For the last few days there's been a sign on a car that I pass in my neighborhood. This morning I finally slowed down to see what it said.
The car is a new-looking black SUV parked in the gravelly area in front of someone's house. There is no sidewalk or curb there, and it's nowhere near other peopls's houses.
The sign says something like: "Please move your car from our house within one week."
It's sad, but I had to laugh. The homeowners think that someone needed to temporarily park their car in their gravel area, nowhere near other homes, and they're being amazingly considerate to give the person a week's notice before calling it in.
Except what I suspect is going on is that the car was stolen and dumped at the house, and that week's grace period is just another week that the car's owner is going to be separated from their vehicle. Sometimes it really is nicer to just call the city, really.
Another case in point: Surely I wasn't the only one bothered by the blaring music that suddenly came on at 2:00 a.m. last Wednesday. It was coming from a car parked several houses away, yet it rattled my bedroom windows.
In the old days, when I lived on Capitol Hill and then in the Eastlake neighborhood, I would go over to neighbors' places in middle of the night if their loud music bothered me. Me and my husband paid many middle-of-the-night visits to neighbors when the music got loud enough to rattle windows.
But ever since my Beacon Hill neighbor a few blocks away went out at 2:00 a.m. last September to deal with some noisy people and got shot to death for his troubles, I am not having any more middle-of-the-night noise discussions. Unfortunately, if you have a late-night noise complaint and you don't want to risk getting shot, the city forces you to tie up the 911 system. (The noise complaint line is unstaffed, as is the precinct non-emergency number.)
But what are you going to do, just let someone wake up the whole neighborhood at 2:00 a.m. on a Wednesday and keep them up for half an hour? How nice is that?