In all my 25 years of apartment living in 4 different neighborhoods, there was no weirder and more vicious neighbor than Lacey, the Bitch Next Door or the BND, the acronym we coined when referring to her. I have to say that there are not a lot of people in this world whom I hate, but she was one of them. Ah. Where to start? I guess I will start by relating two of her most heinous crimes.
She REPORTED US TO DCFS, you read this correctly, for allowing our then 2 year old son, E, to nap, unattended, in the back seat of our car. My kid wouldn't nap unless I drove him around and then if I tried to take him out of the car, he would wake up. I cannot tell you how many countless moms have told me that they did exactly the same thing. It was parked in the private driveway in the back of our building with only alley access. This was a very quiet neighborhood; there were no marauding gangs of kidnappers looking to take our child. Of course, our joke was that if our son was kidnapped, he was such a difficult child that the kidnappers would have paid us to take him back. Ba dum dum! Try the veal. I'm here til Thursday.
There was a knock at our door one December morning and when I opened it, there stood Ivory Flucos, a very large black man, who identified himself as an investigator for DCFS. He told us that someone had reported us for leaving E in the car. I was quite taken aback, as you might imagine. I decided it was best to admit we had done this and I promised never to do it again. I thought that would be it, but that was far from what happened. That was during the period when several black families were accused of child abuse and neglect. We figured that since we were white, they prosecuted us, as well, to show there was no racism at play.
On the day before Christmas, we received a letter from DCFS informing us that we had been found guilty of child neglect. Our only punishment was that my name, and only my name, would be on a list for 5 years with other child abusers/neglecters. This list was only seen by those doing a background check for people who wanted to open a day care or adopt a child. If we had wanted to adopt a second child, it would have made it more difficult. We were given the right to appeal our conviction.
One of my clients was an attorney and offered to represent me pro bono. We waited 6 months for a trial date. A friend came to speak on my behalf as a character witness. The so-called trial was a joke. It was a case of DCFS investigating DCFS. You can imagine the outcome of that one. The prosecutor barely spoke intelligible English and by this time Ivory Flucos could barely remember the facts of the case. He didn’t even appear to recognize us. Our conviction was upheld and that was that.
Then, 3 months later, I received a call from the SPCA. Someone had reported us for animal neglect. Our beloved Whippet/Collie, Angel, was 13 years old and due to stomach cancer was emaciated. But, she still wanted to walk outside, so we followed her usual schedule of 2 walks a day. I cannot tell you the number of idiots who screamed at us “feed your dog” from passing cars or gesticulated the same by bringing their hands to their mouths. More than once, someone offered me a bag of turkey, as if we were so stupid that we didn’t know we were supposed to feed her. We had cared for this dog as if she was our child. We had cooked for her for 2 years, giving her a raw food diet which alleviated her gastric distress. We had probably spent tens of thousands of dollars on her veterinary care. She ate specialty foods because she had a grain allergy. We are sure the BND reported us. I gave the poor man from the SPCA on the end of the telephone a piece of my mind. He tried to calm me down, letting me know that every report of neglect had to be investigated. This time, it was much easier to fix. I gave him the name and number of our vet who had treated Angel for years. We never heard from them again.
What kind of crazy bitch reports their neighbors to DCFS and the SPCA? We never did anything to her to warrant such hateful acts. We recognized that this woman had some very serious mental problems, but she took it out on us. Guess what she did for a living? She was a preschool director. She taught small children how to share and be nice to one another. Ha!!!!
To Be Continued...
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