Ask Clare: My neighbor keeps shooting off illegal fireworks

Welcome to Ask Clare, our advice column.  Have a question, dilemma, or quandary?  Send it to Clare in an email or on her Facebook page.



My neighbor set off fireworks two nights this past week. They’re very obviously illegal. It wakes up our newborn and I am not looking forward what he has in store for the big day. We live in Cathedral City so if I report him, he’ll get a $1,000 fine. I have already talked to him about his dogs barking in the middle of the night and waking the baby up. I’m not ready for round 2. Am I a huge jerk if I report him? What if he retaliates.
– Neighbor + newborn

Neighbor + newborn,

It sounds like your first discussion with this neighbor wasn’t great. I get your hesitation to tattle on him when it could lead to a huge penalty and possible harassment. Plus, you never know when you may need to borrow a cup of sugar. On the other hand, f#&% anyone that messes with your precious sleep. It’s a tough call that’s yours to make.
– Clare


Dear Clare,

A girl that I just started dating is coming to my family’s Fourth of July BBQ. I really like her. I am really concerned that my parents and siblings are going to harass her. This is the first girl I have ever brought around. How can I take some of the heat off of her so that we can enjoy ourselves (at least a little)?
– Sparks and sparklers

Sparks and sparklers,

Tell your family that you’ll only be around for part of the festivities. Pick your date up. Establish a code word (think “pickles”) that she can use with you or vice versa that means you two will say your goodbyes and head out. You can stay the whole night if your family isn’t being too overbearing or leave if they are. Have a rooftop plan B ready.
– Clare



My AC went out at the end of last month and my landlord didn’t get a repair guy there for three days. We went to stay with my in-laws across town. We had to take our three cats and run home every day to feed our fish – plus we had to drive further to work those days. I asked my landlord how much we should deduct from rent given the outage. He replied that he would give us $50 off (less than one day’s worth of rent). Is it reasonable to ask him for more off?
– Hot AF

Hot AF,

Your landlord low-balled you. It is hard to get an AC repair guy in the dead of summer – and the repair was probably costly. Not really your problem. You should ask for more but don’t high-ball him or you guys may end up at odds. Explain that you want three days worth of rent off. Also, let him know you also had extra expenses and inconveniences so you appreciate whatever flexibility he can offer. Good luck!
– Clare

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