Updated: Jun 13, 2022
TL;DR: Hear it instead!
Someone once said "Love Thy Neighbour." Mum kinda raised me on this principle. Fight for what's right and helps others, don't hurt your neighbour. You would think this is basic stuff, right?
My first memory of "fighting for what's right" is at the age of 3 or 4-ish. We had just moved from Montreal to its South Shore on a new street that was still a pile of rocks and in development. They had succeeded by the standards of those around them: a middle class couple that saved up by giving blood, sweat, and tears in exchange for a life of debt with a mortgage. YAYS! Ok, so maybe my vision of success is a tad different, but we'll save that for another blog article.
Carrying on. Right! So the subcontracting company that was given the greenlight to build the area may have hired an incompetent surveyor OR they were negligent and driven solely by $$$. The land sloped towards the homes they built, which meant any rain falling didn't flow towards the drains in the street - the rain flowed into the homes. The area has since been declared to be at MAJOR RISK for flooding, as per the PDF presentation that you can read yourself right here.
Mum took it upon herself to fight the big guy, and the next thing I knew, dad was enabling her by creating giant plywood lemons that mum was going to put on display on the front yard. And this is my first memory of love thy neighbour. Giant lemons.
She didn't need to know who her neighbours were before coordinating what was needed to fix things. She didn't care about political views, what they had for breakfast, or how they raised their children. She didn't care about immutable traits, or sexual preference, or how they dressed. All she cared about was all of them banding together to be compensated for the "lemons" they were sold. Harm was being caused to all of her neighbours, and she was going to lead the fight. I guess she wanted to make lemonade out of life's lemons.
I wish I could share news articles but the internet wasn't what it is today.
To make a long story short, she won in court and whooped ass. Yep. That sums it up nicely. She did what it took to take these guys to court and won. Ciao! Flashforward to today. As many of you reading may know, I'm headed towards #Vanlife. Leaving in the next 24-48 hours, actually. Right! We have two vehicules, one of which is a cute cube with a chimney. Yep! There's a GStove in it. And when that puppy is lit (which it wasn't, I would like to clarify now), the most awesome smell of campfire escapes from the 2.5 inch tube that is the chimney. If you have been camping, you know something about campfires. The smell doesn't just go away once the fire is out. Following so far? I am currently living in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada, a northern town that has a quaint history that I absolutely LOVE. The street I live on is in an area that tourists visit to grab a bite to eat, hence the 2 restaurants on either side of the building I live in. A steakhouse that smokes fish outside and a hippy-style vegan-loving bistro that has skateboarding competitions in the summer and a daily meat smoking outside:
This bistro has daily meat smokings outside in the summer that fill the street with the wonderful scents of smoked meat and spices.
Then there's the Steakhouse on the left of me. They actually smoked fish yesterday and, well that smell was surely not as pleasant, but nothing to call the cops about. Which brings us to this morning. As I walked out to head to the corner store, I noticed our provincial police speaking with two men by my boo's cube, which was parked outside. Taking notice, I interjected. Turns out someone who is friends with the Steakhouse owners, along with an apartment dweller, thought it smart to call the cops because of the wood smell coming from the GStove. Two neighbours, who could have left a note on the windshield, preferred to abuse public funds and call the police for a smell -- OUTSIDE. Not only did they call the police, they tried using keywords that typically make people doubt themselves:
"There's a law!"
Well, they uttered those words to the wrong chick.
- crickets from the police officer (because there is no law regarding a GStove in a truck, it's made for that.)
"Road Safety la ---"
"SIR, WHICH LAW?"
I asked the neighbourhood Gestapo if they made the same complaints about the fish smoking or the daily exterior smokehouse; be principled! If you're going to call the cops because of a campfire smell coming from a GStove, I would think you'd do the same for every other situation that, well, IS THE SAME! Of course, this is not the case. I was just being a smart ass. A very factual, principled smart ass. I took the complaint in stride and we moved the truck - and that's when we noticed something...
...that dent was NOT on the perfect body that this truck once flaunted. Now, I don't want to jump to conclusions about who did this. I can't. BUT - Those folks making complaints about this truck? It's not because it smells, not because something illegal is happening. It's because it's blocking the view on the "too-small-to-do-anything" park across the street, for the clients. The police have confirmed this to us while responding to said complaints. What's funny is, every single time, nothing comes of this. Nothing comes of this because no laws are being broken. Well, if you live in Quebec and are reading this, you're paying for this, actually. The cops time, the admin bs that goes along with the complaints investigation - ALL OF IT. I digress.
We just have some Karens that don't like their clients looking at a cube instead of the Empire Skate Competition, and who pick and choose which burning wood is permitted on the street while they fill the air with there smoked fish. Let me keep going with this wave of loving neighbours too apathetic to leave a note and asking respectfully that we move the cube. Canadian Tire. Parked overnight. Boo has an extension cord plugged in the available socket that is embedded in the frame of that space reserved for shopping cart returns. Ok, let's agree here before I trigger someone reading; yes, he was charging his battery with Canadian Tire footing the electrical bill. Boo was broken down, needed a piece at Canadian Tire (opening the next morning), and just wanted to keep warm. It may not be right, but does it call for what followed?
Instead of, oh, I don't know, just unplugging his wire...
...someone, and we're assuming an employee of some sort, thought it smart to cut 2 of the 3 prongs on the plug, put it back in, and I guess walked off laughing at his Machiavellian coup. He INTENTIONALLY cut TWO PRONGS and plugged IT BACK IN TO CAMOUFLAGE HIS WORK! Did I mention the parking tickets? Myself and another tenant received parking tickets recently, NOT because we broke any parking bylaws, but because someone complained to the police. About 10 other cars were also parked and never received tickets, they're just not blocking the view on the "too-small-to-do-anything" park. Again confirmed by the agent who came to respond. Since when do we give parking tickets to cars that get COMPLAINTS?!!!!
Or this other guy who, in some weird fit of fury between two bottles of Bud, through his laptop from the second story balcony onto the cube. Don't know who that guy is, never found out, don't really care to. We had just moved here and had no bloody clue what to expect.
Love Thy Neighbour, They Said.
I am trying, but some of them are making it really, really hard.
Why didn't those perturbed by the smell emanating from the GStove just leave a note expressing their concern? Why did the Canadian Tire employee just unplug the wire? Why CUT THE PRONGS and plug it back in? What the hell was going on in the mind of the dude that decided to smash his laptop on the roof of the cube? Meh, just questions. Goodbye, Quebec. May the odds be ever in your favour. /End Rant