In a Sow’s Ear 9-21-09 |

In a Sow’s Ear 9-21-09

On her daily radio show, Dr. Laura sorts out people’s quandaries, crummy attitudes, emotional ups, downs, biases, and general discombobulations. She’s also written a whole bunch of books chock full of straight-forward ways to get one’s life in order, make it better, do it right.

But what about the Hatfield and McCoy type squabbles? Take, for instance, the wrangling that went on between Jones and Smith (yes, those are made-up names, but the story is absolutely true). A row of young trees borders the edge of the Jones property. But the Smiths claimed the trees were on their land. So Jones hired a surveyor. Turned out the trees were well within the division line on Jones’ property.

Smith’s spleen started pumping bile. He said he’d watered and taken care of those trees. They were his. He hired a lawyer.

Jones countered by employing his own attorney. The representatives of the legal profession batted the matter back and forth like a ping-pong ball in a table-tennis game.

The Smiths lost the battle, but did they accept the judgment and relax? Of course not. They started a campaign of in-depth in-your-face aggravation toward Jones. Which irked Jones to the point of several aspirins a day.

Jones decided to build a privacy fence smack on the boundary so he wouldn’t have to see Smith or Smith’s wife or Smith’s dog or Smith’s anything. To keep the fence strictly and only on his own ground, Jones constructed the barrier 3 whole inches inside the actual surveyed division line between the properties.

Instantly, Smith threatened a lawsuit if Jones set as much as a toe onto his (Smith’s) land. Stationing himself on his side with a camera at the ready, Smith prayed Jones would trespass.

Jones, of course, didn’t let a lurking, camera-wielding Smith stop him from erecting a tall, very tall fence. He put it together from the bottom up. To finish the structure at its pinnacle, Jones had to use a step-ladder to nail the final boards. The ladder allowed him to reach the proper height, but he was required to lean over the top and swing his hammer in a somewhat wide arc. Smith’s camera captured the act.

Off to his lawyer galloped Smith to show pictures of dastardly Jones’ arm trespassing in his (Smith’s) airspace. Plus he claimed Jones had deliberately kicked dirt onto his (Smith’s) property.

What a quandary. What would Dr. Laura do? Maybe she should write a book on how to get along with neighbors. Or possibly a manual on how to build a fence?


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