At the sound of my recycling being topped up, my neighbour – walking past with her chihuahua – gave me a malevolent stare, her mouth shaped like a cat bum while she looked down her rather ogre-ish nose at me.
“Heh, heh,” I said before scuttling inside to hide behind the curtain until she disappeared.
The following week, I picked each bottle and individually placed them in the wheelie bin. Then, typically, I got bored so just dumped the last few. The crash echoed down the street, and before I could vanish inside, Mrs Ogre-Nose barrelled out of her house to give me a severe stare, hands on prodigious hips.
“Nice evening,” I called, adding a little wave.
“It would be without all that racket,” she said. “Maybe if you didn’t drink so much, we wouldn’t have this problem.”
“Heh, heh,” I said. Then I vanished inside, ninja style, leaving her to wonder how I’d disappeared so quickly (I ducked behind the bins and crouch-walked inside using the hedge as cover. Hurt like hell, but at least my weekly squats were done.
Inside, my mood turned sour. I knew she’d had to witness me dancing in the garden to Mariah Carey every Saturday, but who the heck did she think she was? Was she calling me a drunk? It was the greatest insult since she spray-painted a line on the border of our properties and refused to mow a millimetre over it.
I turned off all the lights and sat by the window, watching her return indoors and sit herself in front of the TV to watch Neighbours.
And that’s when the idea unfurled its tentacles in my brain. Maybe it was because I’d had a few vodka martinis, or maybe it was because my thighs hurt from all that squatting, but it was time to end this neighbourly spat once and for all.
Thank you for your concern regarding my drinking habits. It is true I do rather enjoy a tipple! Whilst I am a closet drinker, I do appreciate that some of my behaviour hasn’t gone unnoticed. I do hope you have enjoyed my spritely dance every now and then.
I agree that there is definitely a problem here, and while I am averse to pointing it out, I do feel that I am perhaps being kind in mentioning it. Or rather, them.
First, may I say that your garden – and I use the term grudingly – is ugly. There is no other word for it. As for the wishing well, perhaps you should use it and wish for a smaller facade. And by facade, I mean nose. Not that there’s anything wrong with being different. I mean, there’s plenty of
ogresmen who like an ample nose. All the better to smell the onionsroses with, and all that.
But on a more serious note, I do feel that this war between us has gone on long enough. Ever since I snipped your roses for my dinner party, you seem to have taken a set against me. Like when I accidentally sprayed your washing with mud and you wouldn’t hear an apology – you refused to even look at me for a whole week!
And what about the time my cat ate your bird? I did mention at the time that you probably shouldn’t have left it in the front room unattended, but you behaved as if I was to blame. I didn’t eat the thing, did I?
And speaking of cats, how many times do I have to apologise for him dragging that freshly-cooked chicken off your table? It would have been pretty hot, and he probably couldn’t get it any further than your new settee, so it’s not really his fault is it? I mean, he’s just a cat.
Perhaps we should attempt to be better neighbours. I really think we would have a happier life if we just agreed to disagree on all those points. There really is enough angst in the world without having to replicate it between us.
What do you say?
With love. Well, at least kindness,