Do you also live in a well-meaning neighborhood???

To those of you who live nearby … (and others who might be jealous of how the other-half actually lives)!

" I love that I am surrounded by such support."

” I love that I am surrounded by such support.”

Some of you are likely very delightful people and perhaps if you knew me better, you might think the same of me. However, there are some of you located near (and around) where I live that for some reason, have absolutely no idea why our city, has a By-Law department. This department has been established to reinforce and assist our city with issues of real concern to the taxpayers.

It is possible that you and I differ on what could be considered a real issue.  I have never called “By-Law”… on anyone, in my life. Perhaps I might be tempted too, if I worried about my children being eaten because someone has decided to adopt a wolf and pass it off as a dog and allow the critter to run loose in the local playground. Or… should I discover that the party music next door is still in full decibel, well into the wee hours after midnight, for the tenth night in a row. This after I have (several times) politely requested the party-goers to respect the noise curfew.  Although, in reality that would only amount to being tempted to potentially look up the “By-Law” number to keep as a handy reference for “next” time.

There are some things you may want to consider BEFORE you call “By-Law.”

There are some things you may want to consider BEFORE you call “By-Law.”

There are some things you may want to consider BEFORE you call “By-Law.”

If I have a half-dozen bicycles on my property, it does not necessarily mean that I am running a hot, stolen bike ring. It could actually mean that my larger-than-average family has numerous biking enthusiasts residing within our abode. If you happen to see one of my kid’s bikes, on the street, there is no need to also call the police and report that you have found stolen property. (Really? What?  Stolen from the alleged bike fence I am running 10 feet away on our lawn?). This required me booking a week-day off work, to go down to the main clearing house, (located at the opposite end of town),  to reclaim, after proving ownership of same (once I turn the entire house upside down to locate the original receipt) not to mention dealing with the distressed kid whose bike got “turned in.”

Celebrations and holidays are celebrated with family and friends visiting…usually identified by the doorbell ringing. My neighbors celebrate my every breath by calling the “By-Law” officer. I love that I am surrounded by such support.  In life, there are things that happen to all of us. Sometimes one’s pet pooch can make a jail break and be running around on the streets WITHOUT immediately rendering me an incompetent pet owner.  Nor does ownership of a large dog necessarily mean that ALL barking in the neighborhood is emanating from my property.

"Dear By-Law informer I have yet to stoop to these infractions (however…there is always tomorrow)"

“Dear By-Law informer I have yet to stoop to these infractions (however…there is always tomorrow)”

A car I have removed tires and brakes from (to fix my other car with) will be momentarily heading to the recycling department. This does not mean I have opened a car repair depot on my driveway, and you, the faithful can expect inconvenience as customers line up and down the streets waiting for undercover car repairs.  I will admit the vehicle is less pretty on blocks; however, that is to keep it from moving (i.e. running over small children). Not really sure how you even viewed the vehicle as it is parked way in the back behind my other vehicles. The car in question is significantly safer on blocks than sitting poised to roll down the driveway. In fact, I am not sure how anyone could have gotten far up enough on the property to view the end of the driveway (undetected by the rest of us) to notice all these details.

But then coming up my driveway, (once you trip over all the kids’ toys) is nothing new to the neighborhood peeps.  Some well-meaning soul alerted “By-Law” that I was moonlighting as a garbage collector at the side of my home. (??) I, too, collect family refuse in hopes of participating in garbage day (another city service)…but with the numbers here it is not just ever one bag.

Running the family that I do, we are basically a small institution. In having said that, there should be some understanding among the faithful in my neighborhood that some of these “infractions” are actually just little things that occasionally happen, perhaps more often than they might in smaller families. No one intends to upset anyone else because of allowing one’s kids to park their bikes on the driveway, or play with sidewalk chalk or Heaven-forbid…lay interlocking brick.

"Surely there are By-Laws against peeping Toms and STALKERS."

“Surely there are By-Laws against peeping Toms and STALKERS.”

The attention I receive from the “By-Law” department is second-to none. My attentive neighbors seem to overlook that perhaps with the number of family members living together, there are a dozen more times my door opens (per day) as kids race in and out, providing the family pooch with endless fantasies of freedom. The dog manages to get out every once in a while, so if you have all this time to summon “By-Law” then why not help me locate the pooch? If you call “By-Law” and report the supposed stolen bike ring, then surely no need to make a separate call to the police and have them remove a little boy’s bike found less than 20 feet away from the alleged stolen bike sale. A car parked one hour longer on the street enabling little girls the space on the driveway to decorate with sidewalk chalk. Ohhh another NO-NO…“By-Law” came to visit on that occasion too (by the way the city official LOVED the kid’s artwork!).

My best friend visits with her dog and within the hour…you guessed it…“By-Law” is at my door. For those of you who keep this city office in the loop, I would like to know how you are always so on top of my every move. Surely there are By-Laws against peeping Toms and STALKERS. I will find you!!! (Don’t be too worried that I will hunt you down immediately as by the time I have the dog tied up, the garbage hidden, the cars parked in the driveway, the bicycles locked in the garage…I will be too exhausted to bother!)

Calls have included; grass not as short as some would like, children’s toys in the driveway, an excessive number of bikes (more than 1?) all over my  driveway, vehicle imperfections (albeit undergoing some repair) as the car is older and perhaps not appreciated by the natives. The interlocking bricks that were awaiting the landscaper, had to be covered for a day, and then covered again while they were being laid on the patio so as not to offend the “By-Law” patrons.

