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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

What's neighborly?

Ceteris Paribus. Which is to say, all else being equal, if you're some economist or guy who likes to make arguments based on inconvenient terminology (like an economist).  All else being equal, I prefered "can only sleep with the TV set to maximum volume" guy to "vomiting out a window or perhaps off a balcony" guy, as neighbors go.  

Or so I thought.  VOAW(OPOAB)-guy has been going for about 12 hours now, which has taken on comic proportions, even if the scream while vomiting and a second later, the splash of said vomit isn't any less horrible than it was last night. 

And on that note, please allow me to introduce you to a short post written on Oct 12, 2008, that never got past the draft button:

This might be a difference of living in the city vs. the suburbs, but when I was growing up, if the kids down the street were screaming their heads off, it was part of whatever game they were playing, and you ignored it.

Not the case at a friend's house a few months ago, in a fairly suburban corner of LA, when the neighbor kid started screaming his head off.  Our host dropped everything to go to the back yard and yell 'are you okay?' for a little while, and then went around to go knock at the neighbor's door and see how things were going. Seemed strange, but only to a few of us.  To the rest, we seemed monstrous for being inclined to ignore it.

But what happens when max-volume-TV-neighbor can go to bed and leave some horror movie on, with a woman in distress screaming "HELP ME! HELP ME PLEASE! SOMEBODY! SOMEBODY HELP!" at 2 am?  What's neighborly then?

Maybe the thing to do is to just let one of the other neighbors take care of it.  Relying on 'someone else' to call the cops, or to put out that fire, or to cure cancer is typically a recipe for disaster, but we can rest assured that one nearby neighbor is on the case.  Angry-yelling-out-the-window-guy moved in somewhere around here lately, and I like him.

The family with the new baby does a pretty good job, and the baby doesn't cry very often, but when it does, angry-window-yelling-guy is on top of it.  Someone's gotta tell that baby to shut up, after all, or it'll never stop crying!  He makes me feel like I live in a movie about New York in the 1970s.  There're two girls fighting about something right now, about 1:30am, and angry-guy set 'em straight: "You're both assholes," proclaims he, "now shut up!"