Never Buy a House Next Door to The Junk Man

I have always lived in sketchy localities where people play on the wrong side of the street from sanity. I only bring up this point so that you will understand I am not squeamish regarding a neighbor’s peculiarities. The best way to live in a place like that is to mind your business but keep your eyes open for any trouble that might come your way. The first rule of thumb is to never buy a house next door to the junk man.

 Rooster and I bought this pink house twenty-five years ago. We needed a big place that we could afford and still feed the kids. The pink aluminum siding lowered the cost of the house. The junk man didn’t have control of the property when we moved in. He lived there with his father and other family members. The property was cluttered, but it wasn’t a dump yet.

Never Buy a House Next Door to The Junk Man

The old man died. The son requested the city to turn the property into a junkyard. They held a hearing. The neighbors gathered and asked if Rooster would go to city hall and speak for them. You might remember that Rooster is the man who can’t say no. The gang gave my husband the impression that they would go to the courthouse to lend their support. No one showed up. Rooster argued against the junkyard, and the city said no.

You were wrong if you thought that would be the end of it. Two days later, I came home from work to find my house surrounded by junk trucks that held the haul the junk man picked up from the curb in front of people’s houses. There were toilets, sinks, kitchen cabinets, couches, chairs, mattresses, propane tanks, and other items nobody wanted. Six trucks lined the curbs.

Never Buy a House Next Door to The Junk Man

I heard the sound of someone yelling and glanced out my window. Rooster was standing in front of those trucks yelling at the junk man. My husband never yells, but he is one of those guys that goes off like a tea kettle if he’s pushed too far. The phone rang. My oldest son was an over-the-road truck driver at the time, and he liked to call to keep in touch.

“What are you doing, Mom?” my son asked.

 “I’m watching your dad get ready to punch the junkman. I can see everything through the kitchen window. He looks mad.”

“How bad is it?” my son asked.

“You remember the time the guy wouldn’t give him back his toolbox after we were in the wreck?”


“Well, it is about like that,” I said, watching the cops pull up next to where the two men were having their yelling match.

“Do you have bail money?”

I had to think about that while calculating how much we had in savings. “I think we do,” I said.

“Then don’t worry about it,” he said before hanging up the phone.

 Never Buy a House Next Door to The Junk Man

The cops made the junk man move his trucks. He ignored the city’s decree about him turning the property into a dump. He drops off a fresh load every night under the cover of darkness. We have new neighbors. They think if they bug the city enough, the junkman will change. There are some battles you can never win. I fear the junk man is here to stay.

Who is Molly Shea?

Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh.  To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.

Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!

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Published by henhouselady

I am the author of Saving the Hen House. I didn't know when I started it would turn into a series. I love to ride motorcycles, the blues, my family, and going on adventures. This old hen rocks.

15 thoughts on “Never Buy a House Next Door to The Junk Man

  1. That’s so disrespectful and disgusting. They should’ve understood your husband’s appeal because junk like that could make you sick or ruin your wellbeing. 🙁 Also, they shouldn’t have did something like that without consulting the people who live there.

      1. That’s awful. It’s unfortunate how often that happens. Hopefully you’ll be ok for now. 😞

  2. Oh, maaaaan, what a trip down memory lane! Hahaha!! The junk man behind the house I raised my daughter in stacked all his salvage (mostly enormous old grey metal government desks ~ you could hear him out there hefting those things into piles single-handedly ~ sounded like a zen dojo) on pallets. He was forever parking his funky camouflage covered salvage trucks and trailers in front of our house (a block away from his by the alley between us). Eventually the rodent population under those pallets became so enormous that the city came and cleared it. He was heartbroken.

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