Love, Numb Nuts

February 20th, 2012 · 44 comments

Ty — an innocent bystander in this situation — saw this reply note taped to the door of his apartment building in Omaha. “I LOVE it!’ says Ty. Me too, Ty. Me too.

Polite neighbor — Thank You for that lovely note reminding me how crappy my car is...but just for you, I just spent more $ than my car is worth to fix it!! So sleep tight :) Love, Numb Nuts P.S. I really am sorry that you had to hear it. I know how annoying it is, but next time be a little nicer...please.

related: Save the earth, kill the kids?

FILED UNDER: car · heart · neighbors · Omaha · p.s. · smiley · thanks (but not really)

44 responses so far ↓

  • #1   FeRD bang

    I suspect I speak for everyone when I say: Ty must track down the notewriter, and obtain the original note that prompted this response!

    For Great Justice!

    Feb 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Irving

      Yes, FeRD!!! I would love to see that note. What a jackhole!

      Feb 20, 2012 at 8:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   infanttyrone

      I used to have some commercial interaction with a guy who lived in Omaha, but that’s as close as this ty ever got to The Gate City of the West.

      I’ll pass along everyone here’s sense of urgency when I reach out to Omaha Ty via the Intergalactic Ty Psychic Hotline…accessible through a trance state brought on by repeated listenings to The Ties that Bind.
      I’d post a link, but…you know.

      Feb 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Rectangle bang

    “Polite neighbor-” Well done, that’s a pretty strong way to start a passive aggressive note.

    “Thank you for [doing something irksome to the note writer]” You must have experience with this.

    “[short defense for your action/lack of action that makes you appear to be the victim]” That’s right, make him feel the passive aggressive burn.

    “Sleep tight :)” Oooohhhhhhhh, you know how to really make it hurt

    “P.S. [apology for being an obvious ass in the note]” Wtf, you can’t quit now. Your P.S. is supposed to make them rage so hard they want to throw a T.V at you, not laugh at you for being too normal to start a life long rivalry over some stupid note.

    Feb 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   FeRD bang

      Actually, I think the apology was for the car, not the note! (“…sorry that you had to hear it” — presumably the original complaint was about the car being loud; perhaps exhaust problems.)

      So, it’s really just an expression of genuine regret for the original notewriter’s core complaint, making his/her dickishness towards “Numb Nuts” seem all the more unnecessary and… well… dickish! Masterfully done.

      Feb 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   infanttyrone

      Yeah, same reading here…the apology was for the car.

      A theoretical possibility exists that the apology was for the note, but…
      it requires one (or more, have a party!, but don’t screw in a lightbulb) to believe that the original note-writer is deaf and possessed of an over-developed visual sense. The original note would have been a critique of the car’s crappy visual aspect, not it’s unintentional “glasspack contralto”, in which case Numb Nuts’ use of the word “hear” would be a figure of speech. If the statistical improbability of such a neighbor evading the OPD’s notorious Deaf Snatching Squad isn’t enough to dissuade you from calling your London bookie and put a hedging wager down, NN’s use of the pronoun “it” instead of “this” ought to be enough to tell you to put down that phone.

      Imagine that there is a link here to Racin’ in the Streets
      (or Little Deuce Coupe, or whatever floats your boat).
      Or links to lynxes or Linksys, if that’s not too meta for ya.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 12:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   debkatz

    It appears to be female handwriting-”appears”, that’s all. Her sarcasm is not well written because her anger is way too overt-apparently the original note made her cry in anger and frustration. She probably hugged her stuffed animals too tightly. Also, she’s isn’t that bright-she spent more money than the car is worth and used TWO exclamation points to get her views across. That is way emotional. Poor baby.

    Feb 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   FeRD bang

      I’ve never understood why people assume it’s a bad/stupid thing to spend more than a car is “worth” (in resale value) to keep it operating. A new car would cost far more. And if the thing’s enough of a junker, then any other car you could buy with the repair cash could be just as problematic, even if it’s “worth” slightly more than yours. So, if the money spent buys you serviceable, relatively problem-free transportation for the next N months or years, then it’s money well spent regardless of the crappy thing’s market value!

      Then again, I find that my no-car is the best value of all. NYC public transportation FTW.

      Feb 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   debkatz

      The she should have started taking public transportation. The car will eventually become a money pit and she’ll get nothing back. It’s like throwing money into a toilet. Plus, with the cost of gas going up, it’s even more of a loss. THAT’s the problem with spending more money on a car than it’s worth. It will die on you, probably in the middle of a busy street, with expensive gas in its tank, in the dark, in a sketchy neighborhood. Make a car payment and have peace of mind. Dang.

