“Just leave me alone. I’ll leave you alone. We’ll be good.”

Transcript for Fences

Ok, what I think makes a good neighbor is fences. That’s what I think makes a good neighbor, and that sounds mean to say that, but when I was living in Portage, one of my neighbors wanted to put up a fence, and—next-door—and I go, “Oh, that’s a good idea. Why don’t you do that?” And he puts the fence up, and I go, “That’s a great idea! Oh my God! There’s a fence. I love this fence. What’s this concept called ‘fence?’” So, I go on the other side, and I go, “I’m putting a fence up the next week.” So, the same guy who put up a fence over here put a fence there up. I go, “I love this idea of fences.” I love fences.

So, yeah, neighbors are great, and I’ve never had like, bad neighbors. I always hear stories from my readers, “Yeah, Old Man Kirkowitz over here,” you know, “he’s making problems, and he’s got three dogs, and ten cats,” and I never had a bad neighbor, to be honest with you. But I think we kind of create our own realities in life, and I think we kind of create our own neighbors in a way, too. I was never invasive. I never got in people’s ways. Just, “People, leave me alone.” That’s my general credo in life. “Just leave me alone. I’ll leave you alone. We’ll be good. We’ll die. And it’s all good.” That’s my credo.

I value my space as much as I value my time. That’s why I have few friends, because time and space are so important to me. So, to keep people away from my space, and then you don’t have to—they don’t infringe, not only on your space, but then on those issues that revolve around your space that you have to maybe talk about like, “Can you keep your dog out of lawn, please?” for instance. And that keeps that dialogue gone. You don’t have to have that kind of a dialogue. And I like privacy. I’m huge on privacy. It flies in the face of my job, but I’m very private person. So, I think fences are huge, and that’s—but then, it’s an—that’s the oxymoron part because it’s a juxtaposition. It gets in the way, doesn’t it?

I wrote a column once on the bane of our society, I thought, was attached garages as opposed to detached garages. Because you get home from work, you open your door with an automatic garage door: “Bzzz.” You go inside: “Bzzz.” Nobody sees you again. It’s like, the Batcave. You know what I mean? As opposed to, in the old days—the old days, like in the 50s or 60s—you have a detached garage. You get home from work, you drive in the garage, you have to walk into your house, “Hey, Fred, how you doing? How was work today?” There’s no fence there. Jerry didn’t have a fence yet. I like bushes, too. Bushes are like fancy fences to me, you know?

My point was, I thought these garages—and they, you ruin that. You lose that effect of community. So, the idealized version of my world would think, “It’s great to have that.” But the realistic version of my world is like, “Eh, fences are good. Attached garages—I’m all for it.”

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