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what would you do if you were me?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
What would you do if you were in my situation? I’ll try to be brief. I have a neighbor who lives next door to my house. I, however, don’t live in my house yet as I’m doing some major work on it. I’ve had my house for quite some time now. Lately, I’ve been finding cigarette butts in my driveway. Yes, people throw them out of their cars as they are driving along the street. I’ve always found them at the foot of my driveway and in the space of grass between the street and the sidewalk. But as of about 2 or 3 months ago, I’ve started to find them way down my driveway. I know that it’s not possible that all of a sudden, the wind is blowing them that far down my driveway. I am 99% sure that it is my neighbor who is doing it. I noticed that the cigarettes were all the same and immediately assumed that it was him throwing them over my fence into my driveway. Then one day, I noticed a different kind of cigarette butt and thought that maybe it wasn’t him after all. He often smokes outside on his little front porch and then just throws his cigarette butts in his front yard. He never picks them up….mows his grass right over them and chops them up. So one day, I saw him drive off. So I went around the fence into his front yard where he throws them and checked it out. What did I find?!! Two different kinds of butts…..the same kind I keep finding in my driveway. Another reason I know they are not being blown down my driveway from the street is that they still have ashes attached to them. When I pick them up, they fall off. If they were blowing down my driveway from the street, the ashes would get knocked off as it tumbled down my driveway. At the moment, I am just throwing them back over the fence into his yard. I know that might sound childish, but I think he’s childish for throwing them over in the first place. I take VERY good care of my yard and it is always neat and clean. I am not going to have him throwing his trash over my fence. I discussed this with my mother and she asked me, “but why would he be throwing them over the fence into your driveway?†And my answer to her was, “because I think he’s mad that I don’t talk to him anymore.†The reason that I don’t talk to him anymore is because a long time ago, he asked me to take nude photographs of him to replace the ones he had of himself that were stolen out of his van when his van was stolen. I told him “absolutely not!†I think the best thing I could have done was just to turn and walk away from him, but I was in shock. I continued to talk to him for awhile after that, but slowly started to feel a little creeped out by him…especially when one day I was working in my garage and looked up at the window to find him standing there at the fence watching me through the window. I slowly started to distance myself from him and it is now to the point where I don’t utter one word to him or even look at him if he’s outside.

So, what would you do? Would you confront him or just leave it alone? I, for now, will continue to throw them back over the fence when I find them……and I find them there on my driveway EVERY DAY. It is obvious that he only throws them over when he knows I am not there (when my car is not in the driveway). I’ve thought about asking him, “Robert, you’re not throwing your cigarette butts over into my driveway, are you?†Or, I’ve thought about going over there, parking my car elsewhere, and setting up my video camera in one of the windows in my house…..that way if I do decide to approach him about it, if he denies it, I will have proof.
post #2 of 23
He's baiting you with the cigarette butts. Things like this can escalate quickly and get really nasty. It's worth a try to wave the peace flag.

HERE'S WHAT I WOULD DO: I would knock on his door (difficult to do but it's over quickly) and say very nicely, "Hi, Robert, I know we've had some differences in the past, but I'm here to say I'd like very much to be on friendly neighborly terms with you. What do you say? Could we give it a shot?" Then I would give him a package of cigarettes, his brand, as a peace offering. I'll bet he would laugh and say, "Sure!" and you'll never see another butt from him on your driveway!

If he's not responsive, I'd ignore him and his butts. When you throw them back into his yard he knows he's irritating you. If you give no response (and collect and throw them away) he will eventually stop because he's not getting a reaction from you. But try to make peace first. He's probably going to be there for a long time.

Cheers, from
SwampWitch
post #3 of 23
Weird as I have a neighbour (and named "ROBERT" too! weird..) that does this also....(or did it also) and it WAS because we weren't all buddy buddy with him at first...

He is very nosey and is a serious gossip about other neighbours (so I wonder what he says about me!)....(One of the first things he said to DBF after we moved in and BF said something about him hanging around too much or something like that, he asked "what? are you anti-social or something?"

After realizing this (and numerous times of seeing him cut across my lawn to get down the street), I just stopped being very friendly to him..
However, my problem is he was littering my side entry sidewalk with butts before we moved in....

