The Neighbour Wars

At the beginning of November last year I moved into a flat with my good friend @Treeklepot. It’s a beautiful flat. We like it.

Our neighbours are mostly quite nice people. There’s Cat Lady, Hotdog Man and The Old Guy Who Smokes a Lot of Weed.

And then there’s Pat. Pat is not nice.

(Pat is not her real name, but it’s the same kind of born in the ’40s feel.)

Pat is single and retired and head of the Resident’s Association and a typical busy body.

And she has a really bad attitude.

She particularly doesn’t like my flatmate and me, which I can only attribute to The Time I Wouldn’t Give Her My House Keys. A few months ago we had a plumbing crisis in the apartment block. A water pipe burst, mud came cascading into all our pipes and the plumber had to visit every flat to clean out the mud from every tap. It was a nightmare.

Pat was running the show and, as such, insisted that I give her a copy of my house keys so that she could let the plumbers in. I politely declined. I was funemployed, had nowhere to be and (quite frankly) after only two weeks in the block I wasn’t comfortable handing my keys over to a total stranger.

I didn’t tell her that last bit but she assumed as much and was highly insulted.

“But everyone gives me their keys.”

Not me, Pat. Not me.

And that was the end of her civility (presuming there ever was any, since this was our first interaction.)

Since then we have had The Offensive Yellow Lappie, which I had hung in the window to dry. She knocked on my door to inform me, with a glare in her eyes and an impatient edge to her voice, that I “must take it down. It’s ugly to look at.”

I nearly invited her in to stand on my balcony and take in the hillbilly garden below, with it’s jungle grass and broken furniture. But I refrained because a building can’t handle more than one Pat.

Which brings us to the most recent event. An encounter which left me spluttering with rage. An encounter which has put my flatmate on edge, ready to attack. An encounter which I call the The Postbox Incident.

She cornered me on the stairs.

“I need your postbox key,” she greeted me.

“Um, excuse me?”

“Your postbox key. I need it. Yours is the only one that isn’t locked.”

“Well,” I said calmly, “I can do that myself.”

And then. Then she said this:

“You know it’s your responsibility to empty your own postbox?”

Well by golly Pat. Thank god you were here to tell me. Did any of you guys know you were supposed to empty your OWN postbox?

Funnily enough, I actually did know this and my postbox happened to be completely empty. Not even a single flyer or DA newsletter. Nothing. Nada.

Which, of course, I pointed out to her.

And then I left before I could push her over the balcony.

Some people have too much time on their hands.

5 thoughts on “The Neighbour Wars

  1. Oh boy. There’s something about old neighbours in a flat… whenever we tell stories about ours, I can’t help but PACK out laughing. Maybe I should write a post too, but it probably wouldn’t be half as funny as the real thing. sigh.

  2. Nosy neighbors are the worst – It’s definitely good to leave before you lose your shit – it’s not a good idea to have tension between you and people you live in close proximity to.
    Well done!!!
    The man who smokes too much blunt lives on every floor of every building.

  3. I once had a downstairs neighbour who brought me an assortment of felt pads to put under my furniture when I moved in.

    He used to bang on the ceiling/floor if walked too hard.

    I had a futon which served both as my bed and couch and once I accidentally dropped the back rest which resulted in him screaming obscenities from the balcony.

    At first I tried to be quiet but eventually I just gave up, and finally after much annoyance I actually did things to provoke time. I regret not taking up tap dancing… that would have been fun.

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