The best part of a practical joke is not getting caught. The house next door was sold about two years ago and left vacant. During this period the place became a real dump because nothing was being watered, no gardening, or home maintenance. I complained to my homeowner association as well as the city of Chino Hills for weed abatement and the possibility of vagrancy.

The homeowner association was limited in helping because the owner was out of state and unresponsive to written correspondence. I was flat out of a remedy and my property was losing value on Zillow at a rate of 2% per month. 

All of a sudden, I had a revelation how to turn this lemon into lemonade. The solution only required a white 36” x 48” poster board and red paint marking pens from Hobby Lobby. To the best of my ability, neatly calligraphed large red fonts on a serious sign stated, “FOR SALE - BY NEIGHBORS.” The jumbo sign was then prominently affixed to the middle of the garage door of the vacant home on a Tuesday morning. 

The next couple days I enjoyed the fun attention elicited by bewildered people walking and driving by. People asked where it came from and I would shrug and shake my head, “Don’t know, but kind of funny huh?”

Then on Saturday morning, I noticed my sign had been taken down.  Did someone think this humorous real estate signage offensive? Was there a secret “do-gooder” real estate agent working after hours to prevent humor in the industry? I had used my finest duct tape to lock it onto the garage door surface. Where did it go after only four days?

Then the mechanical sound of the rising garage door caught my attention. Someone was in the house. This guy standing in the middle of the garage must be my new neighbor. After two years I finally get to meet him. 

I welcomed him to the neighborhood and asked “by the way what happened to your funny sign on the garage door?”

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