Thursday, April 16, 2009

Neighours and Neighbourliness

Nothing ruins a beautiful home and tranquil neighbourhood like having rude, inconsiderate, selfish, unpleasant people sharing your property line.

I have these neighbours who have two teenaged sons, neither of whom, apparently, understand the purpose of the two metre tall masonry walls that have been erected on the property line. If I simply wanted to mark the dividing line between the properties, a couple of stakes and a line of string between them would suffice, but the huge hint provided by a 12 inch thick, 6 foot high brick wall seems to have escaped these boys.

They don’t understand gates, either. Tall, iron-banded wood gates with massive security padlocks on them are, to these lads, merely climbing apparatuses…and climb them they do. Evidently the advantages of entering their own property through their front door…or ringing my bell to politely ask access to the property (which I would grant if the request had some legitimacy, like retrieving a ball that had gone over the wall) escape them and scaling my walls, being more expedient that respecting my privacy and property rights, is their preference.

I remember having parties when I was younger…in fact, I have parties now. But, there is a considerable difference between my parties and the 60 hour marathons these boys throw every weekend, starting mid-afternoon each Friday. I do not exaggerate in this…I woke up the other morning at 3:45 am to use the loo and we had left the window open that night. Through the open window came the unmistakeable throb of what passes today for music, not as a muted background to what should have been the soothing nocturnal cricket symphony, but thumping sound so loud that I could have picked out the lyrics, had they been intelligible.

It doesn’t stop there… We had guests over for Christmas dinner and the guest list included two 10-year-olds. Our back garden is huge and we have several small dogs that love kids, so we opened the patio gates and let them all out to play. Within a short time, one of the kids came limping back, the bottom of his foot cut by a piece of brown glass…a broken beer bottle. The location of the broken glass and its proximity to a certain part of our garden wall left no doubt from whence it came, especially since Thandiswe regularly finds beer bottles and other vice-related debris in that particular part of the garden.

We’ve given up on talking to their mother, she of the Cape Coloured accent so broad that I literally cannot understand her. Hubby’s ear is more attuned, however, and her basic response to our complaints is that they are teenagers and she is incapable of controlling them. Well. D’UH…I never would have guessed! Besides, both times we made a complaint about her rude children being on our property, we suffered a robbery within 30 days. The first time I was sure it was a coincidence…now I am not so sure.

I, who enjoys temperate weather, find myself eagerly looking forward to the chill of winter and their pool becoming too cold to be attractive. In fact, if luck is with me, the winter months will bring new…indoor…amusements to these young delinquents and by summer next year, the pool will have had its newness wear off and they will find other entertainments to capture their attention…preferably in some other part of town.

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