      Feb 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   Passive Possessive

      Sexist troll is sexist

      But this is a good parody of all the people who assume the most annoying notes are from women.

      Feb 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   eri

      Not all of us live where there is such a thing as reliable public transportation that visits our neighborhood more than four times a day. One place I lived the bus came past literally twice a day and if you wanted to catch one of the others you had to travel over a mile to the bus stop. In the winter in Minnesota it’s not such a great idea to ride your bike.

      A crappy car is better than no transportation. I’m not looking forward to the day either my car dies or my husbands does. Together the cars are worth next to nothing and any repair will cost us as much as (if not more than) one month rent. Seeing as we basically live paycheck to paycheck this is not a good thing. But to be without either of the very crappy cars is even worse. Luckily both of the cars have made it through the winter so far.

      We’re also very lucky that our neighbors haven’t made complaints about the unbelievably loud squealing his car makes when it starts and for the first five minutes. Last year the front axle busted and boy howdy – we lived cheap for a couple of months. At least he gets 44 mpg.

      Ok, now I’m just working myself up for a rant.

      Feb 20, 2012 at 11:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.5   infanttyrone

      Even though a very quick scan of Omaha Metro’s website makes me confident that the city has a decent public transit system, bear in mind that the only places it will take you are pretty much, well…in Omaha.

      Nothing wrong with Omaha as such, but every city has a certain number of psycho bosses, feloniously noisy and nosy neighbors, and other manifestations of urban blight. After encountering one or more of modern life’s game-changing variables, it isn’t always worth sticking around to find out how much bonus punishment you can survive. If your skill set is somewhat rarified, a new job in the same city may not be in the cards, but landing one in a new environment may be a piece of cake.

      (There’s a nice YT clip of Moby Grape reuniting in Austin in 2010 and playing one of their blasts from the past titled…..yes, Omaha!)

      Feb 21, 2012 at 12:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.6   kermit

      FeRD –

      Some basic arithmetic:
      > let’s say the car is worth $1000, and it costs $500 to fix it
      > the $500 fix makes it work for the next 5 months, and then you have to spend another $500 to have it fixed again.A dd to this the risk of it dying on you in the middle of somewhere + risk of getting injured in the process. So basic cost of keeping shitty car is $100/month
      > a bus pass costs say, $150/month and you don’t have to pay car insurance. If the system is reliable, this is the cheapest option, or at least the same as it would cost you to keep your shitty car
      > a new(er) car costs, say $5000, but you’re guaranteed that it won’t need expensive repairs for the next 3 years. That works out to $139/month + insurance.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 3:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.7   Atheist Scum Unite!

      I don’t really see how the original post (3.0) is sexist. As soon as I saw the handwriting I also imagined the note writer to be a woman. Am I sexist against my own gender? I feel so… confused! Where in the hell are my teddy bears?!

      Feb 21, 2012 at 9:43 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.8   FeRD bang

      FeRD –
      Some basic arithmetic:

      Oh, goody. Condescension. That’s what this conversation was missing!

      > let’s say the car is worth $1000, and it costs $500 to fix it
      > the $500 fix makes it work for the next 5 months, and then you have to spend another $500 to have it fixed again.A dd to this the risk of it dying on you in the middle of somewhere + risk of getting injured in the process. So basic cost of keeping shitty car is $100/month

      And those are some lovely bullshit numbers, based on absolutely nothing! Yes, that’s certainly one possibility — though, one would hope that if someone’s spending $500 to service their $1000 car, they’ve made reasonably sure that a second $500 problem isn’t looming just 5 months away! Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but most older cars don’t develop costly repair problems on a regular schedule! And a decent mechanic can typically spot the ones that are likely to.

      Look, I never said it was always a good investment to repair an older car. Obviously, there’s a point at which you have to cut your losses and junk the thing. My point, and I believe I expressed it as such pretty clearly in my original comment, was that it’s not always a stupid decision! It very much depends on the exact condition of the individual vehicle, and the owner’s or mechanic’s best-guess assessment of likely problems to come.

