Poo-sitively 4th Street

There are some neighbors that bring you fresh-baked muffins while others stay out of your way and mind their own business. Apparently Bob Dylan is the sort of neighbor that makes a big stink. Literally.

Dylan’s neighbors say a portable toilet on the singer-songwriter’s Malibu, Calif., property has been sending a disgusting odor their way for more than six months.

“It started in September. I’d go into the frontyard and get nauseous,” Cindy Emminger told the Los Angeles Times. “I couldn’t figure out at first where the smell was coming from.”

Emminger and her family live in a house directly behind the toilet, which neighbors say is used by Dylan’s guards who work in a security shack on the edge of his property. She said the smell has made her and her eight-year-old son sick.

Photo: AP Photo
Bob Dylan feels the pain when he sings “Cry Awhile” at the Grammy Awards ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Neighbors say Dylan has ignored their requests to remove the toilet. He has lived on the property for more than 20 years, next to a street that’s ironically named Bluewater Road.

Residents say the stench is at its stinkiest after dark when the nightime sea breeze sends the odor downwind and into neighbors’ homes.

Seriously, that is the nastiest crap ever. I can’t stand when my neighbors play loud music or leave random belongings all over their front porch. I can’t imagine dealing with the smell of freakin’ bathroom waste. Ugh. So gross!

“It’s a scandal – ‘Mr. Civil Rights’ is killing our civil rights,” David Emminger told the paper.

Dylan might have written, “You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows” (on “Subterranean Homesick Blues”) but I guess he doesn’t care what the wind is blowing at his neighbors.

The Los Angeles Times wrote that Dylan and his attorney didn’t respond to inquiries about the toilet. Malibu officials are investigating the neighbors’ complaint.

Man, what a horrible neighbor! This kind of changes my opinion of Dylan. After seeing him in concert twice, I know he’s obviously not the most affable person but you’d think he wouldn’t want his neighbors to be forced to smell his outhouse. Is that too much to ask?

Don’t you think he of all those ‘60s protest anthems would oppose a richie-rich singer icon making his poor neighbor smell his guards’ poo? Well, I’m sure that Dylan’s neighbors have money to spare so they can’t exactly be peasants. But still. They deserve poop-free air too!

Abusing the neighbors’ noses is one thing – but what about how Dylan is treating his security guards? Why are they being forced to use a porta-potty rather than an actual bathroom? The guards are apparently on duty around the clock so I think that protecting your life is a fair trade for an indoor toilet. Maybe Dylan plans to build his guards a bathroom but since he requested a permit to build the guardhouse back in 1989 it doesn’t sound like the building is under construction.

The Los Angeles Times noted that one of Malibu’s code sections says that temporary structures connected to authorized construction projects must be removed once the project is completed.

Another code prohibits objectionable odor “in excess of what is normally found in the neighborhood.”

The Emmingers have tried to send the odor back towards Dylan’s house with five industrial-sized fans in their frontyard but the fans can’t compete with the wind power of the ocean breeze. The family said they are avoiding the upstairs bedrooms and instead sleeping downstairs.

Dylan’s latest album, Together Through Life, is set for release April 28, according to his Web site. He also has plans to headline this year’s Rothbury Festival July 2-5 at Michigan’s Double JJ Ranch.

Maybe I’m being too hard on Dylan because I’m currently dealing with a neighbor who is filling my condo with his cigarette smoke. What do you think about the porta-potty problem?

Read the Los Angeles Times article here.

Check out Bob Dylan’s Web site here.