The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

There goes the Neighbourhood

Posted by pauaprincess on August 17, 2007

I wrote the other day about Karen Scherer’s article in the NZ Herald, bemoaning here neighbour calling 111 after hearing a child screaming at her home, resulting in a visit from 3 Police Officers.  The Herald asked, as they often do, for readers to give their opinions.  It’s an interesting read

The views expressed in the linked Your Views section are overwhelmingly in support of the action Police took.  There is the odd whine that some would like even one Officer to come and take a burglary report, there are a few I told you so’s from people against the Anti Smacking law (I don’t see how it pertains to this case particularly) and there’s even a reference to Nazi Germany.  What I find most interesting is the suggestions that this is indicative of our current keep to yourself society.

I am a person who likes my privacy and although I used to have a lot more to do with the neighbours, I got turned off by one in particular.

I used to have a neighbour called M.  M, his wife S and his daughter T were smiling and waving as we came to visit our new home for the first time, M bowled on over and introduced himself.  Our kids played together in the street and we stood outside on the footpath chatting and watching, I fed their cat when they went away for Christmas.  M suffered from a disease which meant he couldn’t work and he channeled his energy, I soon found, into visiting the neighbours, bumming cigarettes.

M had a hide thicker than a herd of rhinos, he’d barrel through the gate, past the hellhound I stationed in the front yard and hammer on my door as soon as his wife left the street.  I answered at first, being neighbourly and all.  He’d plonk himself on my sofa for hours, tell the Princeling off for nothing in particular (how I didn’t kick his ass to the kerb for that I dunno) and demand cups of coffee. 

One night in particular when the Pipi Princess was a baby and I was on maternity leave, the Prince was away.  I’d taken to locking the doors because M would just come in otherwise, closed doors were no barrier to M he was completely without boudaries.  I was up in the bedroom putting the baby to bed and heard the incessant hammering commence, the princeling went to the door and I heard M ordering him to unlock the door, the princeling unlocked the door as I was tearing down the hallway in my dressing gown.  I told M it wasn’t a good time, he ignored me and made for the couch.  I should have just told him to leave but again, for the sake of being a good neighbour, I put up with him till S came home.

I really don’t know why I put up with it, I felt sorry for him being ill and probably lonely and bored but I started to live as though I was being stalked.  I would lock doors, stay away from windows, park the car in the garage, keep the stereo down to barely able to be heard and make the children be quiet.  The Prince got sick of fending him off too and started telling him baldly to F*** off.  It didn’t faze M at all, it just bounced off him, maybe he was used to it. 

When I returned to work, I’d hear the dog go nuts when I was in bed sleeping after night shift, I’d get to the window, peep through a gap in the curtains and see M looking for signs of life at my ranch slider door, he’d given up hammering on it when he woke me one day and I told him to go the hell away and let me sleep. 

He’d approach visitors to my gate and interrogate them then bum another cigarette… it was insane!  My family started sprinting from the car to the gate so he didn’t have time to accost them.

Thankfully, before I had to go completely feral on his ass (mind you I wasn’t the only neighbour with this problem, we had a support group meeting whenever HE went out) M and his family had to move. 

The landlord sold the house they lived in and the new owner was renting to family. 

Of all the strange coincidences, he moved next door to my ex brother in law and neice!  We found out when my parents were visiting ex bil and he told them about the bizarre new neighbour who bummed cigarettes and wouldn’t leave!  Bil trespassed him eventually.  A lot of people trespassed him as it turns out and he was reported by one woman to the Police, because she caught him at her front door trying to persuade her grandson to let him in and he’d give him a toy and she thought he was a paedophile!  He wasn’t, he was just socially inept and completely blind to the fact he was completely unwelcome.

And that’s why I don’t socialise with the neighbours.

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