      > a bus pass costs say, $150/month and you don’t have to pay car insurance. If the system is reliable, this is the cheapest option, or at least the same as it would cost you to keep your shitty car

      Well, thank you for educating me about public transportation! Even though I’m the first person who mentioned public transport, which I also pointed out was a better deal (here in NYC) than owning any type of car, I’d somehow not realized that it was a cheaper option! (Hell, I haven’t owned a car in almost 10 years.)

      > a new(er) car costs, say $5000, but you’re guaranteed that it won’t need expensive repairs for the next 3 years. That works out to $139/month + insurance.

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Now, everything else was merely dickish and skewed, but this is actually frickin’ hilarious, it’s so completely divorced from reality!

      I would love, *love* to know where you think you can buy a car for $5000, especially one that includes a “guarantee” of 3 repair-free years!

      The only way you get that kind of guarantee is by buying a new car from a dealer, one with a factory warranty. I just checked Motor Trend’s car pricing database to make sure (hey, like I said, I haven’t car-shopped in forever!), and the cheapest new car model they list is the Chevy Aveo — some $11,500 in its absolute cheapest bare-bones configuration. Yes, you do get a 3-year / 36,000 warranty on it. (No free maintenance, tho.)

      To find an Aveo selling for under $7,000 (forget $5,000) from a dealer, I had to go all the way back to 2007. And the thing had over 100k miles on it. Not exactly a “guaranteed” problem-free car!

      Oh, and that “+insurance” you hand-waved away in your totally unrealistic fantasy numbers, above? You pay more for that, too, on the new car. (Or even your mythical $5,000 car.)

      Feb 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.9   Cooper

      Actually, I know a car lot nearby that has not one, not two, but three 5 thousand dollar cars.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.10   infanttyrone

      There are plenty of car lots that have plenty of under-$5,000 cars.
      The proposition of Kermit’s that Ferd was calling into question (properly so, and I have owned cars since 1972) was whether it is plausible for an owner of a car that is in “average condition considering the universe of $5,000 cars” to expect 36 months free from any expensive repairs. Kermit’s assertion was probably made in haste, and if not haste, then ignorance. Sure a $5k ride has a better chance of being low-maintenance and low-repair than a tightrope-of-financial-doom-riding beater, but that’s a question of probabilities, not one of guarantees.

      BTW the typical used car lot will give you a 30-day warranty.
      If they have a big heart and a low-cost & high efficiency mechanic on site, they may offer 90 days. But to get 1000 days, you need to be in the “certified” section of a new/used dealer’s lot, and you can’t motor out of that zone for under $5k.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.11   kermit

      FerRD -

      You’re right; you didn’t say that “it’s always a good investment to repair an old car”. What you actually said was “I’ve never understood why people assume it’s a bad/stupid thing to spend more than a car is “worth” (in resale value) to keep it operating.

      So if you really think my numbers are bullsh!t, then please come up with a plausible scenario where it makes sense to pay more than $1000 to repair a car that is worth $1000. In my scenario repair costs were only $500 which is half the value of the car.

      And since it’s definitely NOT obvious to you, I used those numbers to make the math simple and easily understood, amortizing the repair cost over how long the repair is likely to last.

      Ultimately what really matters is the ratio between repair costs and market value. If $1000 car bothers you, feel free to change it to $10,000 car instead. Or $100,000 car if it sounds better. The repair costs and insurance rise proportionately.

      So, yeah I think my condescension is warranted given the stupidity your argument.

      No, really please go on and explain to an idiot like me why it’s a great idea to spend money on piece of junk that may crap out at any time and worse, cause an accident and personal injury.

      Because seriously, I would love to see the scenario where what you explained is remotely plausible or a good idea.

      Feb 22, 2012 at 4:57 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Danny

    For the record, taking public transportation is not exactly an investment which has a great return rate. With the car, at least you can sell it for scrap or part it out (especially the parts you replaced which probably fail on other cars of the same model). You can’t sell old bus tickets for anything.

    Feb 21, 2012 at 1:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   kermit

      Danny – Most places consider the cost of bus passes tax deductible and some employers offer to reimburse you for part of the cost of getting a bus pass.

