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Dear Todd Parker - (11/04/15)

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I like to think that I'm a good neighbor. I'm always pleasant to people that I see when I'm out for my morning run or walking the dog or whatever else. And my neighbors in turn have always been perfectly nice to me.

However, something happened the other day that has left me at a loss with regards to how I should react. I'm not looking to cause any neighborhood tension, which means I can't just come right out and ask people about it. So I'm asking you.

I was standing on my back porch one afternoon when I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. As I turned to look, I saw my next-door neighbor with a shovel, flinging what appeared to be dog crap over his fence and into my yard.

Well, not technically 'in my yard.' And there's the problem. See, his fence is about three feet shy of the property line. This means that a strip of what is for all intents and purposes my yard actually belongs to him. And not one iota of poop crossed that property line, meaning that while I was the one looking at old turds, said turds were actually still on his land.

There's no way that this is an accident. It was done with far too much precision for that. So I'm left to ask: what do I do? It seems that I have no legal recourse, but I feel like if I let it go, I'm dooming myself to a lifetime of dealing with someone else's st.

Help me!

Pooped in Bangor

Dear Pooped,

First things first, let's applaud your neighbor for a masterful display of passive-aggression. This is an intricate and exquisite piece of work truly impressive.

As to what you can actually do about it, wellthat's a tricky one.

While I consider myself to be a bit of a polymath, one of the few gaps in my immense knowledge base is property law. However, it certainly sounds like you're lacking a legal leg to stand on the guy clearly knows where the line is and is taking great pains not to hurl fecal matter over it. Still, you might have to explore your options; one assumes any code of law worth its salt has some provisions regarding d-bag turd-tossers.

(Editor's note: This is an inaccurate assumption.)

But maybe you're too embarrassed and/or incensed to go through the proper channels. Maybe you just want to stick it to this guy the way he is so meticulously sticking it to you. I should make it clear that I in NO WAY ENDORSE (wink) raining down your thunderous vengeance upon him. HOWEVER if you were to do such a thing, I would advise you thusly:

1) Avoid poetic justice. If you're thinking of going all Hammurabi an eye for an eye, a poop for a poop you're asking for trouble. He knows what he did; going for turd-taliation only enlarges the target on your back.

2) Maintain plausible deniability. It's fine if he thinks you did something (or even if he KNOWS you did something) just so long as he can't prove it.

3) Don't break the law. Feel free to bend it as far as you can, but you need to be as careful about not crossing the line as Colonel Stflinger has been.

As for specifics? Sorry pal not in a public forum. But if you're really interested, reach out again and we can talk privately about your situation. I've got some ideas, but I'm also very conscious of 2 and 3.

Godspeed, friend. We'll be in touch.

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 November 2015 20:09

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