For some reason last night I got thinking about an old neighbour of ours.
Well, actually it was one of those thought chains where musing on one topic led to another and another, and last night I ended up remembering Monica.
On the face of it, Monica was a nice enough chatty person. She lived next door to our first house [which would explain why she was a neighbour?] and had two boys as far as I remember.
The first sign of danger was when she called into us to say she needed to make an urgent phonecall. No problem says I so I let her in and left it at that. However a few days later she had another “urgent” phonecall so the process was repeated. It became quite a regular feature of life as she seemed to have a lot of “urgent” calls to make. One day she met Herself at the local shops and announced she would call in to make another phonecall even though there was a public phonebox at the shops. Obviously our “free” phone was preferable. Herself nipped home, warned me and I disconnected the phone. Monica arrived, walked in and picked up the phone. Of course it was dead. I acted all surprised. Monica left after meddling with the wires for a bit. I think she got the hint.
One day I went out the front door. My car was parked on the front driveway and the neighbour’s kids were in my garden doing something at the side of the car. It transpired they were drawing pictures in the dust on the side of the car using stones. I fucked them out sharpish and inspected the damage. Yup – permanent damage to the paintwork. I complained to Monica. She shrugged. Boys will be boys and it wasn’t her problem. I should be more tolerant apparently.
I decided to put the back garden to some use. It was a fair size with lots of room for a bit of a lawn, some potatoes and a vegetable patch. Now I had a bit of bother with Neighbour’s kids who saw the dividing fence as an ideal tennis net so I frequently had one of the kids in the back garden playing ball over the fence. This pissed me off a bit but I said nothing, though I did entertain thoughts of building a nice wall as soon as I could afford the blockwork.. Then one day I looked out the window and there was one of the kids, hands in his pockets and idly kicking each of my cabbage plants out of the ground. I fucked him out of it and complained to Monica. Boys will be boys, apparently.
One evening I was sitting doing whatever I used to do in the evenings when there was a loud crash outside. I ran out and found one of neighbour’s kids on his back on the ground. I had been doing some work at the back of the house and had left a ladder against the wall. Kiddo had climbed the ladder and fallen off. This apparently was my fault. Monica read the riot act saying it was my fault for leaving the ladder unattended and I should have known better [as boys will be boys] and that I really was The Neighbour from Hell.
Occasionally I wonder what happened to Monica. If she’s still alive she’d be in her eighties or nineties.
Presumably the boys are no longer boys?