You don't get to pick your neighbors, and in San Francisco they are often selected for you by the devil. The more virtuous a person you are, the more vile is likely to be your neighbor. Neighbors, some say, are meant to test your mettle; others say they are meant to destroy it.

If you are a quiet and thoughtful person, your neighbor is not. If you like Mozart and Bach, Chopin and Shubert, played at a volume so as not to disturb other people, your neighbor likes heavy metal, rap, hip-hop, and techno played at a volume that shakes your windows.

If you like haute cuisine, fine wine, and good conversation, your neighbor loves BBQ and smoked fish, washed down with tanks of beer, and yelling.

If you are modest and respectful of other people, your neighbor is a braggart and exhibitionist who disses the living and the dead. "Hey, mother fucker, that hat is as dumb as those shoes! Did your father dress like that too?"

And if you abhor violence and the sight of blood, your neighbor loves it. Fighting and brawling are only second to making lewd remarks to your wife and daughter. "Hey, big boobs, little boobs, wanna have some fun with a real man?"

Ants are a nuisance in the city, cockroaches a problem, bedbugs a real pain, rats too, but bad neighbors top the list in San Francisco of all things miserable.
By Louis Martin