When we bought our house on the main street, we sort of knew what to expect. In the five years of glorious home ownership, we have come to expect and endure the festivals, street construction, highway noise, parades, helicopters, hordes of javalinas, and bicyclists camping the park. What we didn’t expect is people walking into our house.
The first incident happened about five years ago at our housewarming party. Everyone was there: Zach’s family, my family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and this random couple that nobody knew. I assumed Zach knew them and, of course, he thought the same of me. Our family assumed they were friends of ours and even started up a conversation with them when the couple revealed they were supposed to be at the store next door.
Since then, we have had a few random folks mistake our house for “the store next door.” It has mostly involved folks parking in front of our house, or blocking our cars, or people using our wall as a perch for eating their newly purchased fruit. A few carefully positioned pots on the wall fixed the sitting problem and a couple of no parking signs slowed down the onslaught of lazy people too fearful to cross the street.
Lately, the issue has gotten worse. In the last year we have had at least six people come into our yard and almost into our house. Thankfully we were home and were able to stop them before they tried to come in. Recently I was laying on my living room couch enjoying my weekly “Law and Order” marathon when my front door opened, and a strange woman appeared. If not for the dogs running at her at full speed, she may have made it all the way inside. The look of realization slowly reached her face, and she sped off, leaving the door wide open. She scurried out of my yard and made her way to her actual destination – THE STORE NEXT DOOR!
My first instinct was to follow her and give everyone involved a piece of my mind, but I settled on a piece of chalk and a sign I wrote on the sidewalk in front of my house, “NOT the store next door.” Zach and I were satisfied that this would work or a least send a message and this held true right up until today.
Once again I was watching “Law and Order” when I heard the gate open. I got up to find yet another woman standing on my porch reaching for the door handle. (A side note: they all look the same. Big wallet in one hand, long shorts, and shoes that look like they just climbed out of an RV.) My trusty guard dog Diesel and I met her at the front door. The poor thing looked so confused. “What’s wrong, is the dog confusing you?” I asked. She answered with a shaky “Yes” and I replied, “That’s because the store is next door!” and, as you may have guessed, she ran away.
Naturally, I did what most people do in this situation and took to social media. Upon reading my story on Facebook, my virtual friends did not disappoint. Most people thought that I need to put up a sign. Logical, but people don’t read. Remember the giant chalk sign?
Some suggested I let the dogs deal with them. Tempting, but we don’t know what kind of diseases out-of-towners carry. Many people suggested I take advantage of the situation and give them what they want – produce. I think I’ll leave that to the neighbors.
My favorite suggestion: electrify the gate and install a live feed camera. Effective but it would really upset the UPS and FedEx drivers.
Most said, and I must agree, that they can’t believe that people are that stupid. My house has become an IQ test, identifying the dumbest of the dumb.
Let the record show that I now have to lock my doors, not because I live on the border, but because dumb RVers come into my house thinking they are going to find Brussel sprouts and kombucha. (You can read into that whatever you like.)