I pay taxes too. I expect By-Law to enforce laws that are important. I also would not dream of calling “By-Law” on anyone unless I simply had to have the situation remedied, and it would need to be a serious matter. This made me wonder what other laws exist in other areas of the planet so that I can appreciate what other poor-devil-By-Law-officers must contend with in other lands. This list is quite entertaining; I can assure all of you I have not attempted (yet) any of the following. However, rest assured that should I even contemplate such an activity I will likely be carted off to the city jail. Given the bigger items I have to deal with every day, in real life…perhaps a break, at taxpayer’s expense, in the city jail is what I truly deserve.

Dear By-Law informer I have yet to stoop to these infractions (however…there is always tomorrow):

  • In Washington State, it is against the law to boast that one’s parents are rich. (No danger of this one…my kids would be lying!)
  • In Alabama it is illegal to play Dominoes on Sunday. (It should be illegal to recognize Dominoes as the only food group!)
  • In Minneapolis, double-parkers can be put on a chain gang.
  • In 1313, King Edward II enacted that “You are forbidden from dying in parliament.”
  • An old statute in Kentucky states that men who push their wives out of bed for inflicting their cold toes on them can be fined or jailed for a week.
  • A 100-year-old law in Willowdale, Oregon makes it illegal to swear during sex. (WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHO REPORTS THIS ONE!)
  • An odd law in Minnesota makes it illegal to hang male and female underwear on the same washing line.
  • In Melbourne, Australia it is illegal for men to parade in strapless dresses – but they are allowed to cross-dress in anything with sleeves.
  • An old law in Russia allows a police officer to “beat a peeping tom soundly.” (SHOULD YOU NOT BE CALLING  By-Law FIRST??)
  • In Texas, two categories of men are exempt from peeping tom charges: men over 50 and men with only one eye.
  • A pregnant woman can urinate anywhere she wishes, including a policeman’s helmet, according to a London local by-law.
  • But in Vermont, women require their husband’s permission to wear false teeth.
  • In Virginia, horses of more than one year old are prohibited in a place of worship. (Get it right when you report it …a very LARGE dog!)
  • In Tennessee, shooting any game other than whales from a moving automobile is against the law.
  • In Oklahoma you could be sent to prison for “making an ugly face at a dog.”

This is where I will restrain myself admirably and not make ANY ugly faces at any of my neighborhood peeps.


The Garden GOAT

(ssshhh By-Law does not know a GOAT lives here!)


11 thoughts on “Do you also live in a well-meaning neighborhood???

  1. Hi Garden Goat, still follow your posts when you post them, I liked the list of strange laws over the world particularly the one about horses not allowed to worship.
    Al from Scotland UK

    • Hi Al,

      So good to hear from you and to know that you are still following! A little random lately in the posts as there has been some illness and a few other things. Hopefully, more regular posting in the near future. Yes, the horses not allowed to worship was very funny…as was the being jailed for making faces at dog! Thanks for your loyalty and your comments-I love hearing from readers that still find this goat interesting enough to stay tuned!! Hope all is well at your end…The Garden Goat 😎

      • Thank you for your reply ‘gardengoat’, yes everything is OK this side, I just hope the illness in your family has gone away and you are all looking forward to Halloween then Chistmas
        Alan in Scotland UK

  2. Oh, my – yes, I can relate. For us it was a cat that kept insisting on escaping, and a car that refused to run was left sitting in the street a little too long. Oh, and there was the time I kicked my squabbling sons out of the van a few blocks from home and made them WALK HOME (the horror!) while I crept alongside them in the van. I’m a regular criminal, I tell ya.

    • Thanks for your comments…sounds as though you live in the same neighborhood! Too funny (although I realize often not that funny when the city official is standing at your door poised with the infraction ticket book!) 😎

  3. We have had similarly meddlesome neighbors over the years. I call them simply, “the perfect lawn people.” One guy, who has since moved, tried to rope us into having a bunch of trees removed from our yard for no reason other than he disliked them to the tune of $2,300 worth of tree service. (He even picked out the contractor for us and arranged for them to come by and give us a free estimate.) We refused. And after he had same contractor raze every tree in his yard, he called the city to complain we were refusing to remove these trees which were obviously sickly and in danger of falling on his home. City workers saw nothing wrong with the trees, but just the same, called in the arborist at his insistence. He was eventually told the trees were perfectly healthy and to shut up. About a year later, he starts complaining that his house is too warm and too expensive to keep cool now. He promptly planted a number of fast growing tree species to shade his house.

    • I think this has to be the best comment so far! The clincher being planting fast-growing trees to shade his home. I gave up trying to figure out any of them. My neighborhood too has “a perfect lawn” person. If you walk (or drive) near her end of the street (at almost any hour) she shows up out of no where to tell the passerby (be it kid, dog, adult, baby or a combo of all of these) that they had better not even THINK about stepping on her property because she works hard to keep her grass from being “crushed”-Even at Halloween the kids refuse to go near her property. In all of this, her lawn is not that special. While it may not have crushed wisps of grass it has other unattractive features…like brown and patchy grass! Thanks for sharing! LOL The Garden Goat 😎

  4. Ha ha! I live in Melbourne, Australia and I never knew about that law. But you can bet your life it’s broken regularly. 😉

  5. Your neighbours sound…obsessed. I had no idea that bylaw dept. would be..exploited in this manner. (I work for a major municipality. Pretty appalling to waste city staff time, hence taxpayers’ money, if neighbours can’t learn to be patient and “wait” for a day or so for things to be corrected on their own.)

    The situation about many kids’ bikes on your lawn because of happy gathering, and then misinterpreted just sounds…so strange and weird. Honest I think some of your neighbours have some slight psychological problems with life in general.

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