It’s probably a good idea to actually know your neighbor’s personality before attempting to troll them. For example, an elderly man is probably not going to take kindly to a pretend ransom note regarding his trash bin.

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But one Redditor decided to try an attempt at humor when a cantankerous neighbor alerted him to the absolutely egregious mix-up of their trash bins. The OP decided to send the neighbor a fake ransom note for his trash bin — which was funny but definitely not appropriate — and now he’s made an enemy.

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“A couple weeks ago, my next door neighbor left a note in my mailbox. Apparently our trash carts were mixed up and he wanted his back. Which is fine. But he wasn’t exactly polite. The note read: ‘You have my trash cart. The city assigns everyone a specific trash cart for a reason. I expect it returned in good condition.’ For reference, my neighbor is older. Probably in his 70s. We got along fine when we moved in. We saw him and his wife almost every day. We would say hi and chat and they always got our son something for his birthday.”

“Things kind of went south about two years ago. Our house was built in the early 90s and was starting to look its age. We did new stucco, windows and doors. So now we have what looks like a new, contemporary home next to their home which now looks worse than it did by comparison. I think this bothered them. Before the remodel, they would come out and say hi just about every time they saw us. After the remodel, the only time we spoke was when they happened to be coming or going at the same time. Maybe once a month if that.”

“So back to the story. After getting his note, I made a ransom note. I cut letters and words out of my wife’s magazines to write this: ‘I have your trash cart. If you want to see it alive again, you’ll do exactly as I say. Meet me at the arroyo bridge at midnight. No funny business. If I so much as smell a cop, you’ll find your cart floating in the river. – Anonymous.'”

“I thought it was funny. I thought he might even think it was funny. But the next day when I was leaving for the gym, he comes out and says, ‘You’re a real a**hole, you know.’ I was a little surprised, so I laughed. Which I think made him madder. I just replied, ‘Sorry, man. Just making a joke. Let me get your trash can.’ They’re identical as best I can tell. But apparently he was pretty attached to his.”


“NTA. I think it’s funny AF. However, you should know that the Venn diagram of things I think are funny and things that are in poor taste is just one big circle.” —


“IDK, you might have been an a******, but I got a laugh over it. I mean, come on, it’s a city provided trash can, right? Are there ID numbers on each can? NAH.” —


“YTA-A creative thoughtful and clever a**hole.” —


“ESH. He could’ve taken a joke better, you could’ve not assumed he’d find it funny. Guys your neighbor and the only thing you know for sure about him is that you all live on the same street.” —


“Light YTA. Seems pretty clear from the situation that you described that your neighbor would not find this funny. If your intention was to further annoy him, mission accomplished. If your intention was to extend an olive branch via humor, you simply failed to read the room. Return the cart in pristine condition. Write a simple apology. Move on.” —

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*First Published: March 27, 2023, 12:57 pm