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‘Neighbours‘ is an institution in Australia.Love it or hate it, there it is. Most of my generation has grown up with the show, which first screened on Australian television in 1985 and I’m fairly sure it is the longest running show on Australian TV.
I don’t really want to talk about the show. I want to introduce you to my neighbours which are nothing like the characters depicted in the fictitious Ramsay Street of TV Neighbours. Those people don’t compare to the nightmares that I have endured over the past 15 years. It hasn’t all been bad. There have been some wonderfully normal and amiable people that I have been blessed to live next door to. Some of my past neighbours and I even keep in touch today. No. What I am really aching to tell you all about are those outrageous, odd, painful, loud and truly weird neighbours. The ones with the bad habits and unacceptable social behaviour that make living next door to them unbearable at times, entertaining at others.
Here are my list of most memorable neighbours and their antics that have earned them a special place on my list:
They just love a good argument and will proudly display their skills at 6am, 10pm and 2am, or if you are really, lucky at hourly intervals. These arguments are identified by their stop-start nature. It’s really all the same argument just rehashed over several hours and usually but not limited to being accompanied by the consumation of excessive amounts of alcohol. I, however, cannot imagine waking up and being so angry at 6am as to have a full blown argument in the driveway of my home, spewing out all our ghastly secrets/financial issues/relationship problems. My husband and I were lucky enough to be invited to their wedding which ended (so I heard later) in an all-in brawl and security removing several individuals from the reception venue. Class act. One particular favourite argument broadcast to all and sundry was what I have coined The Red Hot Pie incident.It goes a little like this. Wife comes home from work at 1am and finds new husband on an internet dating/swingers etc website called Red Hot Pie. Wife finds out new husband has paid $200 dollars for this privilege. Wife pulls phone out of wall and clocks hubby over the head. Internet over. Husband over and out. Brilliant stuff.
I like a drink. I have, at times, had a little too much. I usually embarrass myself, sing a little too loudly and fall asleep in my clothes. Not these neighbours. You can set your clock by their drinking. Friday afternoon, cars revving, loud, dogs barking ,obnoxious, yelling out at passers by. Then come the arguments, door slamming, more car revving as someone has walked out on someone else. Good, solid entertainment here. Mornings are greeted by the sound of a hundred bottles emptied into the bin outside. Ready for another session.
No, I am not being racist. His nickname is Kiwi and I haven’t met his wife so, we just call them The Kiwis. The Kiwis live right next door to The Drinkers and they are also friends of The Arguers. The Kiwis are fairly harmless but are categorized by some fairly bizzare behaviour and the occasional street siege. The wife uses a petrol blower inside the house. Each to there own I guess. My husband had to rescue Kiwi from the roof of his home after he had climbed up there to have a drink? and got stranded when the ladder fell down. I really don’t know what he was doing up there to be honest but that man has a beer with him wherever he goes. The siege was a very important cultural event in our neighbourhood. A time of bonding and togethereness. Kiwi’s son had taken a hammer to his father after God knows what and Kiwi had tried to strangle him. The police were called. Weapons were drawn. Loudspeakers announced the beginning of a two hour event that had a great turnout. The crowds massed and people swapped stories. I happened to tell another Kiwi friend of mine and she said “What kind of ghetto do you live in Vix? Fun times.
Last, but definitely not least, are the most famous neighbours I have ever had. As it turned out, they were on the run and had provided false identities. I had a thoroughly enjoyable visit from the Federal police after a night of frivolity which included the raiding of the premises,a battering ram and flashing lights until 2am. The two had been dressing up as cleaners and robbing shopping centres. The man had been on the run for 3 years for a rather famous robbery that I dare not write about here. I knew I should have been suspicious when he erected a virtual fortress of shade cloth and just what was that police scanner for? Silly me, everybody does that.
Presently, I live next door to a hoarder.I know it is a disease and I will not make light of that here but living next door to a hoarder is challenging and not much fun either. My husband and I tend to deal with it, as with most things, with humour. Recently, my daughter came running into our house screaming, “Mum. Mum. Dad just whipper-snipped a rat right in half. It was awesome, come and have a look”. He sure did. It had scurried right under the fence from the neighbour’s side just as my husband was trimming the edges. Awesome.
I could go on. I won’t. I have also had my fair share of really odd flatmates too when I was at University. I might leave that for another time and another post. Now, I bet you have had some great neighbours too. I would love to hear some stories. I could write a book about mine.