Good to meet you, Mr. Yoo (or is it You?).

Upon arriving at my parent’s home in Maui two weeks go and at heading to my old room the first time in nine months, my mom gave me a warning that we had a new next-door neighbor and that this old man has a penchant for hanging outside his house and wetting himself down right in the view from my window on the second floor of my house. Since the, the shuttered blinds on that side of the room have been a reminder of his all-bearing presence. But during my New Year’s Eve celebrations, the notion of having a next-door neighbor was the furthest thing from my mind.

Overall, the man has been a mystery to my parents. Then I met him. I met my new neighbor in what I believe to be the worst way possible, save for him throwing the new neighbor pie back in my face. Now, I’ve come to not expect much from the residents of the house next door. The first impressions of the the man living next door upon my family’s move the house in which I grew up was poor; he took issue at nearly everything my family, and in particular, I, would do. His house stood as the lone mess in our properly manicured neighborhood. Somehow, I devised the metaphor that his house was a barf bag, pardon me, an air sickness bag. Oh, how
it irritated me when the spiders would creep from his house through the palm tree barrier that separated us from him. To continue with the metaphor, our house was a pristine paper grocery filled with the most delectable treats and his bag quite often tainted our bag–no, house. Regardless of the state of his abode, if there was something bothering him about my family and our practices, he would call. If I was practicing my trombone and it wasn’t too his liking, he would call, even if he was thousands of miles away in Canada to yell at my mother and demand that we stop torturing demented elephants or else he would call animal control on us. If our dog was making even the slightest noise, he would call, yell, and threaten to sic animal control on us, which, in retrospect, would have been a great way to rid ourselves of that wretched pomeranian.

That man moved out and the house was mostly vacant for a couple years before Gary moved in. When you think of Gary, picture somebody right out of the movie Old School (definitely not my favorite movie ever)–a 30-something-year-old bro who never really grew out of his fraternity days along with his mail-order girlfriend and english bulldog. All in all, he was a great guy but did have his flaws. One was made very evident during his mid-30th birthday kegger. Maybe that alone says it all. Regardless, let me say that I have never seen so many high school girls and moks in one place since, well, high school. His second flaw was his ex-wife, or at least that woman he had married who subsequently started suffering from chronic illnesses and with whom he was in a legal battle and not quite separated from at that point–that kind of “ex”-wife. While she was of no concern to us neighbors, she definitely did a job on his house, destroying his 42″ flat-screen TV and sports car. My parents, having pity on Gary, decided to at least help clean up that mess after the ordeal.

He moved out sometime in early 2007 and then the new guy moved in. It was not until after the fact that I learned he’s not one for celebration and last night, he introduced himself to those of us actually enjoying our New Year’s Eve celebration by calling the police on us. The funny thing about this is that there are many more dubiously legal activities we could have been participating in, although, this year, it seemed like most people on the island had relatively mellow celebrations. My brother and I had started making plans for the evening and by that, I mean that we had invested $200 in fireworks. That’s about where our plans were thwarted. It seemed as though all of our friends were doing some combination of not being on the island, spending time with old or young family (and for some reason, the young kids and elderly grandparents did not want to join us for fireworks at midnight), working, or hanging out at their house with just one other friend, too stubborn to come over and hang out with my brother and me. Fortunately for us, a good friend, Seth, had not yet finalized his plans and came over at 10 pm to help us usher in the new year.

Aside from a couple strings of Crackling Thunder Strings that we had set of before midnight as a test run, we found the three of us at that point with about $190 in fireworks and a 45 minutes to light them all off. We started small, finessing our style, lighting off one fountains one-by-one, and quickly progressed to three, five, ten, fifteen fireworks at a time. Now, there are many more dubiously legal activities in which we could have taken part, but the old man next door decided sometime after our fireball that had once been a pile of five Crackling Thunder Strings that we were the biggest threat to his rest. So the bear came out, chastised my brother and Seth for a few minutes, and thinking he had done a sufficient job, retired–all while I was grabbing the materials for the grand finale. Hearing the commotion, I came back armed with proper information but he was gone by that point. I mean, really, there are many more dubiously legal activities during

Just as we were finished setting up the grid of fireworks for the grand finale, the neighbor came out to chat a little. Asking me my name, I responded properly, approached him, and asked him his name. Then he informed me that he was the one asking questions. So we went merrily on our way, letting him know that he was quite in the wrong and he went angrily on his way telling us that the police were indeed on their way.

Having given up, the man started towards his driveway when David decided to ask the neighbor his name and he informed us it was F*ck Yoo (or is it Yu or You?). Then Mr. Yoo retired for the night calling down curses from above.

I’m not going to lie, the whole ordeal was just a bit inconvenient as we waited for the police until about three a.m. and they never showed In fact, I’m a little concerned for our safety. Mr. Yoo, what do you think about that because I am a little bit worried. Here’s what I think. I think I’m going to nominate you to head up a new neighborhood watch program.

I can see the letterheads now:

Mr. F. Yoo, Director
Sprecklesville Neighborhood Watch
34 Ulupua Pl.
Paia, HI 96779


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