It's solved now as BF is nice enough to him....and now Robert is always offering to lend tools and stuff.. He is one of those guys that if you are nice to him and give him the time of day, he will do most anything for you.
Luckily, DBF isn't one to take crap either though and they seem to have a symbiotic relationship now where DBF can tell Robert not to do something and he will listen without any snarky comment...

As for your situation, I am half tempted to tell you to go off on this guy but Swampwitch's suggestion is the more mature one that will likely earn better result than starting a war will.

Good Luck with it!
post #4 of 23
So when he knows you are there he just throws them in his own yard?

What if the next time he's out smoking you just casually start talking to him. It doesn't have to be a lengthy convo or anything- I would probably just say something like "Hey I noticed I have a lot of cigarette butts on my driveway and I was wondering if you could try aiming at the other neighbor or something..."

I'm kind of a sarcastic person though and I find humor makes a lot of situations a little easier for me to handle... but I don't know if you would feel comfortable enough to joke around with him since he's creepy...
post #5 of 23
I'd get hiim a terracotta pot with playground sand in the bottom (like 1/2way up) and stick it on his stoop when he's not home.
post #6 of 23
Well, here is a different story, same basic idea about respecting others' property lines.

I had a neighbor who once upon a time used to rake up the leaves that fell in front of his house and bag them. Then he bought himself one of those horrible gas powered leaf blowers that makes TONS of noise, and one afternoon, I watched him blow all the leaves from in front of his house (had to watch - wasn't able to hear the TV at all anymore, and this was before I had a PC,) and instead of raking them and bagging them, he simply walked to the property line with the blower, and once he'd cleared them away from his house, he shut off the blower and went inside his house.

I was horrified and very, very angry - what a lazy so and so! So, to make a VERY specific point, I went outside, got my rake, raked up all the leaves that he'd blown onto my property, plus all the leaves that were already there, scooped them all up into a great big trash bag, carried it up onto his front porch, and emptied the entire bag of leaves onto his front porch right smack dab in front of his front door.

Needless to say, he never, ever did that again, and I felt VERY satisfied.

If I were you, and I'm not saying you should do this, but this is what I would do: I would start saving them all up, then once you've accumulated a big bunch of them - which doesn't take long with a smoker, I'd go dump them all in one place on his property - on the porch, or on the front lawn. Then I'd stick a sign in the pile, saying something like: "If you don't want your property looking like an ashtray, then stop using MINE as an ashtray."

Because that's how I am. Payback is a you know what.
post #7 of 23
Gingersmom, I think we would get along great..

.....Awesome.

(but yes very immature..yes, yes, very immature )
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy View Post
Gingersmom, I think we would get along great..

.....Awesome.

(but yes very immature..yes, yes, very immature )
Actually, I think it was much more immature for the jerk to blow the leaves all over my property and think he could just walk away from it.

As a grown-up, I think I taught him a VERY valuable lesson. Hee-hee!
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post

If I were you, and I'm not saying you should do this, but this is what I would do: I would start saving them all up, then once you've accumulated a big bunch of them - which doesn't take long with a smoker, I'd go dump them all in one place on his property - on the porch, or on the front lawn. Then I'd stick a sign in the pile, saying something like: "If you don't want your property looking like an ashtray, then stop using MINE as an ashtray."

Because that's how I am. Payback is a you know what.
I wouldn't recommend that in this case, because she already said this guy is creepy. Maybe he isn't throwing them there...maybe he actually stands in your yard to smoke! I'd try the make the peace offering, and if that doesn't work just clean them up. You don't want to agitate a creepy person who you will be living next to!
post #10 of 23
Gingersmom... that's hilarious!!!!!!
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo View Post
I wouldn't recommend that in this case, because she already said this guy is creepy. Maybe he isn't throwing them there...maybe he actually stands in your yard to smoke! I'd try the make the peace offering, and if that doesn't work just clean them up. You don't want to agitate a creepy person who you will be living next to!
I DID say that I wasn't saying that that's what she SHOULD do, just that that is what I would do if I were her.

