Twelve Habits of the Bad Neighbor

A wise man once said, “You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have, the facts of life.” I think it was George Clooney. He may as well have been talking about neighborhoods, as one of the facts of life is that as much as there are good neighbors, bad neighbors are everywhere, whether you live in a city or suburb. Face it, people are inconsiderate. Just the other day a person refused to hold the door open for me, simply because the store was closed. But you should be able to expect better from those in your neighborhood. The sad reality is, you cannot. You should actually expect worse. Much, much worse.

Cooking meth. Provided they don’t blow up the entire block, they’re going to make it smell like sweet, delicious methamphetamine. I assume meth is like cookies in that respect, partly because people seem willing to consume it until their teeth fall out. Is it just me, or does anyone else miss the days of neighbors just huffing paint thinner to get by? Things were simpler then.

Playing loud music. Hey, I love Tuesday night dance parties as much as the next guy. Which is to say, not at all. It’s understandable if you actually have people over. No less annoying or inconsiderate mind you, but at least you have company as an excuse. I’ve never quite understood the desire some people seem to have to play their music at a volume audible to the entire street when they’re alone. Is the thought that everyone will hear your kick-ass taste in music and begin congregating outside your place, hoping to join the party? If that’s what you’re looking for, I’d suggest moving into a Coors Light commercial.

Housing multiple barking dogs. Dogs bark. There’s little an owner can do about that. I get it. But again, that makes it no less tiresome. Especially in situations like the one I currently find myself in, where the man next door is housing three large dogs in an apartment and they begin incessantly barking around 4:30 a.m. and don’t stop until 11:30 p.m. Which is nice, because we’ve been looking for a reason to be disappointed that the recent nighttime temperatures have been pleasant enough to open the windows and get some fresh air. The only answer is to close the windows and run the AC, but that gets old. Although I’d gladly double my ComEd bill if it meant never hearing those dogs again. Unfortunately, the ComEd person I spoke to said that dognapping driving dogs out to a nice farm in the country is not a service they offer. And you call yourself an electric company?!

Stomping around. If you have a heavy walker living above you, the best thing to do is go upstairs and politely address it with them. That, or bitch and moan about them all the time to uninterested third parties and occasionally poke the ceiling with a broom handle, causing them to momentarily stop and ask their roommate, “Did you hear something?” Both options have their pros and cons, really.

Membership in a cult. For the last time, I am not interested in a seat on your spaceship, you weirdo. But good luck starting your new society on the rings of Saturn. I bet that’ll work out well. Just kidding! Seriously, what are you thinking? That’s ridiculous. You know it’s like negative 500 degrees up there year round, right? No thank you. That’s why I’ve already signed on a place within the red spot of Jupiter. It’s where all the young families are moving right now and The Great Leader has even agreed to waive the mandatory scrotal security deposit in exchange for an eternity spent toiling in his underground copper mines.

Loud intercourse. Strangely, often preceded by …

Loud fighting. This is refreshing because so many people seem to have an issue with you listening to their conversations these days. Excuse me, Mr. and Mrs. Privacy. If you didn’t want me to hear what you were saying, why did you come to this restaurant?

Coveting thy neighbor’s wife/house/possessions. I know thou shalt not do it, but these rules were written well before iPads and I really covet one.

Constant cup of sugar borrowing. The results are never as sexy as in Billy Idol videos or Just For Men commercials.

Failing to pick up dog doo. I know it seems like I’m picking on dog owners, but I like dogs. Really, I do. Most owners are considerate and respectful. But then we have people like my aforementioned neighbor, who leaves a trail of excrement in his wake in the street, sidewalk and yard. Add to that what the dogs contribute and you’ve got a real mess on your hands.

Signing for, then opening packages that belong to others. They know it’s wrong, but it’s just been so long since someone has sent them flowers.

Not being wacky. If sitcoms have taught us anything it’s that the worst family problems can be solved in 30 minutes or, in very special cases, one hour. All in front of a live studio audience. And if they’ve taught us anything else, it’s that neighbors are wacky. Unfortunately, my neighbors would hardly even be considered quirky. They’ve never once borrowed something from me with hilarious results. Nor have they had to unexpectedly, and at extreme inconvenience to me, move into my apartment, also with hilarious results. And would it kill them to drop by more often at seemingly inopportune times, breaking the tension of said situations with their comical hijinks? My neighbors suck.

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  • One annoying thing about the people in the high rise near my building is that none of them are hot chick exhibitionists. So inconsiderate.

  • In reply to TRSlyder:

    Some people just don't get it.

  • I hate when my neighbors don't share their meth. Sorry. I've been watching too much Breaking Bad. That show makes meth and cancer seem cool... impressive.

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