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Bianca Knows Best

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Dear Bianca,

Several months after moving into my house, I attended a party in my neighborhood. As the evening wore on and everyone got pretty wasted, one of my neighbors (who I'd just met that night, mind you) confessed to me that he was a registered sex offender.

I checked the state online sex offender registry and sure enough, there he was. The charge had something to do with little kids, and now I'm totally creeped out.

He lives very close to my place, and I hear his loud, obnoxious voice outside my window all the time as he spends most of his days sitting on his porch. Knowing what he's done, the sound of his voice makes my skin crawl.

I've thought about selling my home to escape the situation, but that seems a little rash. I know I can't erase his sleazy past, but is there a polite way to tell him to shut up without starting a confrontation?

— Stuck with a Sex Offender

Dear Stuck,

Well, at least you're a grown person and not a small child. And I assume you don't have children, because if you did, that'd likely be a bigger concern than the grating sound of his voice.

The good news is you've probably got nothing to worry about in terms of your own sexual safety. So you should try to handle this like you would any typical irritating neighbor situation. Put his sex-offender status aside and simply tell him his loud voice is carrying into your apartment. He may not even realize he's being inconsiderate.

If it makes you feel better, give him some excuse as to why you require a little peace and quiet. Tell him you're an aspiring novelist wrapping up your masterpiece or you’re trying to achieve nirvana through silent meditation.

Give it a few days, and if the noise stops, pat yourself on the back. However, if he continues to annoy, approach him with a little more bluster. If he's really loud, you could threaten him with the "I'll call the cops if it happens again" line. I don't know for certain, but I'd imagine sex offenders aren't too fond of the fuzz.

The more important thing here is for you to keep a vigilant watch any kids visiting your house. Or, God forbid, any children going into his place. If you see that happen, you should definitely call the cops. Got a problem? Bianca can solve it ... or least give you crappy advice that you can choose to ignore. Send advice queries to bphillips@memphisflyer.com.

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