Living on campus at 540 Kings Court, my family and I have had many neighbors in the residence next door at 538. It's not that we can't keep good neighbors. But the property there, also owned by the University, has served as overflow office space for various departments that are dislocated while their facilities are being renovated.
Our current neighbor is the Trinity University Police Department. This is a good neighbor to have. Security for my home and family - and security from my teenagers throwing parties. A win-win. Other neighbors have included the Tomas Rivera Center, Public Relations (they liked looking at my dog in the backyard) and Art (students with... uniquely-shaped pieces, were frequently crossing our lawn as they came and went).
There are downsides to the arrangement with TUPD. Investigator Charlie Lopez has an office with a window right across across from the window near where I usually dress. That's his problem I guess. It is a little noisy sometimes, too, when your neighbors are coming and going 24/7. The biggest problem, though, has been the incredibly bright white porch lights shining into our bedroom. But when I have raised the topic of removing those lights, my friends next door wouldn't budge. I guess they were sensitive about all those donut jokes after all.
Now what happens in my bedroom is no one's business, unless I blog about it. My poor wife could not sleep because of these intrusive bright lights. My requests for the department to choose softer lighting, like student parking ticket appeals, fell on deaf ears. There are many downsides to a tired, cranky wife. Enough said. So, the last time I raised the issue with Chief Paul Chapa in our weekly meeting, he told me that if I would buy red and blue lights for their porch that we would have a deal.
One Home Depot run later and the deed was done. Ironically, the first night, last Saturday, the Chief was actually on hand at nightfall because he was on campus related to an arrest of a drunk and disorderly individual. So he got to see the lights on their very first night. He was kidding, he said, about the color lights, but he likes them. My wife likes them too. The only one who objected so far was the person in the squad car who kept yelling "f*** you." I don't think that was directed at me and the lights, but really, who cares if it was.
The next evening we were able to settle in for a nice deep sleep without the TUPD nuisance to grapple with. Until we heard the voice of Tiger Athletics announcer James Hill from the softball field in our backyard. "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to tonight's game between the Trinity Tigers and the Austin College Kangaroos." Someone please, just lock me in a squad car.