How DARE you.

March 17th, 2012 · 48 comments

Our submitter, Cynthia, spotted this exchange clipped to a fence in her Seattle neighborhood. “I love the meanness of trying to publicly shame my neighbor into returning this amazing garbage can, and my other neighbor’s overly offended response,” Cynthia says. As of yet, she adds, “the mystery of the missing garbage can remains unsolved.”

Meanwhile, I think some of us are still a little confused about what type of emergency constitutes calling 911. (Hint: a missing garbage can is not one of them.)

One of the neighbors told us they saw you take a white garbage can from our yard. It is custom for our cabinets [sic] and we need it. Please return it.  No questions asked.  Thank you. Response: No questions asked, how dare you. You got the wrong neighbors.  look [e]lsewhere for your can. Or call 911.You could of [sic] asked us about it instead of leaving a nasty note.

related: An eye for an eye, an eyesore for an eyesore

FILED UNDER: garbage · neighbors · Oops? · Seattle · stealing

48 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Paige

    Custom garbage can? Do these people also take limos to the shops?

    Also, the second notewriter presumably knows who the first notewriter is, or at least their house. So couldn’t THEY have mentioned it to them instead of leaving a nasty note?

    Mar 17, 2012 at 7:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Wench

      Personally, I’d do exactly the same (as in leave a note in reply)…. it’s the whole passive-aggressive ‘tit for tat’ thing. I’d be more concerned about the nasty piece of work that claims they ‘saw’ the can being stolen, though. Sounds like one of the neighbours is an absolute s**t-stirrer.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   DaveGI

      Paige, they don’t mean “custom” as in made just for them. Look in any catalog for kitchen cabinets and you will see special cabinets that allow you hide your garbage and recycling cans. They usually have a frame of some sort that the cans fit into, that roll in and out of the cabinet. Not just any garbage can will fit these if they happen to lose one.

      So I can understand them being upset about losing one. But I would never leave a can like that outside where it could be lost or stolen in the first place! They should have just moved the garbage to a cheap outside can.

      As for why they wrote their response in the note… they may not have known which of their neighbors was accusing them. The original note was not signed – no doubt because the accuser believed they were guilty and so would know darn well who they stole the can from. But if they didn’t steal the can, how would they know?

      Mar 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Jen

    …I really wish ‘could of’ was not a thing I saw on a regular basis.

    Mar 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   beanwean

      Yeah, me too.

      Mar 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   weaselby

      Haha, that was going to be my comment–that I love spotting “could of” and using it to profile the people who use it.

      Mar 17, 2012 at 11:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   makfan bang

      Could of, would of, should of, must of. Fingernails meet chalkboard.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 2:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   stickfigure

      She should’VE rounded it out by saying “instead have”.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 3:35 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   Penultimate

      Come on, these are people who also seem to think “aboutitinstead” is one word.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.6   DuffPaddy

      Your right, grammer at it’s worse, I see this alot.

      Mar 19, 2012 at 10:08 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.7   mutzali

      I particularly like “look ls where”

      Mar 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   it's naptime

    Butterfly nets are for catching butterflies.
    Fish nets are for catching fish.
    Cab nets are for catching cabs.
    And then putting them into a white trash can, apparently.

    Mar 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   infanttyrone

      Cabs, you say ?
      Seattle used to be such a Merlot town.
      Who could’ve seen it coming ?
      Lookit, it’s all growed up now.

      Mar 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   runtotheriver bang

    Some people have sort of “built-in” trash containers in their cabinets…I am sad that I know this. That said, why would anyone put such a thing out at the curb? Don’t most people put trash bags in their outside trash cans?

    Mar 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Paige bang

      Well, maybe if they weren’t so aggravatingly fancy…
      But, yeah, wouldn’t they also put bags in their custom one?

      (I almost submitted this as saying aggravatingly lazy. Make of that what you will).

      Mar 18, 2012 at 5:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Jami

      Where I live you’re not allowed to put bags out on trash day. You can only put out the special cans the city gives out that are designed for the trucks. They have some fancy-shmancy grabber that can only hold those cans and the garbage men never leave their truck to actually handle the garbage.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   Paige bang

      We have those too, but people here put their stuff in plastic bags, which then go in the city-given bins. Because Earth did something bad to us and we’re bitter.

