Tag Archives: neighbour

2087. Loud car

(Warning: This story contains swearing).

Archie worked the night shift. He would arrive home, and after messing about a while would go to bed. He would almost always instantly fall asleep. At least he used to instantly fall asleep. These days the neighbour’s nineteen year old son had a souped-up car, complete with removed muffle.

Just at Archie’s point of sleep every morning the car would start up. The youth didn’t simply start the car and drive off. He would rev it up and rev it up and rev it up. Then he’d go for a quick spin around the block, leave the engine running, and wouldn’t depart for another five minutes or so. By this time Archie was livid.

 Archie had had enough. He leapt out of bed, got dressed, and went over to confront the nineteen year old neighbour.

“I’m trying to get some sleep,” said Archie, “and you have that ****ing noisy old bomb with no ****ing muffler. I work during the night, and honestly it’s driving me ****ing nuts.”

Well, Dear Reader, you know jolly well what modern youth are like. His response is not going to be recorded here. It could be given, there’s no rule about it, but you can imagine it for yourself, and I dare say you won’t have any trouble imagining it. In fact, your imagination is possibly more vivid than what the youth responded with.

Oh blow it! What the heck! I shall say it anyway! That typical nineteen year old youth responded to Archie’s complaint with: “Oh I’m terribly sorry, sir. I had no idea. If it’s alright I’ll fix it when I get home from work this evening. Once again, I apologize.” He shook hands with Archie. Archie thanked him and went back to bed.

Modern youth.

2071. Chuff chuff

Reginald was a model railway enthusiast. He had joined together two large tables in his attic and had thus far laid out a rail system for his three model trains. Over time he would add buildings and landscapes. Perhaps he would purchase them, or perhaps he might even learn to make some of them himself.

He loved to show off his trains and Humphrey, the new next door neighbour, was coming over. Would you believe? Humphrey had done a course on making model landscapes. He had trained as a garden designer. He’d gladly make Reginald buildings and landscape to complete things.

“It’s something I really enjoy doing,” said Humphrey. “Just tell me the things you want and I’ll have them all ready for you by Christmas.”

Reginald could hardly wait for Christmas. It was to be a surprise. No peeking! By now Humphrey was fast becoming a model train enthusiast himself. He would frequently be found in Reginald’s attic “taking measurements”, but really he was there to play with the trains.

Christmas came. Humphrey proudly produced the buildings and landscapes. They were horrible. Utterly horrible! And now Humphrey was coming over every day to enthusiastically play. Awful! Just awful! Awful awful awful!

Reginald couldn’t tell Humphrey to go suck eggs. He quickly lost all interest in model railways.

2067. Scout’s honour

I said to the neighbour, look I said your pumpkin plants are growing over the top of our tall wooden boundary fence and have reached my garden and are putting their big leaves and tendrils all over my flowers. I can’t see my flowers because of your wayward pumpkins that’ve gone berserk.

You’ll just have to live with it, he said. He said for me to grow up and realize that’s what pumpkins do. He was very proud of his pumpkins and of his sunflowers. His sunflowers were about eight feet high, each with a gigantic flower head at the top.

And, he added, if my pumpkin plants produce any pumpkins on your side I expect them to be handed over. After all, I’m the one who digs the garden on my side and weeds around the base of the plants and feeds them with expensive nutrients.

To be honest I saw red. I waited until he went out – the neighbour – and I took my hedge cutters and went over to his place and cut down his sunflowers at the base. I didn’t cut the pumpkins because then he’d know it was me. So now I’m having a coffee back at my place and waiting for him to scream blue murder. I’ve parked my car in my driveway because I’ve been out all morning. Haven’t I?

Haven’t I? I know you’ll support me in this unless you’re one of those pumpkin freaks. Yeah, I’ve been out all morning at the mall. Scout’s honour.

1971. Oh sugar!

Pamela was a sound sleeper. She lived alone. She locked the house thoroughly each night before she went to bed. The neighbours were a bit strange – especially the wife. She was a bit of a recluse. Pamela had met her just the once. Word had it that she had been in and out of psychiatric care centres throughout her life.

