I know that title might lead you to believe that this article is about a responsible foreign policy, but it is actually about being neighborly in the most basic way possible--to the people that have homes on either side of yours.
Unfortunately, I have plenty of experience being host to bad neighbors. It seems that people see me in a housing market and direct me towards the crazy people neighborhoods.
Is it really that difficult to be a good neighbor? All you have to do is mind your own business, mind your yard, and leave me alone. Is it really that difficult? Apparently.
So just in case you're not sure how you rate as a neighbor, here are a few thoughts.
How is it that some people are able to convert sweet little (or big) pups into weapons of torture? Dogs. I'm learning to hate dogs, even though the dogs themselves aren't guilty of anything but having stupid owners. Do not leave your dog chained to a stake in your backyard. Do not let your dogs bark all night. Doing either will get your pet dognapped or worse. You know that it happens. You've seen the news stories. Don't pretend that you haven't. And don't blame me when I snap, whip out my blowtorch, unchain your dog from its hell pit, and take it to the Animal Protective League.
I guess I really shouldn't complain about that when the opposite of a chained dog, a free one, is actually worse. If your dog is laying on my lawn when I'm cutting my grass, don't come crying to me if it comes home with a reverse mowhawk.
Do not defile my lawn, in any way. In fact, do not enter my property without an invitation. Do not weed whack my grass and leave it to scorch in the summer sun. Yeah, that really happened. To me. For no reason. I came home one night to find a patch of grass, well over my property line, whacked down shorter than Sinead O'Connor. And our best guess on the culprit has an '85 Mustang rusting away on blocks in his driveway. Stay off my lawn!
And if I can hear your music, it's too loud. If I can hear you, you're too loud. If I can see you, you're too close. OK, maybe that just applies to my current neighbors.