I Blogged Myself

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Welcome to the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational blog since Kermit left just a little bit of the swamp in his pants.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

So Who Are The People In My Neighbourhood?

”They’re the people that you meet / when you’re walking down the street / They’re the people that you meet each day.”

As delightful and chirpy as it may sound when Sesame Street veteran Bob McGrath happily sings the above song on TV, it doesn’t quite live up to the reality … at least not in my neighbourhood.

Let’s start with the people who live in the three units behind our house. We own (courtesy of the bank’s mortgage) the original house on the property, but the three units behind us were added at some point in the 70s. In Unit 2 lives an old woman who’s generally pretty good as a neighbour; she’s also an owner-occupier. In Unit 3 lives a young guy (a renter) who recently moved his girlfriend/fiancée in with him. In Unit 4 lives another old woman who’s also an owner-occupier. More on each of them later. But to start with, let’s consider them as a group.

The woman who lives in Unit 2

Wednesday night is bin night (note to self: Wednesday night is bin night), and each week, WITHOUT FAIL, the young renting guy and the two old woman who make up our back-neighbours bring their bins out and place them directly underneath the tree on the nature strip.

Sound fair enough? Well, not if you know the whole picture and think it through. It’s a large tree with low-hanging branches … and our rubbish is collected by a side-loading rubbish truck on Thursday mornings. Think about that for a moment. Why do these three never realise that they’re forcing the garbage truck to lift their bins directly into the overhanging branches of the big tree? Because I’m the lucky duck who lives at the front of the property, I’m the one who’s always left to pick up the broken branches off the nature strip and footpath on Thursday evenings when I get home and place them in MY green bin. The others all come along, take their bins away (although this can take almost a full week with the renting guy and the woman in Unit 4), and NO ONE SEEMS TO NOTICE that where they’re leaving their bins is causing problems for the garbage collectors, broken branches for the tree, and clean-up work for me! I always place my bin on the ‘uncovered’ section of the property frontage – a whole two metres further along from where the others place theirs – and have never had any problems. How difficult is it to see the stupidity of where they all leave their bins?! What does it take? A note from the weirdo in Unit 1 telling them all they’re idiots for leaving their bins under a tree and leaving ME to clean up the mess they make? I might be annoyed about it, but I don’t want to be universally loathed over it.

Pretty little bins, all in a row

Next we take a look at our letterboxes. All four of our letterboxes are built into the same brickwork, and the mortar in the thing has all-but-rotted away, allowing for the backs of our letterboxes to break off. The mailman (bless him) is anything but careful when he stuffs our letters into the things, and has been responsible for breaking three of the four letterboxes, mine included (naturally). He’s been known to fold and scrunch our mail (I’m not talking about toilet paper habits, here) and force it into the slot until it all falls out the back and starts to blow around the yard and out onto the street. He seems fine with this. It drives me nuts.


Back to the residents of the units behind us: The renters in Unit 3 are the sorts of people who give renters around the globe a bad name. They have friends over at all hours, who then walk down to their cars in the street in the middle of the night, completely disregarding the units they’re walking past, yelling and laughing at the top of their voices and beeping their horns as they squeal away – at 3am.

The couple in Unit 3

The guy (who has lived there now for over a year) used to drive a small truck; the sort of moving truck you can hire for yourself for the weekend. And instead of parking it on the street like a sensible person, he used to drive it up the communal driveway, breaking branches off all the trees and shrubs that line the driveway, and then wake us all at 6am when he reversed back down to the street with the loud BEEP-BEEP-BEEP noise that reversing trucks make. Thankfully, he no longer drives the truck.*

* And I SWEAR I had nothing to do with slashing the tyres!

