Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Glasgow Strangler

Yesterday, my children and my brother heard the elderly Scottish man who lives next door shouting death threats at our new puppy from across the fence.

"Yair a mangy cur! I'll wring yair nack w' me bare hands! Ai'll put a gun to yair head I will! Yair a dairty stinkin' disgustin' mongrel!", he apparently shouted.

I found out there was a problem just as my brother was coming in from having tried to calm the guy down. "Your neighbour's a psycho", Brigham said.

This is the old guy who I thought was my flower friend; I've been trying to turn my property into the Garden of Eden for a solid year now (and it's looking pretty good, I think), and we often chat as we're out landscaping. What can I say? I was shocked.

"Why was he shouting?", I asked the kids.

"We don't know - he just saw Bonnie and started going crazy", said L, my nine year old daughter.

"Maybe's he's losing his marbles", I thought. After all, the guys's like 85 or something. But age or not, I don't like my kids hearing death threats, and I don't want anything happening to Bonnie, and I don't want him filing some false report because he has some mental problem with respect to dogs; I would have gone and tried to talk to him, but shortly after the incident, they got into their car and left to go somewhere.

So I called the pound to get them to make an official note about the incident. The lady at the pound informed me that making death threats against someone's pet is actually a violation of the Criminal Code of Canada, and that the case ought to be reported to the police.

I replied that I wanted to calm the situation down, and thought my neighbour wouldn't respond well to a visit from the police. "Let me just talk to him", I said. "No need to involve the police at this point". She said she understood.

Nevertheless, about an hour later, she and a police officer showed up to take witness statements (I guess the local police don't have a lot of stuff to take care of these days...). As we stood there, I kept thinking about how much the entire scene reminded me of a scene off of the fake reality comedy show "Reno 911", about the Reno, Nevada sherriff's department. L. was the star witness, and seemed quite captivated by all the drama.

Anyway, the good news is that my brother and I have gotten a lot of comedy material out the incident. We've been trying to outdo each other with imitations of the "Glasgow Strangler" ever since, mixing in quotes from "Braveheart", old Sean Connery movies, and every other things we could think of:

"Every man dies; but not every little puppy gets to live!"


"Don't yoo hear it? Don't yoo hear what she's sayin' to me? Listen to the VILE, FOUL mouth on that beast! She's taunting me I tell yoo! She's got yoo fooled! DON'T TELL ME YOU DIDN'T JUST HEAR THAT, WHAT SHE JUST SAID ABOUT ME MOTHER!! It's me or this sick disgustin' creature now, kill or be killed! NAY SURRENDAIR!"




"This is my clan against yairs now; I didn't stairt this war, but I intend to FINISH IT!".


"I'm pretty shair James Hetfield was refairring to puppies when he said 'kill 'em all, let God sairt 'em out', and that's what I aim to do!".



Last thing to say is, it's a good thing my wife is visiting relatives in the UK right now. If she'd been here, she would have been over shrieking obscenities at the guy within five seconds, which I think would really have complicated things. As it is now, any more problems now from the guy and he'll be charged.

Sairves him right, the loon!


Draper Phil said...


A scene from Trainspotting comes to mind, with Ewen McGregor and Angelina Jolie's first husband (forget his name); both have a pellet rifle aimed at a yapper dog off in the distance play next to its owner. Both are doing their best mock Connery:

Sickboy: Do you shee the beasht?
Renton: Yesh Mish Money Penny.
Sickboy: Have yeh got 't in yair shites?
Renton: Yesh Mish Money Penny. Thish should preshent no shignificant problemsh.


Guinevere said...

I thought all houses came with a crazy elderly neighbor... I don't think I've ever lived in a house without one!

My current crazy elderly neighbors are a 90-something yr old father and his son, who appears to be in his late 60s or early 70s, and recently moved in with his dad.

The father is generally very nice, but just seems to have some weird quirks, or occasional brain farts that make him do strange things; like the time he sneaked into our yard to re-arrange the compost pile, or the time my son tripped on the hose while I was watering the lawn, and a few sprinkles dampened the fence between his yard and ours before I went and readjusted the sprinkler.

The son, on the other hand, has made bizarre threats to my kids, but only when they are outside without adults sitting nearby, and he seems to disappear whenever I show up.

We have a medium-sized tree in our back yard, near the fence bordering the crazy house. I let my kids and their friends climb it, as long as they don't get too high into the tree, and a more balanced neighbor couple has a garage directly next to the tree, with a low roof, and has given the kids permission to sit on the roof if they climb up from the tree.

First he threatened to cut down the tree the kids were climbing in, because of a feigned concern for the children falling and dying, plus he and his father have some deep-seated hate for the former tenant who planted the tree, and blocked access through a strange entrance they had from their house into our yard.

More recently he told the kids that he was going to call the police and have them arrested for sitting on the neighbor's garage roof.

My friend has a far-worse neighbor lady. I believe she's Finnish, but she also likes to scream foul words at my friend's kids in German, and has had numerous police reports made against her for actually throwing things at the children when they're alone in the back yard.

Usually the crazy lady disappears when adults show up, but one memorable time we were letting the kids play in water, during hot weather, and she came outside yelling at the adults about how we were horrible parents, starving our children to death, and how we were going to "freeze them to death letting them play in water in this cold."

After my friend tried to calm her some, the crazy woman's screams ramped up, and her final words to us were, "Why don't you just to back to America, where you belong?" before switching to German, and wandering off talking to herself.

Anonymous said...

Man oh man, Tal. That neighbor sounds like one hell of a mean person. The puppy doesn't know.She wasn't doing anything wrong and he gets all upset when he see's her. That guy has some kind of problem. Why don't you tell him to mind his own business and to leave the dog alone.

Gunner said...

When I was very young we lived next to an old 'nut' and in a way I was the puppy. I could not even walk past his house without his screaming at me. He even called the cops with a story so outlandish that the cop laughed and just walked away.