You can’t choose your neighbors and some people have bad luck, stuck with having to live within close proximity to people who absolutely drive them up the wall. Melissa Scruggs is a geologist, volcanologist, and post-grad student, known on Twitter as VolcanoDoc. She ended up living next door to disrespectful college students while working towards earning her Ph.D. One morning, Melissa walked out to her car to find a giant boulder blocking her driveway. Unable to push it out of the way, she did something else instead.
Melissa Lives In A College Neighborhood
Pursuing her Ph.D. as a geologist and volcanologist, Melissa Scruggs lives close to her college campus in California. She’s been attending the school for several years and is familiar with the area. As one of the older students, Melissa knows she has to exercise patience in dealing with first and second-year students.
While the freshmen are celebrating being out on their own for the first time, Melissa is a serious student, focused on earning her Ph.D.
She Lived In the Building For Several Years
Melissa wasn’t new to the college or the building that she lived in near campus. She told Bored Panda, “I have lived in the same building for about three years now.”
However, grad students in her building, as well as the younger students in the building next door change frequently. One year could be relatively quiet while the following year could bring a new round of rowdy freshmen. In July 2018, Melissa had new neighbors who loved to throw parties.
The Neighbors Were Younger, And The Buildings Were Close
Melissa explained that she initially had some concerns over the neighbors, but things had turned out okay over the last several months. She shared, “the current neighbors are first or second-year undergraduates, and they moved in across the driveway in July 2018.”
Although a fence separated the two yards, Melissa’s building shared the same patch of gravel and path to the street with the neighbors. At 7 am, Melissa would leave for campus and needed to be able to get her car out.
The Neighbors Liked To Party
Being freshmen and sophomores in college, Melissa’s neighbors liked to party. She told Bored Panda, “I was a little concerned at first because they like to throw big parties, but they’ve generally been pretty considerate with noise and keeping people out of our yard.”
Melissa clearly exercised patience in dealing with the neighbors as she focused on her studies. Earning a Ph.D. is no easy feat! But Melissa loves studying rocks and science.
She’s A Volcanologist and Geologist
Although she quietly let the neighbors party the night away on many occasions, Melissa isn’t shy. In fact, she’s a fun-loving smart lady who has earned a degree in volcanology and is working towards her Ph.D. on the same subject.
Melissa is not only a driven student, but she “LOVES classic cars, rock ‘n roll, shenanigans, and vintage things” as she’s shared on her Twitter account. She’s not the type of person who would stand down and be harassed by neighbors.
Then, Problems Started
After around six months of parties, Melissa started having problems with the neighbors next door. She told Bored Panda, “I never really had any issue until about a week and a half ago.”
That’s when she noticed the neighbors began moving a boulder from the fence line into her driveway. At first, the boulder was moved just a few inches onto her building’s property. “This is actually the second time this has happened,” Melissa said when the boulder reappeared in her driveway.
Why The Boulder Is There In The First Place
Melissa explained that the boulder has always been next to her driveway, as it was there for a reason. She said, “So, the purpose of the rock is so that if [you’re bad] at parking, you don’t take down the fence.”
The boulder is meant to stay in place at the end of the fence that separates the driveways from the two buildings. If it wasn’t there, a late-night partier might bump the fence!
The Neighbors Moved The Boulder Overnight
“It’s inconvenient, but I get it,” she said about the boulder sitting there. But the rock only fell a couple of inches on each side of the fence. And it was also a deterrent for drivers who considered parking directly in front of the fence, on both sides.
“About a week and a half ago, one of the guys decided that it was too inconvenient for him,” Melissa explained. And that’s when the neighbors crossed the line.
They Wouldn’t Help Her Move It Back
She explained that a neighbor pushed the boulder into her driveway overnight. “He turned it so that it was more on my side of the fence,” she said.
But when she went to confront them, or at least ask for help in moving it, Melissa’s neighbors ignored her. “They wouldn’t answer the door to help me move it back, and it was a few days before I had help to get it put back.”
She Was Already Fed Up
Melissa had someone help her move the rock back into place the first time the neighbors moved it. But it was large and heavy, and Melissa couldn’t move it on her own. Hopefully, they wouldn’t do it again, as she didn’t have time to waste in the morning, and needed to get her car out.
