Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I’m having some work done at the house. My electrician told me that
he and the utility guy both smelled a very strong odor of pot coming
from my neighbor’s house. Once they told me, I realized it is the smell
I have noticed in the early morning when I get my paper. The
electrician said that he and utility guy were laughing about it and that
he doubted that the utility man would turn my neighbor in. I’m worried
that if I don’t tell my neighbor he will get busted and or that if tell him
he will move (he’s the quietest renter ever). Also that someone
nefarious will try and break in (he was broken into in the fall, though
he said all they took was tools); or worst that someone will think the
smell is coming fro my house. For the record I have never taken
drugs. Even though my neighbor does he is a nice person and a good

Dear Ask/Tell:
Knock on his door. Tell him you want to relay something you were
told. You don’t have to say whether you believe the electrician/utility
man or not (though you might inhale discretely while you stand there).
Explain that you really value him as a neighbor and are completely
indifferent to his personal habits, but less so to the possibility of
violence to persons or property so near to you. It’s not so much a
matter of giving him a chance to explain as it is giving him warning
without him having to explain. Suggest that if there’s a way to quell
the smell he would be wise to do so, or to relocate his indoor garden,
at least for a while.

Tell the electrician (assuming he comes back) that it was a one-time
party, that your neighbor was red-faced with embarrassment at having
been caught, and they you’re pretty sure it’s not a den of drug dealers
next door. Act casual and hope it all blows over like a puff of smoke.