I was simply responding to her question, "What would you do if you were me?" I related a story, said what I would do. I'm not telling her what she should do, and I actually agree with SwampWitch's suggestion.
post #12 of 23
I agree with Beckiboo, this guy sounds very creepy and I wouldn't want to agitate him.
post #13 of 23
Your neighbor sounds like a weirdo. I would not agitate him. In fact, I would start looking for another place and move.
post #14 of 23
Alright, I'm a very matter of fatc person, and htis is what I would do...

I would collect all of the butts over like a week period, and but them in a bowl.

One day, anonomysly leave them on his doorstep! He'll realize it. But if you think this guy is creepy, don't do it, couse he could haul off at you! Well, try which ever plan (mine, or other peopl'es) you think is best!
post #15 of 23
If it were me, I would just be direct. Next time you see him say, "Listen, I've noticed you smoke outside and I've been finding a lot of cigarette butts in my driveway, so if it's you who's been throwing them there, I'd appreciate it if you'd stop."

You don't have to be nasty, just firm and direct. I wouldn't be trying any revenge strategies with this dude, since he's creepy and unpredictable, but I also don't think you should let him intimidate you. Let him know that you know it's him and that you want him to stop, and leave it at that. If he tries to argue, just walk away.
post #16 of 23
I would ignore him and don't even put the butts on his driveway..just get rid of them and eventually he'll stop.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugaboo1 View Post
Your neighbor sounds like a weirdo. I would not agitate him. In fact, I would start looking for another place and move.
ummm....I haven't even moved in yet....and I'm not going to let something as simple as that make me sell my house. Besides....I was there first.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well, first off, thanks for all the responses. I sent that message out to the forum just before I left from work at 11:00 this morning and am just getting back home.

Part of the problem is that I don't like confrontation......so I either need to decided to do something about it, or just pick them up and throw them away. When it first started, I put them on the counter in my garage. Then after awhile, I started throwing them away. Then I started throwing them back over the fence.

When I left from my house last night, my driveway was clean! When I got there this morning around 11:30, I found TEN (10) of them in my driveway. Some were flat. So I think he's on to me and that he picked those back up from his carport and threw them back over. I threw them in his back yard. My driveway was clean again when I left this afternoon around 4:30 to drive back to the town I live in. We'll see what's there in the morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
HERE'S WHAT I WOULD DO: I would knock on his door (difficult to do but it's over quickly) and say very nicely, "Hi, Robert, I know we've had some differences in the past, but I'm here to say I'd like very much to be on friendly neighborly terms with you. What do you say? Could we give it a shot?" Then I would give him a package of cigarettes, his brand, as a peace offering. I'll bet he would laugh and say, "Sure!" and you'll never see another butt from him on your driveway!
Yes, Swampwitch, that does sound like a good suggestion.....but I'm not sure if I can do it that way....especially not giving him more cigarettes!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahBeez View Post
So when he knows you are there he just throws them in his own yard?
Yes, I've seen him smoking and he throws them in his front yard. I can be there all day on a Saturday working at my house (outside or inside) and when I leave, I won't find anything in my driveway. I only find them there when I go there after work.....after I haven't been there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I was horrified and very, very angry - what a lazy so and so! So, to make a VERY specific point, I went outside, got my rake, raked up all the leaves that he'd blown onto my property, plus all the leaves that were already there, scooped them all up into a great big trash bag, carried it up onto his front porch, and emptied the entire bag of leaves onto his front porch right smack dab in front of his front door.

Needless to say, he never, ever did that again, and I felt VERY satisfied.
You go girl!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo View Post
Maybe he isn't throwing them there...maybe he actually stands in your yard to smoke!
Ummm....I don't think so. He'd have to walk all the way around the fence and up my driveway. Let's just say he's lazy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie'sLove View Post
But if you think this guy is creepy, don't do it, couse he could haul off at you!
I dind't say this before in my original post because I didn't think it was all that important....but this guy weighs 300 pounds or more. I could definitely outrun him. And to imagine he wanted me to take nude photos of him.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamacat View Post
If it were me, I would just be direct. Next time you see him say, "Listen, I've noticed you smoke outside and I've been finding a lot of cigarette butts in my driveway, so if it's you who's been throwing them there, I'd appreciate it if you'd stop."
This is probably one of the best methods for me personally. It's sort of like I said in my original post when I said I should ask him, “Robert, you’re not throwing your cigarette butts over into my driveway, are you?â€