It took her several days before she had help in moving the boulder the first time and the neighbors ignored her when she knocked on their door. That also meant she didn’t get a chance to talk to them about it.
That Friday, They Threw A Big Party
“Then on Friday night, they had a really big party,” Melissa told Bored Panda. Knowing that it would likely become a problem, Melissa was proactive and kindly gave the neighbors and their friends a head’s up.
She said, “I went over to ask that people stay out of our backyard, and noticed that a car was blocking us in. So I asked that it be moved by 7 a.m., and left a note.”
The Boulder Was Blocking Her Car
The night before, Melissa was worried about a car blocking her in, so she left them a note. But, what she woke up to instead was the boulder blocking her car again!
She said, “When I woke up, the boulder had been rolled all the way in front of my car. So I figured that if I moved it back, they were just going to do it again.” She had to get to class, and couldn’t move the boulder by herself. So what now?
Melissa Owns An Auto-Chipper
With no one to help her move the boulder, and thinking it would end up back in front of her car anyway, Melissa brought out a special tool she owns. As a geologist and volcanologist, Melissa owns an auto-chipper, which can chip away at the sandstone boulder until it’s broken into smithereens.
She shared on Twitter that her neighbors probably weren’t worried about her reaction but night have forgotten that, “I am a tiny geologist who has access to a VERY loud auto-chipper at 7:30 am.”
She Broke Up The Boulder
So, Melissa put on her headphones and took her auto-chipper to the boulder. She worked on it until it was broken into tiny pieces that she could toss to the side. She called it her “tiny red-headed rage”.
Although the tool was “VERY” loud according to Melissa, none of her next-door neighbors had the nerve to come out and see what the noise was all about. Or apologize, for that matter!
She Felt Better After Demolishing It
No doubt, Melissa channeled her frustration with the neighbors into destroying the boulder, which even knocked out two birds with one stone, as she was then able to get her car out, and it disturbed the neighbors who were rude enough to roll the boulder into her driveway in the first place.
After breaking up the boulder she posted on Twitter, “Update: All is quiet. Neighbors have deserted the premises. I am thoroughly enjoying a cup of tea.”
She Didn’t Know How Many People Were Following
Melissa is an active user on Twitter, and shared the updates of her morning mostly to entertain her fellow geologists. What she didn’t know is that hundreds of people were reading her tweets and began engaging with her thread.
She tweeted, “WOAH. I had NO idea this was going to blow up so much!!” The Twittersphere loved her creative approach to the frustrating situation and her “I got this” attitude.
The Neighbors’ Reactions Were Priceless
After enjoying her cup of tea, Melissa went to campus and went on with her day. Meanwhile, her thread was blowing up on Twitter, and she was quickly gaining more followers.
When she came home later that evening, she had her first encounter with the neighbors, post-boulder destroying incident. As the pieces of boulder still laid in a pile of rubble along the fence line, one of her neighbors gave her a nod while the other looked wide-eyed.
Twitter Loved It
Other people might have pounded on the door or yelled outside of the neighbors’ window, but Melissa’s solution was both productive and entertaining.
Twitter users loved how she shared her story in a funny thread, which is much on-par with her other fun-loving tweets and photos. Even when faced with a boulder in her path at 7 in the morning she was able to make light of the situation. (By looks of it she’s always looking for an excuse to use her auto-chipper!)
A Law-Abiding Citizen
Having lived in the building for several years, and still having more schooling to go, Melissa wasn’t trying to step on anyone’s toes– even if some rude neighbors were over-stepping their bounds.
She joked on Twitter that although she was happy to wake up the neighbors responsible for moving the boulder, she made sure to wait politely until the neighborhood’s noise ordinance ended at 7 am before starting up her equipment.
By the end of the thread, Melissa’s posts had over 400 likes, with hundreds more likely seeing her story. People loved her sense of humor and learning more about the woman who demolished a giant boulder that was blocking her car in so she could be on her way to earn her Ph.D.
She likely won’t be having any more problems with the neighbors blocking her driveway either. Who would dare park their car in Melissa’s driveway now that they know she owns an auto-chipper?!