It may have been because of this that Pamela was nervously suspicious. She had suspected for quite some time that strange things happened in the night. She was always meticulous about things, and sometimes she noticed that some household items had been moved ever so slightly, or even that she ran out of tea bags faster than she should. In fact she counted the tea bags. She used two tea bags a day. The seventy-eight tea bags in the box should last for thirty-nine days. She marked the date on her wall calendar.

Ashley, the neighbour, was a bit strange, but not as strange as his wife. He would come over once a week to Pamela’s for a cup of coffee. Pamela had never warmed to him. But a neighbour is a neighbour and it was after all only about thirty minutes in her week that his visits lasted. His wife never came with him.

Now the doctor had told Pamela to go easy on the sugar, so she filled the sugar bowl (in case visitors came and took sugar) and put the sugar bowl high in the cupboard. That was the last time she used it. It was a lot easier to give up sugar than she had expected.

When Ashley came over next she filled the conversation with the usual small talk. She had given up sugar. Did he still want sugar in his coffee? Perhaps he would prefer a cup of tea?

“Oh,” said Ashley, “I think you’re out of tea bags.”

1830. Poached salmon

Aubrey was preparing a nice dinner for when his wife, Shona, got home from work. It wasn’t a special, special occasion, but nonetheless it was special enough. It was their thirteenth wedding anniversary.

Aubrey decided on nothing too fancy. He was going to poach salmon on a bed of sliced lemon. He would make a dill and mustard sauce, accompanied by potato and bean salad. Then all would be topped off with his wife’s favourite, rhubarb pie.

He was just beginning to prepare the meal when he realized he needed a lemon and had omitted getting one at the supermarket. Not to worry. His next door neighbour had a huge lemon tree, laden with fruit. In fact it was so close to the boundary fence that Aubrey could simply have reached over and plucked one. But Audrey was not one to do that.

He would visit Mrs. Geraldine Trapski and ask if he could have a lemon. Incidentally, Mrs. Trapski was renowned for her generosity. She was involved in the Girl Guides and had even been given a special medal after she had donated a not-so-small château in the mountains for the girls to use. She had also been seen (although some claimed it was a little ostentatious) putting a tin of beans in the bin for the poor at the supermarket. “Oh no!” Mrs. Trapski had said in a slightly louder voice when asked about it, “I always give something to the poor.”

Of course, this has little or nothing to do with this story. Aubrey needed a lemon and Mrs. Trapski had a tree-full. Aubrey knocked on Mrs. Trapski’s door.

“Good morning! Look, I was about to poach some salmon steaks and realized I don’t have a lemon. I was wondering if it was possible to borrow a lemon.”

“Borrow a lemon? Are you intending to bring it back?” joked Mrs. Trapski. “I’ve had some unusual requests today but nothing like this! Only this morning the Girl Guides phoned to say a window latch in their château that I donated needed fixing. Of course I’ll pay for it, I said. And then – you won’t believe this – at the supermarket I placed a small jar of what the British call gherkins but I really think the French word for them, cornichons, had a bit more class. But when I placed the jar in the poor bin the shop assistant exclaimed, the poor don’t eat that stuff. Goodness me! So I brought the jar home. I can’t stand the things myself so I threw them away. It was terribly wasteful of the shop assistant to force me into doing that. Waste not, want not has always been my motto. And in answer to your request for a lemon, the answer is no. Grow your own.”

Aubrey returned home with his tail between his legs, or he would’ve if he’d had a tail. Mrs Geraldine Trapski left home half an hour latter to attend her Bridge Evening, the snob, just as Aubrey’s wife Shona arrived home.

“Dinner will be a little late tonight,” said Aubrey. “I haven’t started it yet. We’re having salmon steaks poached on a bed of lemon slices from two large lemons.”

1662. A limp and a laundry

(Thanks to Chelsea Owens for suggesting the opening sentence.)

She always wondered why he limped; now, she knew. Randall McAvoy was eighty years old and hobbled along with the aid of a walking stick. Dolores Hughes had known him for the last eight years. He was a neighbour. She had always presumed that his limp was because of age. One day she asked him if his limp was due to rheumatism. He said, “Oh goodness me no! I’ve had this limp since I was sixteen.”

Dolores asked further, even though she didn’t want to appear nosey. He had got a knee injury when he was sixteen while rescuing orphaned babies trapped in a gun fight between warring factions in Lebanon. Some shrapnel had hit him in the knee. No, he wasn’t a fighter; he was rescuing the orphans. However, it was only today that Dolores discovered the full truth.