      Mar 19, 2012 at 3:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   The Elf

      Why put it out at the curb? So the neighbors can see they recently remodeled their kitchen and got custom trash cans. I mean, how else are they going to admire the particular shade of marble you selected for your countertops that complements the engineered flooring just so and is neatly reflected in the new cabinet knobs ($30/each) unless you pique their interest enough to ask?

      Mar 20, 2012 at 9:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   quarky

    Thanks for providing a caption of what was written on the notes. I couldn’t make out the second word of the third sentence of the “rebuttal” for the life of me.

    Mar 17, 2012 at 9:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   infanttyrone

    Good fences make good neighbors.

    Awesome custom garbage cans…not so much.

    Mar 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   meri

      by awesome I think they mean they can buy one at Ikea.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 8:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   The Elf

      Wait, Ikea sells garbage cans? I thought that furniture stuff was just a way to get you in to eat their meatballs!

      Mar 20, 2012 at 9:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Steph

    I don’t think the neighbors were overly offended. I’d be pretty pissed if someone said I was a thief.

    Mar 18, 2012 at 2:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Steve

    this reminds me of a funny story from when I was a kid. There was this born again christian lady who lived in my neighborhood. She would constantly take people’s things then claim, when asked out it, that she knew nothing. If she was outright accused, she would get mortally offended and publicly shame the person who accused them, or claim it was happening to her too. This went on for years but it was usually minor things. Sprinkler heads. garden hoses. the occasional potted plant. Then she began to take big things like drying laundry from people’s backyards, packages from their porches but no one could prove it was her. Finally one day she had a stroke and her adult son had to come and take care of her place while she was in the hospital and casually made a comment to one of the neighbors “Gosh, you sure seem to give my mom lots of stuff, she never has to buy anything.” She had been hording stuff for YEARS. An entire ROOM full of clothes that didn’t fit, for men! she had a box of 50+ sprinkler heads, 12 doormats, packages addressed to literally EVERYONE in the neighborhood. The son realised what had happened and basically taped a note to our door that said can you make up a list of things that have been taken from your property in the last XX years and he would go through go through everything. The house was so full of stuff you couldn’t even walk in most rooms, floor to ceiling stuff. He moved her out because people were threatening to have her arrested otherwise. People are strange!

    This was just one missing trash can. just imagine!

    Mar 18, 2012 at 4:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   sweet lova

      Wow, maybe that lady was ill and suffering from kleptomania. Not trying to excuse it, but you got to wonder. I’m glad the son did what he could to rectify the problem. Sad for the neighbours too, it’s really upsetting when your stuff gets stolen. I know the feeling.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 6:00 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Spooky

      When you preface a note by saying it’s a funny story, please make sure it’s a funny story.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 9:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   Ajax

      That story is sad, not funny, Steve. And what is the relevance of your poor neighbor-lady’s religion, which you mention pointedly at the beginning of the story?

      Mar 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.4   Jami

      She was obviously mentally ill. Being a Christian had nothing to do with her hording and kleptomania.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.5   Palomon

      Nah, the holier-than-though thing the story suggests just makes it funny-ish.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 9:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.6   infanttyrone

      I recall reading about a Christian cult group in the 1970′s (maybe the Forever Family that was the basis for Seinfeld’s Carpet Cleaning Cult, maybe another) who used to run scams on unbelievers and call the process something like ‘stealing from Babylon’.

      Maybe Steve’s ex-neighbor got ‘rescued’ from the cult but wasn’t deprogrammed thoroughly enough to lose the larceny riff.

      With those 50+ sprinkler heads, maybe she was starting her own cult.
      If so, maybe she called it RainBird.

      *No guess about the room full of mens clothes though. Bueller? Anyone?

      Mar 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.7   The Elf

      The mention of her religion was to put a bit of irony in there for adopting a mortally offended attitude about stuff she actually did. You can just picture the pearl clutching and assertation that she is a god-fearing woman and the Bible says Thou Shalt Not Steal and shame on you!

