Of course it is as dead a fur coat in modern society, but there are times you still look for it to flourish, if only because it benefits you personally in some way.

I lived in a condo (half-house) for six years and there was no mention made in the condo documents as to how the general upkeep of “yard” elements. The postage-stamp patch of a front yard, the sidewalk, etc. Without really discussing the issue, the guy who owned the other side of the house and I fell into a easy and sensible pattern of behavior. Who ever decided to cut the grass that day did both halves of the postage stamp. When it was time to shovel snow, whoever was outside first made sure that the entire sidewalk in front of the house was completely clear. If there was time, that person might do all of the shoveling – the cuts through the snow banks to make openings to the street, all of the sidewalk, the entire front porch and steps, etc. Something needed to be done and it got done, no matter who did it. We had a common goal to keep the property looking good, or in the case of shoveling snow, avoiding a $50 fine, and we made sure the goal was met. Period.

Then, as series of renters took over the other condo in the house and all, being decent people, adopted the same philosophy. Until the last one. The one that chased me out of my condo. On top of all of the other white-trash bitch behaviors she demonstrated, she also did not manifest any interest in commonly tending the property. It was actually a joke in the neighborhood. She would cut one-half of the postage stamp exactly. She would shovel snow to the exact center of the sidewalk and not one inch further. It was ridiculous and completely hypocritical since she had moral qualms about letting her dog crap on my side of the yard or letting her kids stomp on the few flowers I actually got to grow on my side of the property.

In my new house, I actually have a real yard to maintain, but there is one patch of grass that falls, practically at least, into the common ground category. In truth, only about an 2′ x 25′ strip of it belongs to me. The other 6′ x 25′ section belongs to the next door neighbor. It’s an isolated chunk of land bounded by my driveway, his fence, his house and the front sidewalk; to follow the property line and only mow my section would be silly and be very unattractive. So, when I mow the grass, I catch all of that patch. When he mows the grass, he catches all of that patch. No matter who is mowing on what day, the lawn looks nice. He even goes so far as to follow my strip of grass alongside his fence another 20′ to my garage. Common courtesy and everyone wins.

Now, I’ve spoken about the swimming-pool pustules that live a few doors down and today I noticed another example of their scumbaggery. Forgetting the 15-child thick cloud of screaming that ruined everyone in the neighborhood’s Saturday afternoon, I’m just focusing on the lawn mowing. This family also shares an isolated patch of grass with a neighbor and the father made sure to mow only his portion and left the rest. For the neighbor. An elderly man on disability. Douche-dad looks to be in his 30’s and in good health and could not be bothered to do a simple kindness for his fellow man.

What goes through a person’s mind that makes that kind of behavior acceptable? I could understand perhaps forsaking an action if it involved a very large investment of time that you didn’t have, but to view a few minutes of work as “not my problem” is foolish. The only nice thing is that the self-centered attitude that these people demonstrate make a socially-impaired person like me look good. I’ll count that as a win…