September 19, 2008

Why I made that tape

Marie created a multi-media video about some horrible neighbors we had long ago when we lived in a townhouse. She includes sound from a cassette tape that I made from my window. You can hear these people yelling and cursing. They did that regularly. Which leads to why I made the tape.

I had complained to the police about the noise but usually it quieted down around the time they drove up, although there were a few times in which a fight was in progress and they actually hauled someone off to the police station. But the screaming and fighting continued, especially on weekends when it went out past 1 o'clock in the morning, making sleep difficult.

So I decided to make tapes of the noise and take them down to the police station and have a talk with the captain. It turned out that I never had to go there. They arrested Billy for firebombing a car. But first they had to find him.

He had climbed onto the roof, crossed over to the hatch-door in my roof (which a painter had failed to lock), and hid in my attic. I heard someone in the attic, didn't know it was him... terrified, I locked myself in the bedroom, pushed a dresser against the door, and called the police.

The dispatcher took my address. "The police are outside your house," she said. "They are there to arrest your neighbor." I looked out the window and sure enough, several cruisers were out there.

"He's in my attic!"

I moved the dresser back, flew down the stairs and let in the officer who was at my door by that time. He brought in a police dog. He put up a ladder to the attic door.

"Billy, come on out! I know you don't want this dog coming in after you."

That was true. They took Billy away and he went to jail for a few years. By the time he got out, I had moved across town to a single-family home.

P.S. Marie has also posted a follow-up to the story.

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