Dolores was just settling down to watch her favourite afternoon soap when there was a knock on her door. It was Randall. He said, “Look, I don’t want to be a bother but my washing machine needs fixing. I know it’s a silly request but would you mind ever so much if I used yours? The need to wear these clothes has become a matter of urgency, and they’re frightfully dirty with soot and the stink of acrid smoke.” He had the clothes neatly folded in a large paper bag, and there were just a couple of items.

“Of course I don’t mind!” said Dolores. She showed him her washing machine and the soap powder and softener.

“I’m very grateful,” said Randall after setting the washing machine going and leaving. “I shall be back in a while to pick things up.”

He was long in returning. Dolores wanted to do her own washing so she put Randall’s clothes in a laundry basket. She got the shock of her life. Randall’s clothes were not ordinary. He was the real Superman.

1501. The novelist next door

(Note: Even though I thought the stories should stop (1500 being enough) there will be the occasional one sneak through the steel girders. Besides, there are some “stories” scattered throughout the 1500 that are simply not stories (being Award Acceptances and so on). So the extra occasional story will help build up the numbers to strictly 1500).

There was a time when I would’ve been thrilled to have lived next door to a famous novelist. It would be exciting enough to live on the same street, or even in the same town. But next door! My word!

But let me tell you… my next door neighbour, the famous novelist, is the rudest, scummiest, sleaze ball that nature ever contrived to crawl on the surface of the earth. I despise her beyond belief.

She’s just finished yet another novel apparently, and the nose-in-the-air-carrot-up-her-jacksie has turned into a giant pumpkin. She is arrogant, pretentious, facile. Let me give an example. Just yesterday I saw her over the rather low hedge that separates my property from where she lives. I said, “Congratulations on your novel being published.” She said, “What is it to you? Keep your nose out of it. It’s none of your business, you moron.” So you see, she might be a famous novelist but I don’t enjoy the prestige of her proximity one bit.

God, how I hate living next to my ex.

1098. Neighbourhood watch

My neighbour works as a prostitute. Well, that’s a bit harsh; she’s a “call girl”. She must be all of thirty if you want to know, and she drives quite an expensive motor vehicle. So she must be doing quite well.

In between times, and goodness knows she seems to sleep in quite late, she sells marijuana to all the people who constantly visit. I can see them out my window. They’re all eager for the weed. They knock on her door with four taps, with a brief pause after the third. From my window I see things handed over, and then they’re back in their cars and off like a shot.

I know it is marijuana because she grows it just over the fence on her property at the bottom of the garden. I see it when I mow my lawn. I have no idea where she dries the stuff. Maybe in her garage or in her roof somewhere.

So both these activities keep her pretty busy, and no doubt rich: entertaining guests and selling dope. I know it keeps her busy because every time I’ve knocked four taps on her door she’s been too busy to see me.

1085. Dog neighbours

Barbara made almost enough to get by on. She had two little children, and a little dog. Her partner had long left on a container ship. He had no intention of coming back. It was with a great deal of relief that Barbara managed to rent a little house within her budget.

The next door neighbour also had a dog; a pit bull terrier. It was a violent thing. It barked and smashed into the boundary fence like it wanted to kill Barbara and her children and their little dog. However, the man and woman living next door kept it under control.

And then the man died. He dropped dead in the middle of the night, slap bang at his front door.

After that, the woman living there had no control over the pit bull terrier. Barbara kept her mouth shut. She didn’t want to create a fuss at such a mournful time. But Barbara’s children couldn’t play outside, and nor could the little dog. In fact, Barbara was too scared to go outside to hang the washing out.

Barbara went to see the lady next door and explain. “Phh!” said the lady. “Phh! That was my partner’s dog. It’s precious. Surely you don’t expect me to get rid of my late partner’s dog? How heartless. Get a life.”

Things with the pit bull terrier went from bad to worse. Barbara went to the police. The next day Barbara’s little dog lay dead on the front porch. There was a note under the door. If you go to the police again your kids are not safe.

Barbara packed her kids in the car and headed for the Women’s Refuge Centre.

Next night her uninsured house burned down.