Love Thy Stuper Neighbor

One of the stickiest stuper (short for a patently stupid person) situations occurs when the meager mind lives in your neighborhood. Here’s an e-mail I received regarding this very matter (edited to remove profanity):

Dear Keli,

My neighbors are stupers who think (or don’t) that it’s ok for them to drive through my yard and use my driveway.

About ten people moved in the house next door a few months ago. At any given time, there are no less than nine cars in their yard. If their driveway is blocked and some one wants to leave, they have no problem driving through their yard, into my yard and out my driveway. They never do it when I’m around (at least they’re smart that way). But I’ve come home many times and seen mud tracks coming from their yard over into my yard and then down my cement driveway.

I read your post about anger and neighborly stupidity. Should I ask them politely as you suggested or can I just call the cops?

Really Sick of Idiots in Mississippi

If only we could all have the likes of Mister Rogers living next door to us. Ever so genial and courteous. Alas, it is not so. Here’s my response:

Dear Really Sick:

Calling the police should be a last resort, and only if you require protection or are considering legal action. Sounds like you are currently saddled with stupers who are taking advantage.

Neighbors are a fixture, for the most part. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain good rapport. You do, after all, see quite a bit of each other, even in passing. This is particularly true when it comes to those of the directly next door neighbor variety.

If you feel comfortable enough, you may want to talk civilly to them or write a letter. By civilly, I mean, do not threaten to plant land mines or trick wire the place. Be honest and let them know that you value privacy and an unsullied driveway. 

However, the simplest, most effective remedy requires a monetary expenditure…by you. To wit: a fence. Fences were invented for a very good reason. I suggest you put one up. If this is not cost efficient for you, try shrubbery or other plants. In fact, any type of border will do. Boulders or large rocks, for instance. Even clearly visible, metal stakes will do.

In your case, it appears a fence would be a worthwhile investment to keep stupers at bay.

Some people get stuck in thinking there’s only one way to solve a problem. Managing stupidity requires a bit of tact, planning and in neighborhood situations, clearly defining your borders for the stupers among us.

Great minds like to think.


3 Responses to “Love Thy Stuper Neighbor”

  1. Sarah says:

    I had a pretty similar situation to the one here, but in mine, neighbor’s kids kept coming into my yard. I talked to the parents and it stopped. And eventually I put a fence up because I suspected the kids still came when I wasn’t home. It was worth it.

  2. Starlily says:

    Good fences make good neighbours, definitely!

  3. Dan says:

    Neighborly relations are sometimes hard to manage and there are some who will take advantage of our generosity and the best way to manage, like you mentioned, is clear demarcation of space. And I had a great laugh at the wit in your reply: “…Boulders or large rocks, for instance. Even clearly visible, metal stakes!”

    Thank you very much for listing my blog in your blogroll. Really appreciated it but I think the url is wrong 🙂


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