Additionally, the renting guy’s fiancée is a cantankerous soul. We recently had some problems with the communal sewer line. Somewhere out in the nature strip a tree root had broken through the pipe and was blocking the contents from swimming happily away. Instead, it was backing up and overflowing in our backyard (another delightful consequence of living in the first unit). This meant that our backyard was slowly filling up with toilet paper and human waste every time someone in any of the four units flushed their toilet or used any water. The smell of fecal matter was quite repulsive and getting stronger by the hour. When the plumber told us he’d be out the following day, I politely told the residents about the problem and asked them to see what they could do about keeping their water usage to a minimum until the next morning. Everyone was okay with this except the fiancée of the guy in Unit 3, who snapped at me that she’d be using the water however much she damn well wanted; I couldn’t expect her not to shower in the morning and use the dishwasher at night. I didn’t react, but it made me mad. Using the dishwasher is a necessity?! Even going one morning without a shower wouldn’t hurt you. But I hadn’t even asked for anything specific to be skipped, so her carelessness and inconsideration of the position the three units were placing us in with our backyard had me incensed. Her attitude was completely unreasonable. I’d like to see how she’d have coped if (a) she was the one in the front unit at the time, and (b) she owned the place rather than rented it. She’d have been screaming bloody murder at the rest of us to move into a hotel until it was fixed, rather than go to the toilet and have the pipes spew the contents up onto our back patio and grass area. Especially not when we’ve got two cats, who are curious by nature. True, the grass grew nice and strong in the weeks after the pipe was fixed.

”I’ll put the dishwasher on if I bloody well want to!”

Another anecdote that relates to the deadbeat renter in Unit 3 is that he’s had a deadbeat car sitting idle in the street since September. It died for some reason and was wheeled down the communal driveway and onto the road by himself and a friend (I saw him doing it), and it has been there ever since. Being a safe and secure sort of neighbourhood, within a week the back window on the driver’s side had been smashed in, and presumably some items were stolen (or perhaps the thieves had hopes of driving off in the vehicle until they realised it wouldn’t start). In any event, for about a week it sat there with a smashed rear window, shattered glass sprinkled on the road around it and jagged shards of glass sticking out of the window frame. Eventually, he came down and cleaned up the glass, but the car – complete with smashed in rear window – has not moved since. This includes the rainstorms we’ve had, the hail on Christmas Day, and the intense heat of this summer. Possums are probably using the car as shelter during the night, and I’m sure the occasional passing drunks (see below) have had their merry way with the vehicle from time to time. I’ve noticed that the rego runs out in March, so if it’s still there then, I’ll be making an anonymous call to the council. It’s in the way and it’s a useless rust bucket that should have been dealt with months ago.

Anybody wanna buy a used car?

Because I’m a funny guy, I placed a note under the wiperblade the other day that read: “Dear owner, I’m not sure if you know this, but your rear window has been smashed.” (Remember, it hasn’t moved for over five months.) I’m sure the subtleties of the understatement will be lost on him.

The house to our left (as we look out towards the street) is owned by a mysterious older couple who never seem to venture outside. It’s possible that one or both of them are dead. The only interaction I’ve ever had with them is when I chased their cat (a feral mongrel who attacks our lovely peaceful cats in our own backyard) back onto his property. I didn’t actually encounter them, but they knew I was there. I was fuming mad (their cat had caused $150 worth of damage to my male cat’s eye – and he nearly lost his sight – after it attacked him outside our backdoor), but the feral cat’s owners had no idea and obviously didn’t care if their pet was terrorising the neighbourhood. I love cats, but I hate feral cats. Like the renters in Unit 3 who give all renters a bad name, it’s feral cats like this one that make non-cat owners loathe ALL cats, which is highly unfair because I’ve only ever owned gorgeous cats who were loving and obedient and considerate and wonderful. My cats stay in our backyard, and they don’t go out hunting animals and/or causing a nuisance in other people’s yards. I spent many an evening as I put special ointment in my injured cat’s eye for three months, dreaming of somehow trapping the feral cat in a cage and pouring boiling water over it.

Bad doggie

I’d love to have let the feral cat’s owners have a piece of my mind – as a cat lover, I hated how their poor ‘parenting’ of their cat was making matters worse for cat haters and cat lovers everywhere – but again, I didn’t want to go overboard and have my house egged when I wasn’t home.

