- Entertainment and Media
How to Annoy Your Neighbours / Neighbors
The inspiration for this article came to me after a meal out with my Sister recently. She arrived quite stressed out, and when I asked her why, she proceeded to relay the problem she was having with her downstairs neighbour. To explain further, my Sister lives in a Victorian terraced house that has been converted into two flats, one upstairs and one downstairs. Both these flats share a lobby area inside the main front door, whilst each having their own internal front doors. Hayley (my Sister), has lived in the upstairs flat for about ten years now and seen various other owners of the downstairs flat come and go. Unfortunately the most recent neighbour to buy the lower flat has proven to be quite obnoxious, leaving prissy little notes about how he doesn't like the furniture and pictures Hayley has placed in the lobby, and how her stuff is "Tat" . Bear in mind my Sister is in her 40's, and this boy is in his 20's, yet sending her letters on teddy bear notepaper!!! Frequently his notes are sarcastic and patronising, one even stating that he 'didn't think the gas board would be too impressed by the carbon footprint she was leaving' , simply because she left the front door open for a few minutes while waiting for her cat to come back in.
My Sister has had health problems for some years now, and the stress of all these nasty notes has made her quite ill. Her ex-fiancé has intervened by trying to point out to this neighbour that calling Hayley's stuff "Tat" is very rude, and that if he has a problem with her stuff being in a shared lobby, he should put some of his own stuff in it too, after all, they might not like his stuff, but would simply have to accept the lobby is shared and it is his right to use it also. You would think that he would agree to this, but not so, instead he rants on that he 'shouldn't have to put up with this stuff if he doesn't like it', (would now be a good time to add the stuff he is referring to as "Tat", is actually rather nice furniture and pictures that are in keeping with the period of the property and the colour scheme in the lobby). He even had the cheek to expect my Sister to pay half for a very expensive painter to come in and paint the lobby because he 'didn't know how to do DIY'. Again, my Sister's ex-fiancé offered to do the painting with him and show him how to do DIY. Reluctantly the neighbour agreed, and then turned up wearing rubber gloves to paint in!!! (Hayley is getting more convinced by the second that he is a closet gay who really needs to 'come out' so it won't seem quite so weird when he sends letters on Teddy Bear notepaper and does DIY in rubber gloves!!). After the painting was finished he even complained he didn't like the standard of Ian (the ex-fiancés) painting!
The most recent note upset Hayley to the degree she sent him a note back telling him that his notes were making her ill and were offensive and patronising, so if he had anything to say would he please knock on the door and discuss it face to face. This resulted in a hand written double side of A4 paper full of his venom, and him completely ignoring the fact he had been told not to send further notes. Ultimately she left him a further note asking him to knock on her door after 7.15pm when Ian would speak to him on the subject of the so called "Tat" in the lobby. He turned up with his Father for moral support (who to his credit did look very embarrassed), and proceeded to state again what awful stuff Hayley was putting in the lobby and that he 'didn't want it there, didn't like it, it was tat' etc. All attempts by Ian to reason with him failed, and in the end Ian told him it was pointless trying to talk to him and shut the door in his face.
Well, as you probably realise by now this left both Hayley and Ian very frustrated and stressed out, and it is therefore not surprising this topic became a feature of our meal out together. Hayley joked that she would love to put some really awful stuff in the lobby just to teach him a lesson, and as our minds explored the idea further we ended up in fits of giggles over the kind of 'things' we could add. Hayley joked about putting a stags head complete with antlers up, which reminded me of a local hotel that used to have a realistic, but fake, full size stags head that broke into song when you walked past it, complete with moving its head in time to the music and its mouth opening and closing as it 'sang'. As these can be set to go off on a motion detector it would have been hysterical to set it up so every time he opened his front door it began singing to him. Naturally enough we ended up in stitches laughing at the image of his indignation and horror at this latest piece of "Tat " Hayley had added to the lobby. Sadly we don't have one of these singing stags, but we do have the next best thing, one of those 'Billy the Bass' singing fish, which does much the same thing on a smaller scale (no pun intended). At time of writing we have not yet put the fish up, but are contemplating it, (amongst other ideas).
Anyway, this hub is going to comprise of a list of suggestions for ways to get your own back on your annoying neighbours. Any good suggestions from readers are welcomed, and will be included as they come in, but meanwhile here are a few to get you started.
