The old man watched in horror as the young driver tried to parallel park in between his truck and the driveway.
Just because he was driving a hatchback vehicle didn’t mean that he would fit, he mumbled to himself as he watched the scene.
He ran outside at the driver but he ignored him and proceeded to park between his driveway and the grass.
Jack Barnes had lived in the same cozy house on Elm Street, for the better part of four decades.
He was the quintessential old plumber, with a white beard that rivaled Santa Claus’s and hands that could fix just about anything.
His home, a charming little cottage with a lush garden, had seen countless plumbing projects over the years, each one leaving a story behind.
Part Of The Community
78-year-old Jack was an old school plumber in Florida, who had lived in his father’s family home for over four decades.
He was a good husband, father, and neighbor, and proved his citizenship over the years.
He took pride in his home. It was a quaint house nestled on a narrow street, and Jack had seen many changes in the neighborhood over the years. But the most recent one had him fuming almost every day.
One of the most significant changes was the house on the corner that had been turned into a business property.
He saw the flamboyant new owner move his array of massage tables and fancy decorations into the top floor.
It had been on rent for quite some time, and the constant stream of tenants had been a mixed blessing for Jack. But recently it had become just too much.
On the corner of Elm Street, there stood a once-residential property that had been converted into a business.
Jack knew the previous owners, but they had moved away many years ago and didn’t keep in contact much.
For years, it had been rented out to various businesses, none of which had particularly bothered Jack. But this one was different, the owner seemed indifferent about the noise he caused.
The old plumber was quite used to the calm crown that visited the duplex. That was until a new tenant, Chad, transformed the top floor into a spa and wellness centre.
The spa quickly gained popularity, drawing clients from all over town who sought facials, pedicures, and various skin treatments.
Jack watched various people walk up and down his driveway as though it was public property.
A New Business
The new tenant Chad had moved in and transformed the top floor of the property into a spa and wellness centre.
People flocked to Chad’s establishment all day long for facials, pedicures, and skin treatments.
The narrow street made parking a challenge, and clients would routinely block Jack’s truck in his driveway, making him late for his plumbing jobs. He was getting annoyed and couldn’t keep hooting at the parked cars just to leave his house.
Elm Street was a narrow one, barely wide enough for two cars to pass side by side. As a result, the spa’s clients would invariably park in Jack’s driveway, blocking his trusty old plumbing truck.
Jack had always been punctual with his plumbing jobs, but now he found himself arriving late far too often.
Sometimes he would yell for Chad, other times he would just hoot incessantly until the rude Gen Z moved their car.
Stuck At Home
The tired man was leaving on a bad note every morning, and sometimes would return to the same problem.
He had had enough of dealing with rude spa clients who showed no consideration for his needs.
One day, after returning from yet another delayed job, he decided it was time to take action. He decided to call in the big guns.
With a determined scowl, he picked up the phone and dialled the number of the property owner, Mr. Smithers, who had relocated abroad. He was a wealthy businessman who had various properties around America.
He didn’t keep in contact with him much, but they were all family friends, so he was sure that he would listen.
He had to dial the international twice to get a dialling tone, and the phone rang.
Finally, someone answered, it was the butler, Cadbury, he told Jack to hold on while he called Mr. Smithers.
After a few minutes, there was a friendly voice on the other end.
“Hello? Mr. Smithers? It’s Jack Barnes, from next door. You might not remember me, but you knew my old man,” Jack explained, hoping that the connection with his father would work in his favor.
Shocked By The News
Mr. Smithers, who had indeed known Jack’s father, listened attentively as Jack recounted his predicament.
He was happy to hear from an old friend, and they chatted for a while.
He was sympathetic to Jack’s troubles and promised to address the matter immediately. After all, he felt a sense of obligation to the son of an old friend. What could he do to help?
His Own Space
The next day, Jack took matters into his own hands.
He strategically placed bright orange traffic cones around his driveway to prevent spa clients from parking there.
His actions were met with mixed reactions. Most clients grumbled and complied, but a few bad apples knocked the cones over in defiance. They were fighting back the hard way.
Not Public Property
This cat-and-mouse game continued for weeks. Frustration mounted, and someone even scratched Jack’s beloved truck in retaliation for the cones.
Jack’s patience was wearing thin, and the anger that simmered beneath his calm exterior was beginning to bubble to the surface.
He watched his van, and perfectly mowed grass get damaged by these rude patrons.
As the sun dipped below the horizon one cool evening, Jack stood on his porch, surveying the ongoing battle of wills.
His face was etched with frustration as he watched a particularly inconsiderate client maneuver her car to squeeze into his driveway.
The tires of her sleek sedan crunched against the gravel, leaving him no room to escape. Her tires dug into the fresh grass exposing the brown earth. Jack was fuming with rage.
It was at that moment, with a palpable tension in the air, that Jack decided he had endured enough.
