He walked out onto his porch and couldn’t believe his eyes. Even after his warnings, the pavers were still there. He began to feel anger surge inside him, but then he stopped himself. Like a pro chessplayer, he calculated every possible outcome, playing them out in his mind. Suddenly, his stern mouth relaxed and a slow grin began to spread across his face.
He knew what he was going to do about his audacious neighbor. Satisfied, he sat back and waited. “Karma will take care of it,” he whispered, chuckling to himself. And oh boy, was he right.
Miles was an unassuming man. He’d worked hard for all he had in his life. He had been a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Now, in his golden years, he was content to sit on his porch.
He would look out onto the magnificent nature reserve that bordered his new property, situated in a quiet retirement village in the country. But whenever he peeked into his neighbor’s yard, he grew increasingly annoyed.
Miles looked from his tiny backyard to his neighbor’s again. His neighbor’s yard extended a good 8 feet beyond his — it was, by far, the largest property on the estate. How was that possible?
At first, he assumed that the man had just been lucky or he had been able to afford a larger piece of land. But it wasn’t long before he knew what his neighbor was really up to.
A Twinge Of Envy
Miles was a friendly man and he quickly befriended all his new neighbors and exchanged phone numbers — including the man with the largest back yard, He felt a mixture of envy and admiration.
He saw that the man also owned a cherry red sports car — something he had never been able to afford. Nevertheless, he was content in his little slice of paradise. Until one fateful day.
On the day in question, Miles happened to look over and spotted his neighbor doing something strange. The man deliberately paced back and forth, walking the length of his property with a dissatisfied look on his face.
He disappeared for a few minutes, and then returned with a wheelbarrow full of expensive pavers. He began to lay them one by one, but then he did something that had Miles doing a double-take.
The man began laying his paving from his front door. After a few hours and a lot of huffing and puffing, he had paved his entire backyard — all the way up to the old fenceposts that designated the boundary between his property and the reserve.
Then, he made a move that made Miles’ jaw drop. When he stumbled upon it he knew this was enough, it was time to act. Miles had to think of something to do.
A Bold Move
Miles watched his neighbor brazenly stomp up to the rickety boundary fenceposts and rip them out one by one. Then, he moved them back by two feet — back into the reserve — and began to pound them in again.
Miles couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. Now, he knew why the man had such an enormous backyard! He knew he had to do something.
Shattering The Peace
The man was beginning to clear the land to make space for his pavers when Miles approached him. He walked up and gently asked the man to stop what he was doing.
Having worked for the National Park Services, Miles thought that perhaps his neighbor wasn’t fully aware of the repercussions of what he was doing. But then, all hell broke loose.
Miles had barely gotten a word out when his neighbor rudely interrupted him. Turning aggressively to face him, he began to yell. “You’re new here. I’ve been here ten years,” he spat. “Mind your own damn business!”
Miles didn’t have to be told twice. He left without another word, deciding that pressing the issue with the defensive man wasn’t going to get him anywhere. But, maybe there was another way to make him understand.
What Could He Do?
Miles clenched his fists helplessly and watched the man complete his paving — effectively extending his yard by an additional two feet. Could he stand idly by and watch the reserve he loved get destroyed slowly by the audacious man?
He must have been doing this for years… Where would it end? Then, it suddenly dawned on him that he didn’t have to do anything. All he had to do was watch it all play out.
Waiting And Watching
For a full year, Miles watched and waited. It was Summer again and the reserve was eerily quiet. Many of the park’s residents had traveled North for their Summer holiday.
This including his rude neighbor. He wasn’t plotting revenge. He had a strong feeling in his gut that karma would come knocking soon. And, sure enough, it did.
One bright morning, Miles was sitting on his porch enjoying the sunshine when the county came to check on the reserve. And when they saw Miles’ neighbor’s backyard, they were not impressed.
Miles watched them pacing back and forth, then they began to pull out maps, take photographs, and make phone calls. Then, more people showed up.
It turns out that Miles’ neighbor had been doing this for years… pulling out the boundary fenceposts and grabbing land however and whenever he saw fit. He had put the new pavers down.
This was so that he could park his golf cart and cherry-red sportscar out back while he was away for the summer. The county would have to move them before they did anything else, so they taped a notice to the man’s door and left.
Miles, curious, walks up to read the notice. It states that the man is in violation of encroachment onto protected lands and that he has 30 days to move his car, tear up the pavers, and pay a fine of $11,000.
The fine is for damage to protected species that inhabit the protected land, and for trespassing. But there was more to the situation than you’d think.
Failure to comply within 30 days would result in the golf cart and sports car being towed away and impounded, and the pavers would be dug up and carted off at the man’s expense.
Additionally, the fine will be increased for every day past the deadline. Miles smiled to himself. Should he call his neighbor? This question floated in his mind as he smiled.
Karma Comes Knocking
The month flew by and the man still hasn’t returned from his summer home. Just a week after the deadline, Miles was in for quite a show. He sat back and watched as they unceremoniously moved the golf cart.
Then, they came back for the cherry-red sports car. After they had towed both vehicles away, they began to tear out the fencepoles one by one. He had tried to warn him, but it was too late for that now. All he could do was sit back and observe karma doing its work.
Getting To Work
Then, the pavers were ripped out and hauled away, and the old rickety fenceposts and ropes were replaced with new ones. This time, they were replaced with metal posts with steel cables that were deeply embedded in the ground with concrete.
There was no way they would ever be moved now. The process took weeks, and Miles’ rude neighbor was none the wiser. While he was away his place was being wrecked.
When the contractors finished their work, the reserve was secured behind steel. Solar-powered cameras were even installed to monitor the wildlife remotely. And the notices on the neighbor’s door grew with each week.
Miles waited with a mixture of glee and anxiety for his neighbor to arrive back home. He was definitely in for a surprise. He hoped the man would learn something from this.
It was November when the man finally came back. Miles was in for another show. He watched him pull into the drive and walk up to the front door, which was now festooned with notices.
The man read them one by one with a look of incredulity before digging out the first notice. Then, he ran out to his backyard and began to scream.
The man rushed back to his car to fetch his cell phone and then proceeded to call the county to find out where his sports car and golf cart were, unleashing a torrent of curses in his blind rage.
Miles watched quietly from the window, smiling to himself. He knew this is what the man deserved, he didn’t think it could have gotten better. But the poetic justice of it all was still to come.
Three days later, the man confronted Miles, demanding to know if he was there when the county “stole his car and destroyed his backyard.” Miles replied that yes, he saw it all.
“Well, why didn’t you call me when you saw them putting notices on my door?! You had my number up North!” Miles paused before replying. He said that he had thought about calling, but figured that it would be best if he “minded his own damn business.”