Fight or flight

Interacting with this neighborhood makes you figure out what kind of person are you when neighborhood harmony is disturbed. You may be either a fight person, confronting the issue, or in most cases the person head on with little regard to personal safety and not waiting for someone else to take care of the problem. Or you may be a flight person, with a super duper high regard for personal safety and a willingness to allow injustices to slip by or be handled by other people (ie the police).
At a recent gathering, some folks were retelling their stories of ‘fight’ when confronted with various quality of life crimes. Couples sometimes have one fight person and one flight person pulling the fight person back. We single people only have our own internal angels to say, “you know, that may not have been the smartest thing to do….”
I guess I can be a fight person, but not to the degree of other folks I know who can go from mild mannered citizen to crazy a$$ mofo. My last confrontations, well the last ones I can remember, were sorta semi- guided by the Miss Manners philosophy, which is you should pretend that people who are doing wrong are not aware that they are doing so.
I was in my back yard watering plants and ignoring the annoying contractor across the alley when a big U-Haul drove up in the alley. I can’t see over the fence well so I’m just going by what I hear. U-Haul guy gets out and goes into yard of contractor guy. Contractor guy is one floor up so U-Haul guy yells up and asks about some work (I think he was looking for a job). I think, as I was trying to ignore everything across the alley, contractor guy told U-Haul guy he had no work for him. So U-Haul guy stepped back out in the alley but not back in the truck. Next thing I know U-Haul guy is pissing on my fence. “Excuse you! Please don’t pee on my fence,” I say loudly. This startled U-Haul guy and he started in with some lame excuses then offered to wash it up if I gave him some soap and water. I wasn’t going to give him jack. “Just go, I’ll hose it down,” I repeated several times. Then U-Haul guy got into his truck and drove away.
The other recent confrontation was the thwarted break in. I don’t know what the two young adults were up to but once again, I’m in the back yard puttering. Screaming woman, who lived across the alley had moved away about 2 weeks before and the house was empty. Because screaming woman’s family used the back gate a plenty it was broken and the backyard open. So I heard the two people in the alley but I didn’t see them until the young woman was standing on top of the AC compressor-thingy (I don’t know, it’s big, sits outside, is related to the heating and cooling). She was reaching to open the unbarred window when I said, “Oh, are you looking for XXXXX? She moved over to CCC Street.” Pause. Then the young lady, still standing on the AC thingy, said, with a little ‘tude in her voice, “Oh YOU say she moved huh?” Then she looked at her accomplice, jumped down and they left. A few days later I bolted the gate to the fence so it wouldn’t open.
Confront people, but in a way that let’s them back out and away from the situation.