The house to our right is occupied by a young woman who likes to keep to herself and not talk to anyone. Our communal driveway separates her nature strip from our nature strip, and she’s quite adament that nothing of ours is ever place on her side of the driveway. Once, one of my neighbours from the units behind me (I don’t know which one) placed their bin out on the curb for collection, slightly to the RIGHT of our driveway (ie. technically on her section of nature strip by about thirty centimetres). I noticed it there and remembering wondering if that would be the beginning of the end for the broken tree branches on a Thursday morning (even if whoever it was hadn’t bothered to walk it a few metres further to left, in front of our own property). About half an hour later, when I brought my own bin out, I was amused to note that the bin had been moved to the middle of our driveway, and her bin was now where the other bad been. In other words, she had decided to make a very definite statement about how welcome our bins were on her side of the driveway. She’d actually gone to the trouble of bringing her bin all the way from her own driveway, across the entire length of her property, just so she could pointedly place it on the spot where the other bin had been sitting. And just in case the lesson had been missed, she moved the offending bin into the middle of our driveway, where it would no doubt catch our attention (or damage our cars if we didn’t notice it in time). Because I wasn’t part of this little argument, I took great pleasure in making matters worse by turning her bin around in the dead of night so the truck couldn’t pick it up the following morning. I don’t actually know what became of that incident, but there were never any follow-on effects of her little spat with the bins. I presume she was irked by her bin not being emptied that week, but I only did it to amuse myself by making someone who’s angry a little bit angrier. She probably presumed it was whoever’s bin she’d moved, but couldn’t prove it so she had to let it be.

She doesn’t like to be seen (always shutting her blinds when we’re out the front), and sings quite loudly when she’s in the shower. We can hear her through her tiny bathroom window; I don’t peek.

”Don’t look at me!”

Snobby neighbours aside, our street is also often graced with a rowdy group a passing drunks. Usually – but not exclusively – passing through on weekends, this group of seven or eight morons in their late teens to early twenties will use our street to cut through to the local 24-hour bottle shop from where they live, which I think is just a few streets away. That’s fine, I’m not a total crank, but when their trips lead them up our street in the dead of night, and they continue to completely disregard that anyone on the quiet street may actually be sleeping at 4am, it really gets me angry. Especially when they’re either yelling obscenities at each other, laughing and mucking around, or (occasionally) involved in a domestic dispute.

”I can’t wait until we’re old enough to vote!”

That’s right, there’s often at least one girl with them (her shrill and piercing voice is clearly identified over the guys’ voices), and once in a while she will be screaming for her life while one or more guys are seemingly pulling on her arms like they’re in a tug-o-war match. Never fear, I always listen to see if anyone’s in any trouble or at risk (so far no), but usually I’m just pissed off to be woken AGAIN by the same loud bunch of inconsiderate losers. If you want to drink all night and have a good time, I’m happy for you and have no problem with that. But if you’re going to meander through the streets of suburbia and wake everyone in your path (including Sunday nights, when people have to work the next day), then you’re a stupid, thoughtless individual who doesn’t deserve to live as part of Society – and perhaps you need to be neutered, just to make the point. (Don’t get in the way of my sleep!)

