“I do no think that word means what you think it means” ~Princess Bride
That was my initial reaction when I listened to the message from my neighbor. She has decided that the situation with the chickens is “untenable”.
Then, my second reaction was “what the fuck?” She has NEVER, ever, talked to me about the chickens before, yet now the situation is untenable. What?!!
But, did she stop there? No, she kept going. In her attempt to be “diplomatic”, she failed miserably. In the end, I was annoyed. A neighbor who we had a great relationship with decided not to simply speak to us about her concerns. No, she left me a rant complete with exact expectations as to what she expected us to do to resolve the situation. What’s ironic? She has it wrong. If she knew so much about the chickens and how they were escaping, she would know they can’t escape in several of the places she claims they are escaping from. There is no way they can. There is only one way they get out – we all know it – those of us who have observed it and deal with it most. This really made it her ranting at us because of a single time dealing with the situation.
I wondered as I drove home if she was speaking on behalf of all the residents. She was speaking as though maybe she was. Then I got home and discovered there were no residents home but her.
Before I continue my rant, I should point out that I take full responsibility for those fucking chickens. I have spent hours trying to contain them. I have “discussed” my concerns in length with G about how we need to remedy the issue. We have clipped wings. I have put up netting. We have apologized. We have given eggs. We have helped them with their yard as repayment. We have built new garden boxes to the woman who is greatly impacted by their escapes. We have done things to keep the peace. If we were doing the retribution without attempts to remedy the problem, they should be pissed at me. I would be pissed at me. But, we aren’t. We are trying to do the right thing while trying to fix the issue. We don’t want the situation to get out of control – it is why we ate the cost of people who helped us do these things. We don’t want pissed off neighbors as our chickens reenact their favorite parts of Chicken Run.
Yet after all of this, I get a two minute voicemail that is her basically all be threatening us. I have yet to figure out what she would threaten us with exactly. I mean, she is a renter. She lives in the unit furthest from our house. She has not been directly impacted by them and their escapes. And the two tenants closest to us care, but don’t care. Both know the chickens are being chickens – and that chickens are escape artists. They both acknowledge our efforts and constantly tell us not to worry about it.
I had to talk myself down as I drove home. I knew if she were to talk to us directly about it, she would take a totally different tone than her voicemail. She is passive aggressive, gossipy, but conflict averse. Kind of a funny combination, huh? I created my plan of attack for when I do. I know she will try to play it off as her just being concerned. She won’t want the chickens to be hurt if they get out. It’s her MO to do this – I’ve seen her do it before. So, if she does it, I’m going to advise her not to leave voicemail in the future as that was not the message I got from her.
Until we can fix the issue, I have told G and the girls the chickens stay in the coop unless we are hope to supervise. I don’t trust her at this point.
I only hope she realizes as she is bitching and moaning in her backyard to her friends that our window to our bedroom is right there next to her yard. She has forgotten this in the past. I doubt I could keep my mouth shut if she forgets it this time, and we are the topics of her conversation.