He clenched his fists, his knuckles turning white, and a voice inside him roared with anger.
But for now, there was not much he could do. The driver was gone leaving Jack on the brink of a decision that would change the course of events on Elm Street forever.
Enough Is Enough
Jack had always been patient, but he grew tired of dealing with rude clients who showed no consideration for his needs. One day, he decided to take action.
He contacted the owner of the property, Mr. Smithers, who lived abroad but remembered Jack’s old father fondly.
He explained his entire plan to him and his old friend agreed to help him out.
Even though Jack took matters into his own hands. By placing bright orange cones around his driveway, making it impossible for anyone to park there. It made no change.
At first, a few unruly clients kept knocking the cones over in frustration.
This continued for a few weeks, and someone even scratched his beloved truck. This was the final straw, it was going to have to end.
Didn’t Stop Them
As tensions escalated, Chad threw a raucous party one evening. The noise was unbearable, and the next day, Jack’s front lawn was strewn with trash and debris.
He couldn’t take it any longer. With a determined look on his face, Jack barged into Chad’s spa and wellness centre.
What was Jack going to do to take his revenge?
Chad, still recovering from the festivities, was shocked by Jack’s sudden appearance.
“What do you want?” he stammered. Jack slammed his fist on a nearby table.
Jack was furious, “I’m sick of your clients taking advantage of the property, if they want to use my driveway tell them it’s $10 an hour.” Chad was taken aback and complained about the extra fee.
This Is Not Allowed
The old plumber wasn’t going to give in.
“That’s it Chad I’ve been patient long enough. Your clients are wasting my time and my money. One of them scratched my van yesterday!”
Chad put up a hissy fit. Jack, his voice stern, replied, “If you can’t listen or respect my rules, I want you to pack up your things and leave.” Jack put his foot down, that was it.
Chad’s eyes widened. “What are you talking about? I pay rent! I’m not going anywhere.” He continued cleaning up his salon, acting busy.
Jack knew that he wasn’t going to go down easy which is why he had a backup place.
Something that he had carefully set in place a while ago. He knew something Chad didn’t.
The old plumber cleared his throat and said, “You’re just a tenant here Chad, you haven’t even been here for a year yet.” Chad looked surprised and his face turned red with embarrassment.
Chad was despondent and dropped the bottle in his hand.
“What is that supposed to mean Jack?” he asked. Jack, with a sly smile, revealed, “I just signed the paperwork. This duplex now belongs to me.”
Chad’s jaw dropped in disbelief. He pleaded with Jack, “You can’t do this! Give me more time. I promise I’ll control my clients, keep them in check.”
Chad started crying and fell in tears complaining about how difficult his life was. But Jack wasn’t in the mood for pity stories.
This was about business, time, and money.
Shape Up Or Ship Out
Jack folded his arms. “You have one week, Chad. Behave and make sure your clients don’t disturb me, or you’ll find yourself out on the street.”
Chad stopped crying and straightened himself out, “Thank you, Jack, I promise you won’t hear a peep out of me, I swear.”
He crossed his fingers in an effort to show sincerity but Jack didn’t take his word for it.
And as though it was meant to be, the next day, there was a loud altercation with one of Chad’s customers.
It was a disgruntled boyfriend who thought his girlfriend was cheating on him with Chad.
The disgruntled customer was swearing outside for all the neighbors to hear. Some of them laid a formal complaint and wanted Chad out.
That was all Jack needed to get things going. He drew up some paperwork and was ready to evict Chad from the premises.
He called the authorities to check the scene unfolding.
He also had evidence that none of his customers had paid the required parking fee. So, he had bills for the loss and damages caused by his rude clientele. How would Chad take the news?
With the evidence against him, Chad reluctantly agreed, realizing he had no other choice. He would have to scramble to find new business premises within the week.
He tried to convince Jack to let him stay longer but Jack wouldn’t budge.
He had enough and he still felt a bit angry about them bumping his beloved van. Chad offered to pay him back, but Jack knew that that would never happen.
Back To Normal
As the days passed, the neighborhood watched in suspense, curious to see if Chad would keep his promise or if Jack’s patience would finally run out.
They watched him hire a truck and move his equipment back out, “mumbling that he would have to start working from home again.”
Jack watched with a triumphant smile, finally, he had won.
A Retirement Dream
With Chad’s fate hanging in the balance, Jack set to work transforming the duplex into his own little hardware and plumbing store.
He hired some cupboard fitters and set to work.
It was the perfect setup for his retirement, and he couldn’t wait to enjoy the peace and quiet he had longed for. But for how long would it last?
This story was handcrafted with love by a creative novelist to thrill and entertain, mirroring real-life situations to awaken your imagination and evoke profound emotions. All events, places, and characters are products of the author’s imagination, and all images and videos are used for illustrative purposes only. We hope you enjoyed reading it just as much as we enjoyed writing it!