Closely related to the group of passing drunks (but not to be confused for them), is a young guy who surely lives with his family (although I’ve never noticed them) across the road from us and up two houses to the right. This young guy si constantly throwing parties, and his friends all fill the street with their cars and drunken ramblings late into the night. I generally don’t mind this as much as the passing drunks for two reasons: (1) They don’t stay there into the wee hours keeping us awake, and (2) I know where they live if sneaky retaliation is ever called for. But there was one exception about two years ago to me not minding this guy’s parties. The day one of his friends used our driveway to turn around, backed into my mate’s car (who was standing at the door with me as we watched the drunken kids say goodbye to each other in the street), and then tear off out of there instead of stopping. My mate (who happens to be a lawyer) was immediately on the phone to the police as I raced outside to try and get the kid’s licence plate number. All his mates were laughing hysterically at their friend for smashing a car and driving off … that is, until they saw me running towards them. Not realising, in their drunken state, that their voices were carrying down the quiet street at night (which is why my mate and I had been standing at our door watching them in the first place – we happened to be seeing what all the noise was as the accident occurred), they all started shhhing each other. I asked them for the name of their friend who’d just driven away, and one of them said, “What friend? I don’t know who that was.” This was the guy I’d seen bear-hugging the driver goodbye before he got in his car. It didn’t matter. My mate was talking to the police about the hit-and-run that had just happened, so I returned to my house, hearing the kids laughing and talking about “tricking that loser” as loudly and clearly as if I was standing right next to them. To his credit, the kid who lives there wasn’t in the street at the time, and moments later (obviously after someone filled him in on what had happened), he turned up at our door and apologised for the accident. When my mate told him the police were already on their way, the kid rang the driver on his mobile. As the mobile was so loud, we all heard the following exchange take place with crystal clarity:

Kid: Hey mate, what happened?

Driver: (laughing) I hit a car, man!

Kid: I know, are you coming back, dude?

Driver: No way! Mum’ll kill me!

Kid: Dude, you gotta come back, the owners are here with me.

Driver: Did they see it?

(At this point my mate and I laughed derisively – my mate in particular knowing how this conversation was stitching the driver up if the matter ever went to court. I’m not sure if the driver heard us laugh, but the kid in the room with us was visibly uncomfortable that we could hear the stupid things the driver was saying.)

Kid: Dude, yes they did. They’ve already called the cops. You gotta get back here.

Driver: <BEEP>! Okay, I’m coming.

In the end, the driver returned to the scene of the accident, but got there moments before the police (who wouldn’t cancel the call-out once it was made – we tried). In addition to hitting another car and driving away without stopping, he was charged with drunk driving (for he was, indeed, inebriated). Apparently he was driving his Mum’s fancy new car without her permission, so he was certainly going to pay for trying to speed off without stopping. Oh, and he wasn’t insured to be driving her BMW. The kid who lived there has held fewer parties than he used to, ever since this event took place, even though we wished him no personal ill and in fact thanked him for helping to get his friend back so my mate’s car could be fixed by the other driver’s insurance (although my mate’s insurance agency had to get the money for the repairs out of the driver’s parents). Obviously the kid knew that if he was hosting the party where the hit-and-run had happened, he’d be in trouble if he didn’t sort it out.

”Yo, party at my crib – tonight, ho!”

But I’ve saved the best two stories until last …

First, we have the crazy old woman who lives in Unit 4. There are multiple scenarios I’ll be talking about with her. She lives alone and enjoys telling you long-winded stories about how she used to be a psychologist and her children now live in Perth and Hobart. Unfortunately, it’s always the psychologists who go the most ‘loco’ in their old age*, and she’s no exception. To start with, she has dementia. Her children each live within five minutes of us, and have never at any stage lived in either Perth or Hobart. But you don’t want to get stuck talking to her in the driveway, because she doesn’t take the hint about ending a conversation. Once started, she has no memory of when or how it began, meaning that she will continue to talk to you – and often about the same thing – for hours and hours if you don’t get away from her, because she doesn’t know how long you’ve already been talking. She takes in stray cats (at last count we think she has about four), and locks them in her unit with her, never letting them out. As she has poor eyesight, a bad memory and apparently no sense of smell, she seems to be totally unaware that her unit stinks to high heaven of cat urine. On the few occasions I’ve had to go to her door to talk to her, I’ve been repulsed and felt physically sick by the smell emanating through her wire-screen door. It’s so thick you could cut it with a knife. I don’t know how the cats survive in there (maybe they actually don’t), but the poor things are clearly living in their own filth. Occasionally the smell follows her, so you can be standing on the street, having been trapped on the footpath as you got out of your car while she was out for a walk, and find yourself having to hold your breath while she rabbits on and on about absolutely nothing, … because her personal perfume of choice is Catzpish ™ - a smell I can heartily advise against anyone ever marketing.

