10 May 2005

Neighbours.When you're a student, they can be your new best friends, or the bane of your existence. If you're lucky, they will be the kind of people you want to invite to all of your house parties. You know, the kind who let you store your valuables at their place during the party, or fire up the BBQ and let your guest go nuts with hotdogs and marshmallow roasting. Good neighbours should be treasured when you find some.
Bad neighbours come in many forms. From cable stealers to peeping toms, a bad neighbour's close proximity to your life can quickly become a major nuisance. I've experienced both ends of the spectrum: some neighbours bring over banana bread and flowers and ask me in for tea, while others burst through the front door to scream delightful phrases such as "Stop using your F****** toilet, you're F****** up our water pressure!"
As I've discovered while staying with some of my parents' friends, neighbour feuds, fights and rivalries are not things that disappear after our exodus from the student ghetto. Alas, some bad apples are here to stay. In fact, it seems that soem neighbours get meaner, more spiteful and definitely more nosy as they age. So,if you realize that you are stuck with a truly bad neighbour, you might as well have a little fun with it.
Take a hint from the Grumpy Old Men films and play harmless tricks on your neighbours. In the films Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau emploted such tactics as hiding fish in the back of the other's car, or videotaping his nemesis while he was posing as a nude model for a sculpture. Now, I'm not advising you to do anything illegal or creepy, but the odd practical joke never hurt.
On the other hand, you never know when you might need a favour , so ensure you're not the instigator of a ruthless battle. You could also try the exact opposite approach from the onset and bombard your neighbour with kindness. If his or her cruelty still persists after many kind visits and well-meaning smiles, you really have no choice but to give 'em a pie in the face...or maybe consider moving.

1 comment:

syl said...

Oh Neighbours, they definitely can be good or bad...
In my case, my old neighbours in Barrie were GREAT...other than stealing my chihuahua :(

haha they didn't really steal it, rather, they took care of it for 8 months while we were away at Cyprus and when we came back, they were too attached to give him my mom let them keep him, much to my sadness.