Julia and I bought our property almost thirty years ago. A modest three bedroom house, it served us well whilst we raised our two children and countless pets. The area we live in has always been praised for its serene and quiet nature and the other families that live in our cosy cul-de-sac like us, have been settled there for decades.
It was a shock when our next door neighbours Carol and Steve decided to sell their house but as soon as they moved a younger couple moved in. Their names were Kerry and Ross and they were in their mid-twenties. From the minute they stepped into our street they were trouble.
As is customary in a community such as ours, Julia and I knocked on their door to formally introduce ourselves to our new neighbours. Kerry looked us up and down and Ross just snorted, it was obvious even then that they did not have an ounce of courtesy between them.
Nevertheless, Julia persisted in extending her neighbourly friendliness, even inviting them to our annual Father's Day BBQ. Not only did they not show up (or RSVP to our invitation) they proceeded to have a party of their own.
A wild party which consisted of loud hollering, booming heavy metal music and the throwing around of plastic cups, most of which landed in my pool!
We were so inundated with noise that we had to move all of our guests inside. It was a horrible and awkward way to finish off such a great celebration that we had been looking forward to all year. Scooping their cups out of our pool I could not believe we had been treated with such disrespect.
Then the fighting started. Kerry and Ross would scream at each other for hours on end. I was concerned at first until I heard them "making up" for a few hours afterwards.
The screaming, the aftermath and the time of which it all happened (always past midnight) made it impossible for Julia and I to get a good night’s sleep anymore. But Julia discouraged me from going over there and having a word with them reminding me "You remember what we were like at their age!".
With their next party they went too far. After hours of noise and thundering music a fight broke-out between four burly men on their front veranda and I had to call the police.
They had destroyed our front lawn, poor Julia's beautiful garden trampled on by the masses of party-goers. It was a sea of discarded cigarette butts, empty cans and paper plates.
The next afternoon, the rubbish had not moved. I tried to be civil about it but this was the final straw. My grandchildren were visiting that evening and it wasn't even safe to have them wondering my own home! I marched up to their house and knocked on their door. They responded by yelling obscenities through it, telling me to go away.
I was infuriated and was making Julia more upset with my constant complaining. However, a few days later we noticed we hadn't heard anything more of them since their wild party. I spoke to our other neighbours and they told me they were up the coast for the week.
I was relieved that finally we would get some peace around the place, even if it was only for a week. The next day we were hit by an incredible storm, the worst I remember in decades.
Entire trees were struck down and branches strewn left, right and centre. Julia cried seeing our lawn and the almost impossible task of having to clean-up that lay ahead. She suggested we hire someone to do the clean-up when I suggested that I would take care of it. I had a brilliant idea.
I hauled all of the branches and leaves into one corner of my backyard; the pile was taller than me! I stood back and admired it. Once I was done and my lawn was spotless I went to the garage and grabbed a ladder.
Recalling the time I fished dirty cups out of my pool, I pulled out the tallest branch I could find, climbed on to the ladder and threw it across it to my neighbour's pool!
In a frenzy I did it again and again until I had emptied my entire pile of debris into Kerry and Ross's pool! The pool looked like a wet sea of lumpy green and I couldn't have been happier with my handiwork. I didn't mention it Julia, of course, she would not have been happy with my childish behaviour.
A week later the neighbours from hell returned and discovered their pool in such a state. It was priceless.
Kerry had the audacity to come over and borrow our pool scoop to clean it up, which I was more than happy to loan her. I had to stifle my laughter when she complained "I hate cleaning up!".
I realise that it was an immature thing to do, that I'm a grown man who should know better, but nothing has given more satisfaction then dishing out my own medicine to my horrible neighbours.
Six months on they are still living next door and are up to their old tricks. But every time I peer into my backyard and see my immaculate pool a big smile cracks over my face.
Picture posed by models.
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