* Source: “It’s Always The Psychologists Who Go The Most ‘Loco’” (Journal) edited by Dr Helen Back, published in 2004 by UNICEF.

Just the other week I was approached by the crazy old woman from Unit 4 who asked me about the water restrictions – what time could she water her garden? Now, you need to know that she doesn’t actually HAVE a garden. She has concrete and brick paving, with a few token flowers in pots next to her front door. But that doesn’t stop her from getting the hose out and watering the concrete non-stop for hours on end. We all know it’s due to her dementia and it’s no use trying to tell her (so we haven’t bothered, even though the water wastage upsets me no end), but clearly someone must have dobbed on her. The very fact that she knew there were water restrictions was a clear sign that someone had rung her up or posted her a warning. When I told her she could only water her ‘garden’ between 6pm and 8pm at night (and a couple of hours in the morning), she seemed aghast. After mentioning her son and daughter in Perth and Hobart again, she returned to the topic and again asked me what times she could water her garden. That’s the kind of conversation you normally have with her. So I went inside, photocopied the fridge magnet of water restriction information the government sent out, and took a copy of it up to her unit. Unfortunately this meant I was trapped in a never-ending looped conversation with her at her stinky doorway, but thankfully she couldn’t find her keys to unlock the door so I was spared being invited inside. I slid the sheet of water restriction information under the door, and as she read it, she asked the same question again about water her garden. Twice. After explaining it to her both times, I finally broke free of the conversation and walked back to the smell-free confines of my house … only to be interrupted two hours later by a knock at the front door. It was her again, asking me the same dam question about watering her garden. She had no memory of asking me the other four times, and didn’t know anything about the piece of paper I’d taken up to her a couple of hours earlier. Each time I told her the times were 6pm to 8pm, she repeated the times in amazement that anyone would have to wait that long to water their concrete and brick paving area. I pretended to share her amazement and shut the door.

The crazy old cat-wee lady from Unit 4

Clearly her dementia is a serious problem, and I’m not trying to make light of it. But with her grown children avoiding her at all costs (her daughter once told us they had to change their phone number because of all the ‘nuisance calls’ they were getting, as she indicated her mother with a nod of her head), it’s no wonder she think they live interstate. Their attitude is best summed up by something the daughter once told the woman in Unit 2: “We don’t want her to keep bothering us all the time; if something’s ever wrong, we hear about it from you.” This theory is all well and good until you consider that we’re her NEIGHBOURS and the daughter is her FAMILY! Why should WE be forced to deal with her daily problems? What happens when Unit 4 burns to the ground when a cat (trapped inside and starved because it hasn’t been fed in a week) knocks over a heater (that’s been left on for two months) onto a pile of papers (that are congregating in every available space in her unit) and she can’t find her keys to get out the front door? Not to mention the risk we’d all have of one unit burning to the next and taking them all down (at least mine is furthest away from hers!). Every time she has an issue, she comes to one of us instead of her family looking after her! There’s something wrong with that picture. I’m more-than-happy to be a caring neighbour (I believe that neighbours should be there for one another; that’s when good neighbours become good friends, after all), but when the woman’s own family wants nothing to do with her – and she’s clearly such a sick lady in serious need of constant care and (presumably) medication, they’ve really got to pull their finger out and deal with their own issues … rather than leaving them for the woman’s neighbours to cope with.

Finally, we have the family who moved in directly across the street from us. The family who lived there before them was a nice, quiet family who kept to themselves and never caused any issues in the street. Much like the Kennedy family. But the family who moved in is far, far worse than the Timmins family.

