A little while later the wife comes over. "Don't you DARE--"
"What? Your husband owes me an apology." (I had sort of been waiting for one. I assumed after dinner I'd get a call or something. "Rough time at work lately," or something.)
That really set her off. She called me a "fucking asshole." (Amazingly, I've never been called this to my face. Found out it's really hurtful, even if not very clever. But she does have a high soft voice, so it didn't hurt as much as it could've.)
It is certainly best to be friendly with neighbors, and we have always exchanged affable waves when in the yard. In the past few years, we've had two or three little conversations, mostly when necessary (like when they wanted to use part of our back yard for their dog's electric fence. "Hey, take the whole yard if you want.")
This is important: if I hadn't said anything, we would've gone on waving and smiling, and I would've assumed we were on good terms like always.
But however pissed they were at my request, there's no way that sort of reaction was appropriate. So: The friendliness was a thin veneer over contempt that had been brewing for awhile without me having any idea. They were just waiting for me to do anything remotely objectionable in their presence so they could finally explode, weren't they?
The end of her rant was something. "Step on my property again and I'll call the sheriff."