      If you work in the downtown core and have to pay an arm and a leg for parking, taking public transportation to work is definitely cheaper. Not to mention that taking the subway you’ll get there faster than by car because you don’t have to be stuck in traffic.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 3:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Sean

      I think it’s cute that so many people think that public transit is a reliable option for everyone.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 9:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   redheadwglasses

      I know, sean. And while we have pretty good public transportation here in the Twin Cities, for me to take the bus to work would require three buses and 2.5 hours. Or I can drive to work in under half an hour.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 11:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   kermit

      Sean, nobody is saying that public transit is a reliable option for everyone. But that doesn’t negate the fact that most large metro areas do have reliable public transit systems which can be cost effective and time effective if you work in the downtown core and live close to a subway/bus stop. Yes, there are smelly and weird people on public transit, but for most people the savings trump that icky factor.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.5   Spooky

      As another Twin Cities redhead (occasionally with glasses), I can attest that, no matter how reliable the public transport is, there are very few areas where you could rely exclusively upon it.

      Husband has to drive about 10 miles to catch any form of bus that will get him downtown before 8 or 8:30….and we only live about 20 miles outside of downtown!

      Feb 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.6   jadefirefly

      I live just outside of a city which ranks as one of the 10 largest in the country. We have an utterly horrid bus service. It’s terrific, IF you live on one of the streets that a bus runs down, and IF its not the middle of summer, and IF you don’t need to get anywhere after 9pm.

      It’s worth pointing out that the middle of summer takes up six months of the year, here. This is relevant because our buses consistently break down in the heat, and leave you waiting at the stop in 115+ degrees for at least 20 minutes (the time it takes for the next scheduled bus). And most of the big retailers (read: the places that tend to employ the majority of bus-riding people) close at 9pm. Got a closing shift? Tough shit. Can’t work nights because of the bus? Sorry, we need to hire someone with an open availability.

      I recently moved 15 miles away from my workplace, through no choice of my own. My family HAD to buy me a cheap car, or force me to find a new job, because the bus system simply didn’t run any further west than the previous place we’d lived. If I’d been forced to find a new job, I’d be walking AT LEAST a mile, more likely 2 or 3, and that’s assuming I was able to find a job in the nearest cluster of businesses. Lemme tell ya, nothing is quite as fun as arriving at work drenched in sweat ’cause it’s triple digits outside and you had to walk.

      Some people really need to pull their heads out of their asses and be grateful they HAVE access to cheap transportation, and spend less time assuming the rest of us are so lucky.

      Feb 22, 2012 at 1:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.7   idiot

      you have never lived in the real world have you? many things cost more to replace than they are worth. it is a really simple explanation.

      Feb 23, 2012 at 12:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.8   idiot

      I can’t believe you are complaining about walking a mile, MAYBE 2 or 3.

      Jesus, you need the damn exercise if you think it’s a big deal.

      Feb 23, 2012 at 12:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.9   Seanette

      Try it in 110+ heat, or pouring rain plus 30+ mph winds, then see how cheery you are about it.

      Not everyone lives in areas where the weather (or presence of sidewalks) allows for such hikes. Nor is everyone in sufficiently good health (arthritis, asthma + poor air quality area, etc.) to blithely take such a hike. Nor does everyone have the time to spend 15 minutes/mile around other life obligations.

      Feb 23, 2012 at 3:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Hjk

    Not sure what Omaha is like now, but last time I traveled to eastern Iowa from the DC area, gas was easily half a buck per gallon cheaper at my destination, due in part to the availability of ethanol blends at every gas station. Considering that I’m very close to living paycheck to paycheck here, I wish I was still driving my old car, which I repaired occasionally. I detest my car loan, and the anxiety you save yourself regarding breakdowns is replaced (somewhat/in part/in multiples) by wondering how you’d pay the note if you lost your job.

    Feb 21, 2012 at 5:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Dane Zeller

    I found the precipitating note, my friends:

    “In regards to your car, ma’am (aha!), your neighbors request one of several actions: 1) install a new muffler, 2) change your work hours to 9:00 to 5:00, instead of 6:00 am to whatever, or 3) fix the engine that will not work if you ignore the first two options.”

    Feb 21, 2012 at 8:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   girl_with_all_the_yarn

      Seriously? Wow. It’s like they feel entitled to her having a new car. I’m not even sure if that’s PA or just plain irritating. It’s not like she’s choosing to have that car.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 10:35 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   redheadwglasses

      I agree, girlw/yarn. I assume that *most* people are driving the best/nicest car they can afford. Someone with a piece of shit beater knows it’s a piece of shit beater, but they’re not necessarily happy with it.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 11:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Kerriann

    I am in a very similar situation right now – I consistently get woken up in the morning when a neighbor’s loud car drives past the bedroom window. It really pisses me off! I hadn’t been able to figure out who’s car it was until one day after I got home from work I heard it pull in the driveway. I RAN to the back window to see who it was….it was a motorcycle. (There are two reasons this was strange to me 1. it’s winter in Wisconsin… and 2. it really sounded like a car, but that’s because it’s a cheapy little Honda). I can’t really ask the neighbor to make his motorcycle quieter….

