And chai, yes, continue. Did you say any of those things to your neighbour? About the roots eventually uplifting your concrete, etc?
No, I didn't.
John is seriously a very nice guy. There's just some things about being a good neighbor he just doesn't get. Fortunately, he and his wife are both very neat and orderly, but it's kind of like everything he does is like a clockwork. Mechanical and with no joi de vivre. Ummm...an example. There's 4 houses in a row, Bill's, ours, Johns and Tom. Whenever Tom, Bill or Wally have to get out the lawn mower (we don't have a lawn, but there's that grass that grows between the sidewalk and the curb) They just continue on and mow the curb grass in front of all 4 houses. Takes an extra 3 minutes, and keeps everything looking nice. Before John built that house, the former owner, Andrew had a little cottage on the property. He only had a manual push mower. So when Wally mowed our then lawn, he would just do Andrews front yard too, didn't even think about it.
When John goes out there, he mows his little patch of grass by the curb, and that's it. He's not being ugly, I can tell it just doesn't occur to him. When he was building the house, John went to Toms house, next door, and just matter of factly told them "You have to get a variance for your driveway". When Tom said "Uh, no, actually You're the one who has to get it" John just looked blank, like that possibility had never occured to him. There was some other thing with Tom's house later. When John was digging out a basement (Yes, a Basement in Central Texas
) it cut into the roots of a big live oak, and he had no clue how to compensate if the tree died. He thought could go to HD and buy them a $25 tree. Yikes. Fortunately the tree survived, and I know they would have worked something out. It's like he doesn't see past what is happening in front of him, with a very limited future timeline. He's a computer programmer/game writer guy. I don't think his brain works in any kind of abstract fashion.
It just wouldn't have been worth it to bring up the fact that an 8 year old could have figured out that was an impossible place for a tree to grow, even taking my patio out of the equation. It's hard to tell a grown man, intelligent in many ways, something so obvious.