The mother is a chain-smoking drinker who only ever wears a dressing gown and screams at her kids on the front lawn to come inside and clean up. She never does any work herself, because she’s constantly sitting on the patio, drinking. The kids are actually bearable, although with the upbringing they’re getting, I worry for their futures. The husband is the pick of the litter. Obviously an ex-bikie, he is large, bald and mean. He owns four semi-trailers (yes, four), and parks two in their small driveway and two on the street. One constantly has a ‘4 Sale’ sign attached to it. He likes to sit in the truck’s cabin when he gets home from work, smoking a cigarette and revving the engine repeatedly, occasionally honking the horn when he wants someone to come out of the house and bring him a beer. He does this – quite seriously – for hours. We’ve seen him sit in his truck with the motor running (truck engines are LOUD, remember – even if you’re NOT blowing the horn for beer and skittles every half hour), from 4pm when he gets home from work, all the way through to 10pm when he finally went inside. I don’t know if he was having a fight with his wife or what it was, but it was disturbing to see the tiny red light of the cigarette ash burning away in the darkness all night long.

“Honey, I think the guy across the street is home …”

Perhaps not surprisingly, he has a violent temper; we always hear him screaming at his wife and kids, and then storming out of the house to go sit in his truck for a few hours. He likes to blare the truck horn when he leaves at five in the morning, and he enjoys conducting welding work on his trucks in his driveway and on the street all through the weekend – sparks flying everywhere.

They are loud, obnoxious, scary, uncouth, … and house prices in the street have plummeted a good $100,000 or so since they moved in.

The only shot I could get of the big
mean bikie before he hurt me quite badly

Those are the people in my neighbourhood. Does the area sound familiar? Maybe I’m describing you and or someone from your family, above.

Please don’t get the idea that we spend all our time peering out our curtains at the neighbours like Mrs Kravitz from Bewitched. Clearly that’s not true. Wifey has to do it on her own until I get home from work and join her.


[end rant]

(So … should we move?)



At Wednesday, January 31, 2007 6:26:00 pm, Blogger thr said...

I had two nasty neighbours- and I played them off against each other.

When one set just moved in, they blocked our driveway for the day because it suited them to do so.

When they finally unblocked it they found the other nasty neighbour had parked in their spot (to be fair: the place had been unoccupied for 6 weeks) The new guy put a note in big black texta "Don't park your effing car ever here again!!"

I saw the note, had a look about and took it, tore it up and put it in the writers letterbox.

Man did they kick off against each other, while I kicked back and enjoyed the Idiot Show.

For three months until idiot 1 moved out.


At Wednesday, January 31, 2007 6:39:00 pm, Blogger Adam said...

I lived in an apartment in Prahran and I never met or had any problems with neighbours ever. In fact, every apartment block I've ever lived in seems to be completely devoid of human contact, whereas, the first house I've lived in a while has crazy dogs and kids all over the shop*.

* This is a figure of speech, our neighbourhood is actually not one large store.

At Wednesday, January 31, 2007 8:30:00 pm, Blogger Riss said...

Yes, move!

Come join us a little further out of the city in the commune Logan is planning where we promise to leave you alone, not make too much noise (although I tend to sing a bit like your right-hand neighbour but if you talk to Logan he'll sympathise) (or you could join in!) and make sure you are invited to all our parties.

We can share garden implements and suchlike. Babysitters would be on hand and you'd never be stuck for a cup o' sugar. Oh, wait, you're trying to cut down on that stuff. Sorry.


I do love that our next-door-neighbour here on one side is a singing teacher and that on a weekend morning we are serenaded while using the loo...

Maybe a group of us could buy up all the property in your area and you could spy on the renters and tell us whether to kick them out!

At Wednesday, January 31, 2007 11:06:00 pm, Blogger meva said...

Bevis, you should be a real estate agent, mate. I want to live in your street!

Or maybe not.

I have only ever had one neighbour from hell. And she was seriously from hell. Nasty, nasty, nasty woman. I'll tell you about it one day when I'm feeling brave.

At Wednesday, January 31, 2007 11:09:00 pm, Blogger Brownie said...

First, I just loved the turning around of the bin trick.

