His Royal Crabiness is on assignment this week, so here’s some classic complaining from 2016. If that has you irked, please email him a nastygram. It’s his business.
My neighbors got no respect for property rights.
They let their ugly cats come into my yard all the time. They mow the lawn when I’m trying to sleep. Their kids play in the yard on this squeaky swing set and it drives me up the wall.
The kids are always outside, laughing and yelling. Their stupid dog barks at me every time I go over to complain. And then they send one of the noisy kids over with cookies like that’s gonna make everything all right.
So can you gimme some ideas about ways to get back at these neighbors from hell?
Had It Up to Here
Dear Had It,
I know, right? I’ve heard of bad neighbors, but this is crazy: Not only do they play on a swing set, they bake cookies and deliver them to your home.
(Pause. Deep breath.)
As you can probably tell, I’m having trouble getting worked up over your complaints. The cat in your yard annoys you, and the dog barks at you when you go over to complain? Sounds like your neighbors from hell are, at worst, neighbors from purgatory.
Maybe there are details you’ve left out. Maybe the lawn mowing is at 2 a.m. Maybe the cat has rabies. Maybe the dog has fleas. Maybe the kids have fleas, too. But based solely on what you wrote, their offenses just don’t seem that severe.
It’s not that I’m unsympathetic; it’s just that living in a residential area — as opposed to, say, a desert island or a hermit cave in the Appalachian Mountains — means living near other people. It means dealing with the fact that, yes, other people are kind of annoying sometimes.
And, like I said, yours don’t sound all that bad. They made you cookies, for god’s sake. Most neighbors wouldn’t do that, especially for the crazy, antisocial person who complains about their children laughing.
Yeah, that’s right. Maybe you typed it so fast it didn’t register, but you actually wrote to your local newspaper to complain that “the kids are always outside, laughing. ...”
That’s a special level of curmudgeon, the guy who complains about children’s laughter. What’s next, Had It? Are you going to write in and ask how to get revenge against rainbows and butterflies? What about the singing of nightingales and mockingbirds? Does that bug you, too? Because if you hate cookies and children’s laughter, it’s possible your neighbors aren’t the problem.
My advice, specifically, is to call the city if the lawn mowing is going on later than 10 p.m. or earlier than 6 a.m. (8 a.m. on Sundays and holidays); that is a violation of code. My advice, generally, is to relax and accept the fact that you have neighbors. Either that or move as far as you can from civilization, so you won’t have any neighbors at all.
I’m sure they’ll really miss you.
Hope that helps.