infringement on Protected Land
Always eager to forge connections with his new neighbors, Joe introduced himself around the park and exchanged phone numbers with other residents.
One day, he noticed his next-door neighbor laying expensive paving stones, stretching from his back door to the dilapidated fence posts marking the boundary of the nature preserve.
Watching from his backyard, Joe saw his neighbor relocate the posts two feet into the preserve and begin clearing the land to extend his paved area.
Neighbors at War
Before retiring, Joe had worked for the National Park Service, so he was aware of the potential repercussions his neighbor could face for encroaching on protected land.
Deciding to offer a friendly warning, Joe approached his neighbor…only to be dismissed and told to “mind his own damn business.”
The Calm Before the Legal Storm
Unfazed, Joe decided to let the matter rest, and the year passed uneventfully.
However, the following year, after most of the park had cleared out and gone north for the summer, county officials arrived to inspect the preserve.
Joe observed them frequently behind his neighbor’s property, consulting maps, photographing the area, and making phone calls.
It transpired that the neighbor had incrementally moved the posts, and his yard was, in reality, smaller than Joe’s!
Unintentional Trespassers on Protected Land
Adding to the drama, the neighbor had parked his golf cart and a sleek, cherry-red sports car on the paving stones for the summer, and before the county could do anything, they needed the vehicles moved.
Tick Tock on the Clock
So the county posted a notice on the neighbor’s door indicating he had 30 days to remove his vehicles, dismantle the pavers, and pay an $11,000 fine for damaging the habitat of endangered species and trespassing on protected lands!
If the neighbor didn’t meet the conditions within the deadline, the vehicles would get towed, the paving stones removed at the neighbor’s expense, and the fine increased daily.
A Neighbor’s Downfall Begins
Thirty days came and went by with no action from the neighbor, who had gone up north for summer.
The County Make True on Their Promise
A week later, Joe watched as the county officials towed away the car and golf cart, removed the paving stones, and replaced the makeshift boundary markers with sturdy metal posts connected by steel cables.
In the following weeks, the county installed solar cameras to monitor the wildlife and potential intruders and constantly added to the notices taped to the neighbor’s door.
Welcome Back from Summer Vacation
By November, the so-called “snowbirds,” including Joe’s missing neighbor, returned to the park.
Joe watched as the neighbor discovered the avalanche of notices and fines on his door.
Confused, he began tearing through them to find the original, which caused him to start screaming and cussing up a storm!
The Neighbor’s Wrath
The neighbor had a lot on his plate. He was frantically trying to get through to the county office over the phone while also unloading his car and turning his utilities on.
A Scream-Filled Phone Call
When he finally got through to a live person, he proceeded to scream at the top of his lungs down the phone at them about his car and cart!
Naturally, he kept getting bumped from person to person – after all, who wants to help out a screaming customer?
The Blame Game
Three days later, the neighbor confronted Joe and asked if he’d been home while the country “stole his car and destroyed his backyard.”
Joe said he had been, and the neighbor replied, “Well, why didn’t you call me when you saw them putting notices on my door? You had my number up north!”
Joe’s response? He calmly replied that he’d considered calling but remembered the neighbor wanted him to “mind his own damn business” and had decided against it! Talk about a mic-drop moment!
Be Kind to Your Neighbors
Joe’s tale shows us the importance of listening, showing respect, and maintaining good relations with our neighbors.
A friendly warning ignored not only cost the neighbor a part of his backyard, his car, and his golf cart but also left him dealing with a hefty fine.
What would you do if you were in Joe’s shoes? Would you follow the neighbor’s advice and “mind your own damn business”?
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Krakenimages.com. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.