Second, shit man ya gotta move outta that street.

But not to my street cos its just the same.
neighbours both sides have the continual overflowing rubbish bins which the crows pull apart and I am the one who has to pick up their crap of my nature strip.

Did I mention the neighbours across the street? their 120 kgs Mastiff came into our driveway and mauled my dear little poodle to death.
'A civil matter' said the cops.
I have to look at these people every day.

So, after you move away, about a week, come back in the dead of night or dawn and wreak havoc with the whole bloody lot of em.
superglue the keyholes, set their bins on fire so they melt, trun their gas supply off, and place tech screws under every tyre.
It's filthy but it feels so damn good.

At Wednesday, January 31, 2007 11:19:00 pm, Blogger Aussie Rock Chick said...

Oh my god!!! Where the hell are you living?? Dandenong? Get the fuck outta there! No wonder you watch so much TV... I'd be scared to leave the house too. More of the crazy cat lady than the trucker or nasty youths though - old people give me the creeps.

Have you seen Existenz? I'm wondering whether you're actually living inside a computer game where people talk in loops until you say the right thing to trigger off the next part of the game. Maybe if you'd screamed at her to stop fricking watering her concrete you could have gotten through to the magic ocarina or whatever.

The sewage story made me laugh, we had a similar experience only we were on the other end of it. When we first moved into our little house (which shares a wall with the one next door), the way we met our next door neighbour was by him knocking on the door in the night asking us to not flush the loo or use the shower for a while. The sewage for the four adjoining properties had burst, and it was leaking into his cellar filling it with a few inches of his neighbours' shit. What a nice introduction!! Unlike your neighbours though, we felt sorry for the poor guy and agreed to stop the waterworks... mind you I can't say I was jumping to offer to help clean up!! Mopping up sewerage is just SO not rock n roll!!

At Thursday, February 01, 2007 3:01:00 am, Blogger Bird Advocate said...

Thank you for being a responsible pet owner. :-)

At Friday, February 02, 2007 9:51:00 pm, Blogger Chai said...

The views. You dont mention the views.
Anyways, those semi trailers, they're like > $250,000!

So basically, everyone is weird except for you. Cool.

But joking aside, I dont envy you. All I have is a very sour couple living next to me.

At Monday, February 05, 2007 3:09:00 pm, Blogger Ariel said...

That is gold. Yes, move!

Yeah, I've had all kinds of neighbours who were all kinds of crazy. Small sample from one crazy street: the teenage girl (we were both in Year 10) who plucked a rabbit out of its hole and skinned it with a kitchen knife and cut out its tongue AND SHOWED ME. And when we were fighting once she had a girl who enjoyed knife fighting (!) follow me home from school for a week. Then there was the man who locked his kid in a rabbit hutch with his dinner until he ate it and literally threw his wife through a wall once. Then he tried to blow up the house with him in it after his wife left him for his best friend. It didn't work, but he managed to kill himself. Wish that wasn't true.

At Tuesday, February 06, 2007 11:23:00 am, Blogger BEVIS said...

ThomasR, that is THE BEST!! I’m very impressed with you for that story, and will endeavour to do something very similar to that when the opportunity arises. Thanks for the idea!

Adam, I wish my neighbourhood was as devoid of human contact. I’m jealous, trust me.

Riss, your idea of a commune sounds lovely (if a little too much like Waco, Texas). I especially like the part where we pop around every night for a different Pavlova, freshly made by yourself. (Oh, wait – did I just make that part up?) I promise to sing to you every time you’re using the loo. All we need is a little light in our house that blinks when you’re on the toilet, and we can suddenly appear underneath your toilet window and sing songs about trickling streams and so on.

Meva, a real estate agent?! Goodness me, no. I’d hate to make those calls I continually get from the agents who sold me this house, asking how things are going and if I’m thinking of selling. LEAVE ME ALONE! As for you living here as well, it’s really not as fun as you might think. And if you think it’d be fun, you didn’t read this post very carefully. :) I look forward to hearing about your neighbour from hell at some stage.

