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Neighbor War

The Long War. My neighbor had been at war with me for eight years, longer than Iraq and Vietnam. His attempt to defeat me was met with a fierce campaign of obstruction and retaliation. The war sucked every ounce of energy from my defensive store. It was a picture postcard of attrition, and my victory was pyrrhic. But I'm still standing and he is not.

Like many wars, territorial advantage was at the rot of the conflict and in the suburbs, space is everything especially parking spaces. For years, he had parked his fat vehicle outside my house but when I got a second car in my wreckless campaign to contribute to environmental destruction, he attacked. With my car in repose for a week, in the disputed area, he decided to call the local constabulary who were quite willing to investigate, as an antidote to their usual police status of having nothing better to do. A donut with a badge knocked on my door and told me a complaint had been made by a neighbor. City law indicated that a vehicle must be moved every five days. I immediately called a war council and my crack troop children went into the backyard and began to scream and yell and throw rotting lemons. I saw a curtain flicker across no man's land.

The space race began. When I drove off, he moved in. And vice versa. For years. A friendly neighbor related to me the enemy's position. He could have parked in his sloping driveway, but he was too fat and it made getting in and out of the vehicle impossible as the door would fall back and squash him. Obesity and its collateral effects.

Like any war campaign, he had to be demonised. Bug eyed, ugly and flat out rude were his best attributes. His voice a reptilian hiss, his arrogance total. But in the long run, the obesity sunk him. Medical problems with circulation, bad legs, hips disintegrating, soon he was taken into care. His car abandoned on his sloping driveway. Mine in front of my house, with an American flag on the radio aerial. This was my Iowa Jima. It was my fucking parking space!

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"Wreckless" when discussing auto wars: brilliant!

And "Iowa Jima" is going on my next t-shirt. 

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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Just last year, our Carmel Valley neighbors got in a tussel over their parking situation. Both parties were highly educated professionals--oil geologist and the other a criminal defense lawyer. The 75 year-old geologist is now in prison for killing the lawyer and his wife over the years-long dispute. On the day of the murders, the geologist had a two ton rock placed on the disputed spot. The lawyer came home and took a sledge hammer to it. Then it all went to hell. Your neighbor may not be right in the head, so don't prolong the tension. Repeat: the other party may not have all his marbles.

After this happened in our area, people who have been fighting over fences and territory have tried to talk to one another. Some took pies to the "enemy."

Question: Is your new book "Kick the Balls" appropriate for 8 year-olds? Will a mother kill me for giving this book to her soccer-playing daughter? Congratulations on its publication. I used to play on the boys' team when there was no girls' soccer. Would like to read your book, too.

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Hi Belle, Thanks for the

Hi Belle,

Thanks for the comment and the warning. Peace to all factions in the parking wars. My book is not appropriate for children, nor adults for that matter.

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In that case,

Kick the Balls" is perfect for me. I just pre-ordered it. Knowing how muscular your writing is from these posts, can't wait to read it in June.

Here it is on Amazon.com.

Nice pre-pub intro.


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Hey neighbor.  In SF it's

Hey neighbor.  In SF it's 72 hours.  I was once car-sitting for a friend who left the country.  The car was towed and damaged during the process.  It's a slick way for the city to make $$$.  I'm sure the kids made more than a chari-vari in the backyard.  K.Mc