      I agree she was likely mentally ill and probably couldn’t help it, but the holier-than-thou-but-guilty-as-sin attitude is the icing on the nut cake.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 9:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.8   66Sick

      There are two kinds of funny, you know. Perhaps our writer meant it as funny-strange, not funny-ha-ha.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.9   Melissa

      You had me at “born again christian lady” :)

      Mar 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.10   Steve

      I forget when you talk about religion people lose sight of irony. only one person noted the irony of a self proclaimed born again christian virtually ignoring the 10 commandments. To clarify for the ‘mortally offended’ brigade…I meant it was funny in comparison because the fake morality of the neighbor was virutally identical to the note writer in question from this entry-like ” i wonder if this women is also hoarding white garbage cans?

      And more to the point-you don’t need to feel sorry for a women who spent a lifetime demeaning her neighbors, beating her kids, beating other people’s kids, luring neighborhood pets into her yard-trapping them with food-then calling animal control and claiming they were ‘strays’ and having them taken away and in three cases euthanised. The women told me my mother was a whore-because she wouldn’t get married again a mere 6 months after my father died at 35 leaving my mom with 3 small children one of which was 5 months old-and she said that to my 6 year old face. Still feel sorry for her? The one who would call child protective services on you if your children ran through her non fenced front yard while playing? The one that kicked a little girl in the face because she dared to retrieve her ball from a flower bed? A born again christian who does nothing but spend their time judging, stealing from and hating others? So the decades she spent being an evil thorn in everyone’s side is all magically washed away because she finally-in her 80′s-has a stroke and can’t hurt or bother people anymore?

      Sorry but when you tell a 6 year old boy his mother is a whore(my mother went into modelling after my dad passed away so she could afford to feed us, even though she was working a full time job too, because she was pretty and had no work experience except for being a mom at that point) then my ability to feel sorry for you is pretty much nil. And my ability to watch others who don’t know the whole story, to feel sorry for you…is about the same.

      Mar 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.11   infanttyrone

      Only one person noted the irony, but probably many others took note.

      Mar 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Pilgrimchick

    The second author does make a good point about asking.

    This particular suburban “neighbors war” was started over a garbage can. I find it particularly amusing that it will probably still be going on in another 40 years.

    Mar 18, 2012 at 9:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Eileen

      Nobody lives in one place that long anymore. We’ve been in our house for 33 years, and there’s only one neighbor who’s been there as long as we have. I never even see her anymore.

      Incidentally, everyone on our street puts their name and house number on their cans, because on windy days, empty plastic garbage barrels tend to blow around. Might I suggest that Note Writer do the same?

      Mar 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   oryxofelia

      But..but…it matches the cabinets! If she puts her address on it, then she’s got to put her address on ALL the cabinets too!

      Mar 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   LOL

      No, it matches the “cabnets”
      But they need to look lse where.

      Mar 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   Nope Not Me

      @Eileen – You haven’t seen your neighbor due to her cats having a tasty dinner. nom nom nom

      Mar 19, 2012 at 10:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   divvitar

    Sounds like the neighbor who “saw” them take the can was starting shit. Typical Seattle snobbery to have matching cabinets and garbage cans. The rude note is also typical. I’m sure they have a matching Lexus Hybrid too.

    Mar 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Nahhh bang

      I would check Neighbor-Who-Saw’s garage for a white garbage can.

      White People Problems

      Mar 18, 2012 at 9:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   bookworm

    Coming from Seattle, these notes are pretty straight-forward and polite.

    Mar 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   bob loblaw

    I like the fact that the note was posted in a zip lock bag. Very considerate.

    and by the way, that garbage can was fucking delicious.

    Mar 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Palomon

    I said, “good day!”

    Mar 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Pixiestick

    What I’m trying to understand is how the second note makes any sense. Here’s a list of things I found wrong with it. 1. “How dare you” just seems really rude in response to a “please” and a “thank you”. 2. How could this person know if they were the wrong neighbors when someone else said it? 3. How would they like it if the cops showed up at their door because this person called 911? I bet they’d be really pi$$ed and ask why she couldn’t have just left a nice, friendly note. 4. What does “could of” mean?

    Mar 19, 2012 at 12:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   Bookmark

    The “how dare you” and “nasty note” aren’t really helping the neighbor convey a sense of innocence…

    Mar 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   loribl

    The note is in a plastic bag because of the ginormous amount of rain the Pacific Northwest receives. If it weren’t in the plastic bag, it would be unreadable within a day.

    Mar 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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