Brownie, I’m glad you liked my ‘bin-turning’ trick. It felt very satisfying to do it (much like Thomasr’s trick, above!). There are more tricks like that I’ve done which will be explained in full in another post. I hate it when neighbours are so full of obvious contempt for those around them and this planet at large that they won’t even clean up their own rubbish – whether they made the actual mess or not. If it’s your rubbish – or even if you’re not sure if it’s yours or not, but it’s now scattered all over your street – be a responsible, considerate, care-taking citizen of Earth and CLEAN IT UP! And just as my cats are well-behaved pets, I expect that dog owners (in particular) ensure that their pets are kept safely within the confines of their own property and don’t maul other people’s precious pets. I seriously believe that if one person’s pet attacks and/or kills another person’s pet, the first person should have their pet (and their future pet-owning rights) taken away. I know there’s no room for the extra dogs and cats to be taken to a shelter or anything, but the theory is nice. Let’s make people responsible for – and accountable to – their own inaction and disinterest in the well-being of other people’s pets (who are obeying the rules and behaving appropriately). I’m sorry to hear about your poor little dog. I’m a cat owner, but I’m not a dog hater. As long as my cats aren’t eaten by them, and they’re leashed and locked up, dogs are more-than-welcome to share my street. Your ideas for revenge are nice. I hadn’t thought about superglueing the keyholes – that’s really mean! (I love it.)

Aussie Rock Chick, I haven’t seen Existenz, no. Sounds interesting, though (if a little ‘spoilt’!). :) What a funny way to meet the new neighbours! “Hello, I’m Ted. I live next door. Welcome to Poxie Crescent. Please don’t use your toilet. I’ll be watching you. Good bye.”

Bird Advocate, welcome! I’ve had a look at your blog and can see that you’re quite passionate about feral cats (and cats in particular). I’m glad you don’t (appear to) hate me for owning cats – I promise you that mine are delightful creatures and respectful of their environment. They sleep indoors at night (in the garage, which they’ve made their own ‘kingdom’ – with our blessing), are tagged and wear bells, and do not even roam off our property. Even if they did, they are uber-friendly and make friends with anyone who walks up the driveway. It’ll probably be their undoing, actually. One day someone will be unnecessarily cruel to them as they rub against their leg and purr. How anyone could hurt such a loving, defenceless animal is beyond me – but I know there are people like that out there and such cruelty is unfortunately inevitable. I just hope and pray that it doesn’t happen to my precious babies who wouldn’t hurt a fly. I know that many cat owners are oblivious to the terrors they own, thinking them to be angels when they’re anything BUT – but I’m quite aware of my surroundings (as I think this post proves), and I know what my cats are really like. They spend the day sunbaking in our backyard and playing with dandelions. That’s it.

Chai, hehe, the views are spectacul… actually, no they’re not. The views are pretty much of those $250,000 trucks you seem so interested in. That’s all we can see out our front windows. BTW, he’s selling one of them for $500, so it mustn’t be in very good condition. If you’re interested, I’d love for someone to buy it and take it away, so send me an email. And as for everyone else being weird except for us … yes. Although the woman in Unit 2 isn’t too bad. You’ll notice I moved on from her pretty quickly without saying too much. She’s okay. But yep, everyone else is bad news.

Ariel, welcome! I must say, your stories have certainly put mine into perspective. I don’t think I have any right to complain after reading that. (Thanks for spoiling the mood!) Hehe. A little bit of intimidation, child cruelty, wife beating and suicide bombing kinda leaves my stories cold. But that’s alright; it’s good to be reminded that things aren’t as bad as they could be. Cheers!

At Tuesday, February 06, 2007 8:31:00 pm, Blogger Ariel said...

Sorry 'bout spoiling the mood ... Hey, I prefer your stories to mine. Yours are funny-bad, mine are disturbing-bad. And just because (most of) your neighbours aren't certifiable, doesn't mean they're not hellish.


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