    Feb 21, 2012 at 9:19 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   aj

      Yeah you can – tell him to get a decent muffler. Most Japanese and European bikes came with mufflers that kept them fairly quiet – they all have tougher noise rules than the US and they enforce them. Chances are he or the previous owner replaced that muffler with basically an open tube. And please – this is not intended to start the whole “loud pipes save lives” thing – it’s just a possible explanation for the way-too-loud motorcycle.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 11:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   redheadwglasses

      As a motorcyclist, I will attest that loud pipes don’t save anything. I even dated a guy who worked in a motorcycle shop and he said it’s all bullshit, loud pipes are just ego and bravado, NOT a safety thing.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 11:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   kermit

      aj – If you feel you can take the liberty to tell someone that their car/motorcycle or whatever needs a new muffler, then you can also take the liberty of having all the neighbors chip in to get the new muffler.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   Melissa

      There is someone that zips through our apartment complex on a very loud motorcycle ENTIRELY too fast and sets all the car alarms off. Then comes back and does it again and again.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   infanttyrone

      As structurally clever and perhaps emotionally satisfying as your #7.3 comment was for you, it doesn’t pass any sort of logical scrutiny.

      Part of the social contract in most places is that if you have a car (or any vehicle), it is your responsibility to keep it reasonably maintained.

      There are the relatively new CarShare and Bike-Share systems, but for most of the millions of vehicle owners, it just does not Take a Village.

      I suspect in your mass transit adventurings you have been approached by people asking for help getting together the necessary funds to get on board whatever vehicle you are about to embark on. Some of them are probably poor and will use what you may give them to pay a fare and some are probably addicts who would use what you probably will not give them to pay a dealer. But giving or not is your prerogative – neither you nor all the neighbors have a civic obligation to give.

      Feb 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.6   kermit

      I didn’t say anyone had an obligation to chip in.

      What I said was that I thought it was rude to go up to someone and straight up tell them that they should purchase a new muffler (or whatever).

      Yes, people shouldn’t have noisy cars. But as others have mentioned, it’s likely that the person isn’t getting their car fixed because they can’t afford it, not because they’re being jerks. So if someone is going to be jerk about it while pretending that they’re being “helpful” by pointing out obvious things, then maybe this helpful person could start a collection and help get the car fixed.

      Feb 22, 2012 at 5:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.7   infanttyrone

      Pretty sure aj was talking about a muffler that wasn’t, technically speaking, in need of repair, as he specifically mentions the likelihood of the original, noise-reducing pipe having been swapped out in favor of a noise-enhancing open tube.

      So, chances are the noisy neighbor isn’t going to be interested in a new muffler, because the one that’s in place is working as it should.
      Kerriann and any other affected neighbors are limited to the simple, direct approach: ask the driver to wait a block or two before cranking the thing up in the early morning hours (throw in a reference to noise level enforcement, implying that continued high decibels could lead to a call to the police). If the owner claims that the muffler really is defective and that replacement is being hindered by cost, she/they can make an informed decision about whether to offer to chip in or not.

      Feb 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Amy

    It honestly never even occurred to me to think about complaining about a neighbor having a loud car. That always seemed like a part of living in a neighborhood-sometimes people have loud cars, sometimes I hear kids playing, sometimes a dog barks here and there, and sometimes I hear various other neighbor noises. I could bitch to a few neighbors for their obnoxious cars, but I am sort of assuming they are not fixing them because money is tight and not because they are doing it for kicks or to annoy other neighbors.

    Feb 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Seanette

      For some odd reason, I don’t find a car that’s loud because it’s in need of a trip to a repair shop anywhere near as annoying as I do “boom cars” (you know, the speakers on wheels where about all you can hear is “thumpa thumpa thumpa” and the body panels rattling).

      Feb 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   meeper

      I used to have a neighbour that had the thumpa thumpa thumpa car… and also liked to rev his engine for no particular reason while his car was stationary. One of the reasons why I moved!

      Feb 22, 2012 at 10:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   JJJ

    My neighbor’s car alarm goes off without reason and for many hours. It can be quite annoying, especially when it happens at 3:30am.

    Feb 22, 2012 at 9:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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