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Suburb Saturdays Volume 7: My Neighbor Hasn't Returned The Tool I Lent Him

Isopix. Shutterstock Images.

This week's Suburb Saturdays seems to be a fairly common problem. So much so, The Simpson's would often joke about Homer not returning his neighbor, Ned Flanders' tools. We have a write-in I'll read from, but this can take a few different forms.

I'm in my late 40s and have been in the burbs for over 20 years. I like to consider myself pretty handy and am typically working on something on my 'honey do' list on Saturday mornings. I also am a friendly guy. Whenever new people move into our neighborhood, which seems to be happening more and more, I always go over and introduce myself and tell them about the area. My wife makes killer cookies, so I'll usually bring a dozen or so of those when I meet them too as kind of a 'welcome to the neighborhood' type thing. 

Well as more and more new homeowners have come into our little community, a bunch of them are younger. First time home owners and what I've found with that generation, is not a lot of them are super handy. I am always willing to give advice on a project or lend a neighbor the tools to get the job done. I've even helped out one guy with some electrical work. 

But recently, there is this small family (guy, girlfriend, her 3-year old daughter) that bought a home across the street and over a house. The guy is a little aloof and always blasting his music really loud when he drives, but was a nice enough guy. I saw him in spring time and he said he was going to do a spring cleanup and mentioned his house needed a good power washing. I offered to let him borrow mine and he gladly accepted. But that was in April. It's August and I still haven't gotten the dang thing back. He said he'd use it and he definitely did. House looks a lot better now, but I haven't gotten it back. And the thing is, whenever I see him now, he kind of avoids me. I even saw him in his driveway washing his car a couple weeks ago and went out to go flag him down and I'm not sure if he saw me coming but he got inside pretty quick. I also don't see him very often. He works weekend and kind of off-hours, so our schedules don't exactly line up. Also, I don't know if he's on hard times, but I have seen the cops at his house more than a couple times the past few months. Not sure why or what came of it. What is the move here? - John B

Wow that's an interesting one. Because a neighbor not returning tools is a trick as old as time, but for the guy to be actively avoiding you is a tough one. Especially if he's going through something. But here are a few options with how to handle:

Option #1) Be direct. Go up and ring his doorbell. Maybe bring over some more cookies to lighten the mood

Option #2) If you don't want face-to-face confrontation, write a note and put it on his door or in his mailbox saying you need it back

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Option #3) If you don't wanna mess with him due cops stuff, rent a power washer and try and do your power washing when he's around so he remembers

Option #4) Ask to borrow a tool from him and don't return it as payback

As for last week's Suburb Saturdays, here's how people voted on how they'd handle a neighbor they suspect took their flowers and replanted them in their yard.

Thanks for reading and see you next Saturday!