'Buck' The Singing Stag's Head
Billy the Bass Singing Fish
The 'How to Annoy' List
1) Try taking up topiary. This fun hobby involves clipping your hedges and bushes into interesting shapes, and with a little imagination you can clip the hedges into shapes that will antagonise and frustrate your annoying neighbour. See image on the right to give you an idea of the kind of shape you might want to try.
2) Lighting smokey bonfires can potentially get you in trouble, but if you are willing to take that chance, you can use these to great effect when trying to annoy your 'pain in the backside' neighbour. Wait until they hang out their clean washing to dry and light a bonfire ensuring you include plenty of wet leaves for maximum smoke. This is even more effective if you check the wind direction first to make sure it is blowing towards their washing line. Another good time to light a smokey fire is when your annoying neighbour is having a barbecue or garden party, or even simply sunbathing in their garden. If they leave their windows open at night you could even light it in the early hours so the smoke drifts into their bedrooms, after all, you could always claim later that you were trying to be considerate by waiting until after dark!
3) Plant some Leylandii trees. Thousands of neighbours have come to blows over this fast growing tree or hedge. The Leylandii has the potential to grow 6 feet per year, and can completely take away any light, and most certainly any views from neighbouring properties in next to no time. Eventually you may be forced to cut them down by legal intervention, but this can take years to get through courts, and in the meantime you can see the kind of results that can be achieved by the images on the right that show what happened when one aggrieved neighbour left his Leylandii trees for 6 years without clipping them. Why did he do this you might ask? Well, local authorities would not allow him to build a normal wall at the front of his garden for privacy, so he took this drastic step in protest, and succeeded in infuriating all of his neighbours in the process.
4) Probably not as easy to achieve as the cartoon on the right shows, but all the same, if your neighbour only has a fence between your garden and theirs it would not be impossible to 'accidentally' use your leaf blower to aim your fallen leaves into their garden.
5) Use his name and address to sign up for loads of junk mail. If you are really inventive you could get some quite 'questionable' catalogues sent to his address. If you persevere you can get to the stage he is literally receiving sackfuls of the stuff every day, and trust me, having to sift through all of them to find his genuine mail will drive him crazy.
6) Hang up some of those large annoying wooden wind chimes in your garden. These seem quaint at first, but quickly become as annoying as a constantly dripping tap.
7) Place an advert in either your local newspaper, or in various payphones on cards, offering the services of a 'hunky male escort' and stating that he is 'open to males or females and anything goes', then add his phone number.
8) Ring up the Jehovas Witnesses, Church of Scientology or any similar organisations you can think of and ask them to come and visit as you need to be "shown the way", then give them your neighbour's address. (I found this idea on the Internet and I loved it).
9) Wait until the freezing weather, obtain one fresh dog poo, during the night sneak up to their doorstep, pour some cold water on to the step and deposit the dog poo on top of the puddle. Overnight this should freeze solid making it very hard to remove.
10) Overnight build a large snowman in the middle of their driveway entrance so that they can't get their car out in the morning. It is essential you don't get caught doing this of course, so be very quiet and smother your giggles.
11) Courtesy of Hubber 'Gus the Redneck'. "Cook something that really stinks. Do it in the wee hours of the day. Make sure that the flat door is open to allow the smell to make its way throughout the building. Candidates include stuff you like to eat. Maybe cabbage, sauerbraten, things with plenty of garlic, etc. Have fun and eat hearty."
12) Courtesy of Hubber 'mega1'. "Plant a cottonwood (tree that also grows fairly fast and is so messy you would not believe!) right over his/her collection of hostas or other ritzy plants."
13) Courtesy of Hubber 'Tammy L'. "Get one of those electronic barking dogs and set it's motion detector to "bark" whenever he enters or leaves his place. Be sure to hide it well so he won't cut the cord or even know that it's not a real dog."
So next time your neighbours make you feel like this......
You know what to do.....
Meanwhile feel free to give me other suggestions that I can include in an ongoing list of ways to annoy your neighbours.
Disclaimer: This article in no way encourages any illegal forms of revenge on annoying neighbours and strongly advises you attempt negotiating with your neighbours or seeking legal advice prior to considering any of the above suggestions.