Training Your Neighbors 101

Posted: October 7, 2014 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , ,

We have lived here in the same house, practically in the same neighborhood, almost in the same county, nearly in the same state and most definitely in the same country for almost 20 years now. We’re not ones much for change obviously. During our stay we have been extremely blessed to have the greatest neighbors possible. Not one bad apple on the whole banana tree. Not one salt niblet in the pile of pepper niblets. Not one dog that has been let loose to come roam our yard and crap wherever he/she is so inclined. Well – not after we put the fence up anyway.

Regardless, I am here to explain to you how you can use these great neighbors to your advantage. Not just for fellowship, friendship and security. No – what I’m talking about is taking care of things you have no urge or desire to take care of. Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to explain how to train your neighbors to do your whim. We have two of them riding this crest of servitude now and neither of them suspect a thing. The beauty of the whole situation (at least until one of them actually reads this) is that they BOTH think that they are the ones that are benefitting.

Chapter 1 – Mowing the Grass

There’s no question that we’re starting out on one of the most difficult chapters of this textbook. Who would want to mow someone’s grass? No one. I don’t even want to mow my OWN grass. That is why I set out to find a way to have someone mow the grass for me completely free and with no guilt. Sure, I could play the hobbled knee card, but that’s only good for a couple of weeks. The trick is to get them to do it all summer. The key to this is that you have to have a significant section of grass that has a shared border with your neighbor, but with no fence, no obvious property line, and no way of determining where your property starts and where it ends. Once this grass has been secured, please grasscuttingfollow the steps below:

  1. Using your trusty push mower, cut the WHOLE section (both yours and the neighbors) for the months of April and May without being asked and without nary a word mentioned to them.
  2. Earn their undying gratitude. If you follow Step a. above then Step b. should follow.
  3. Towards the end of May, and before the grass REALLY starts growing, start timing your mows (mowings?) to follow immediately after theirs – so that when you’re cutting the whole swath of grass you’re really not doing much to theirs.
  4. Starting June 1, stop cutting the top section entirely.

If Steps a-c have been followed closely, then starting June 1 your neighbor will be trained to cut the whole swath themselves…simply out of the goodness of THEIR heart. You look out one July 100 degree day, with your sweet tea in your hand, and see them cutting your grass – that’s all the diploma you need to graduate Chapter 1.

Chapter 2 – Getting Rid of Your Trash

How many times when cleaning out your shed, closet or laundry room do you want to get rid of a bulky item? It’s too big to hide in the bottom of your trash can, it’s too solid to dump out in the woods behind your house, and it’s too much of a pain to take anywhere else. What do you do? What DO you do?

The solution? Have a neighbor that is innately curious about anything and everything going on at your house. He knows the whereabouts of every family member, the car they drive, when they get home, what they do for a living…everything. All without ever asking. The next prerequisite is that he needs to also be a BIT of a hoarder. Not like the nutty fruitcakes you see on TV….just one that has a penchant for junk. Once you have those two things – your problems are solved. This is an easy Step A/Step B solution – so even if you struggled with Chapter 1, Chapter 2 is easy.

  1. Put a SINGLE item at a time out front of your house in the traditional trash spot. Note that you MUST only put a single item….if multiple items are placed there it will just look like trash, and we wouldn’t your ‘fake’ pile of trash to look like trash, would we?
  2. As a game, set up a clock and see how long it takes for your neighbor to have that item somewhere in his yard.

Note the below picture:


Time to yard:

– Trampoline                         13 working hours (apparently had to think about that one for a while)

– Grill                                     8 working hours

– Toy Chest                            6 working hours

They have all been repurposed and used by said neighbor, so they are not even wasted. PLUS – you have just saved yourself so much time by just having to haul things to the street and leaving them there – no mussing about with Craigslist or anything. Once the first bulky item leaves your driveway, you can consider yourself graduating to Chapter 3.

Chapter 3 – Having the Neighbor Pick up Your Dog’s Crap in YOUR OWN YARD!

I’m still working on this one.   More to follow.

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Oh, you are clever indeed. Good tips, though I suppose to use them, I’d actually have to know a bit about my neighbors. I’m not very good about that sort of thing. Then again, they keep to themselves, too. It’s introvert avenue, I guess. And I’m fine with that…

    Let us know when you get the poo pick-up mastered!


  2. We bought five acres at the end of a private road that we had to build, specifically to get away from neighbors. No way do I want one of those buggers invading my lawn or trash space!


  3. We may be moving…and I am so going to try Chapter 2. It may be a process but I think it will be worth it.


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