Guys.....I'm still not sure what to do at this point. It's so frustrating.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
OK guys....so I had many suggestions as to how to handle the problem I was having with my neighbor throwing his cigarette butts on my driveway. Several people told me to do nothing and he would eventually tire of it and stop. That NEVER happened. It's been over 2 months since I first posted this thread and he hadn't stopped. At one point, it got really bad. One Monday, I picked up about 28 cigarettes in one area....the very following Friday (4 days later!!), I picked up 34 of them....all in one general area. It's like he leaned over the fence and dumped his ashtray or something. I even called the police department and talked to them about the problem. They made a few suggestions, but nothing I ever followed through with. One of the suggestions was to call his employer and talk to them....because he is a city employee and he is littering. The cop told me he could lose his job over that. My sister suggested I not do it because "you have to live next to him". I even hid out in my garage a few times with my video camera trying to get proof of him doing it and it never happened. Fast forward to last Saturday (12-9-06).....I was working at my house....ran a couple of errands to a local hardware store & Home Depot. Upon returning, I again found cigarettes in my driveway that weren't there when I left. His van was not there, so he was gone. I picked up the 5 that I found and threw them back over. Later in the afternoon, I happened to stand up in front of a kitchen window and saw that he had come back home. He was still sitting in his van....smoking a cigarette with the window down. I figured I was about to witness him throw it. I couldn't stay where I was because he would have seen me had he looked up...we were in line with each other. So I went into the living room, pulled back the curtain just a bit, and peeked out. He took 2 more drags from it and then hauled it over the fence. You could tell he was definitely trying to get it over the fence. Well guess what?!! Actually seeing him do it MADE ME SNAP! Keep in mind, I still had no intention of confronting him, although I was starting to realize that if I didn't, it could go on indefinitely. I took off for the back door!! I went out, with my drill still in my hand, and went down the driveway. He never heard me coming and his back was to me by this time. I was not smiling, but I wasn't yelling either. My tone of voice let him know that I meant business. The conversation went like this.....

me: "hey robert"
him: <turned around>
me: "I don't know why, but you need to stop throwing your cigarettes in my driveway"
him: "OK"
me: <turning and pointing to the still smoking cigarette on my driveway> "that one right there, you just threw it, I saw you from inside my house"
him: "OK"
me: "like I said before, I don't know why you're doing it, but it needs to stop NOW!"
him: "OK"
me: <gave him the thumbs up and walked away>

As I was on my way out of the house, I had NO IDEA what I was going to say to him....that's why my first sentence doesn't really make sense. Of course I know why he needed to stop throwing the cigarettes. I had meant to say "I don't know why you're doing it", but the I accidentally left off the "you're doing it". When I got back in the house I was so nervous my hands were shaking. Needless to say, a whole week has passed and I'm happy to say that I have not found a single cigarette of his in my driveway.
post #20 of 23
Good for you!!
post #21 of 23
that he doesn't do it again.

Actually, the first sentence probably softened the blow. I read it as "I don't know why you are doing it, but stop".

The drill probably helped too. I've heard women and power tools are scary to men.
post #22 of 23
GO YOU! That's awesome. I know it's not an easy thing to do, but you did it and it seems to have helped. Good job! Can you bottle some of your courage and send it to me?
post #23 of 23
Congratulations!

Unfortunately annoying (and creepy) neighbors like him can help bring the value of your house down. I.e. if say 5 years from now you decided to sell and potential buyers kept finding cigerette butts in the driveway (a lot like you described), that can actually lead you to lose money on the house.

I know that some of our neighbors accidentally throw things into our yard, but usually it's stuff that you're suppose to through (ball, dog bone, etc).

One time I can home and found a CD in our driveway, near the garage (which is basically in our backyard).
The CD was borrowed from the library so I kept for a month or two, then returned it just to add fines to their membership. Hee hee hee...
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