Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Last night I noticed some flashlights flickering in my front yard.  I looked out the window and three guys with a truck were struggling to get a snowmobile out of my yard and my neighbor's yard onto the road. I watched for a while, a little confused as to why a snowmobile would be anywhere near my house given we're separated from the neighbors by a very small area and we're seriously suburban residential.  My house doesn't have a fence, so you could get a snowmobile around the back yard, but you'd be fenced in by other neighbors.

After a while a guy showed up at my front door to say that they'd run the snowmobile into my tree.  He seemed disconcerted I'd answered the door in my bathrobe like the guy off National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, sans flappy hat.  I asked if anyone had been hurt and he assured me no, just the tree, and wandered off.

I found some boots to go with my bathroom (very Christmas Vacation) and went to look at my tree.  He hit it pretty good.  Particularly as the snowmobile wasn't running.  I think my tree will live, but there are some good gouges.

Here's where they struggled to get it through the snow back up into the street.  They probably had to push it up the little hill between the houses as well.  That must have been some work.  I've done it with a malfunctioning snowblower in less snow and almost gave myself a hernia.

It wasn't just my tree, however.  They pinged my neighbor's house where he has the little hut over his old fireplace.  Not that it's any less ugly to see any part of your fairly new siding crunched.  I cursed myself a little for letting the guy get away without an address and phone number before looking for damage.

But on further inspection, it's pretty obvious where they took the snowmobile.  So there won't be any problem talking to them about property damage.

Some friends wanted to know why I didn't call the cops, check for alcohol, or yell at them.  I can't be sure they learned their lesson, but their snowmobile certainly wasn't working.  That seems sufficient as long as they don't screw my neighbor over when it comes to fixing his siding.  Not everything in this life needs a lawsuit and cops.

I am glad it was at night.  Worrisome that they might be headed into the back yards if there's a chance kids are playing back there.

Unrelated: I helped my neighbor chase down her dog Bandit and told her to hang at my place until her folks got back as she'd locked herself out of the house without a coat.  She and Eryn hung out for 15 minutes and ate the Jolly Ranchers I brought back from Cub (and there were blue ones; usually the bin is picked clean!) until the family car rolled past.  So a very neighborly 24 hours.  And, while damaging to my tree, better than the 24 hours where I shoved 16" of snow off my yard, Tyler's yard out back, and Dan's buried car on Cleveland in St. Paul.

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