Monday, June 02, 2008

Ground Control to Rocket Scientist and Nurse Betty

by Brenda Roger

Several years ago I had a chick party on a Monday afternoon. It was a truly lovely party and fun was had by all. We ate girly food from glass snack sets from the 1950s, and drank cosmos in the middle of Monday afternoon. Even the weather was fabulous.

Several days after the party I received a lovely note raving about the party and asking that I apologize to my neighbors. Hmmm. The neighbors, henceforth to be know as Rocket Scientist and Nurse Betty, left a nasty note on my guest’s car about her having parked to close to their mailbox. I guess they didn’t receive their mail that day because of it, and were upset that they had to go a whole twenty-four hours before they could get the catalogues from which they order their unfortunate Capri pants and oh-so-snappy bike shorts.

My blood was boiling. It was necessary to respond in a way that would make my feelings clear to them. I had suffered long enough. Here is the letter that I wrote back, in a blind rage from years of their idiocy:

Dear Rocket Scientist and Nurse Betty:

Ah, the irony! Imagine my surprise when I received a thank you note from one of my luncheon guests that also contained the enclosed, with an apology to you!

You see the source of the irony is that for the three and a half years that we have lived here, we have been repeatedly disturbed by your complete lack of consideration for those around you. When you live around other people you are inconvenienced by them on occasion, or on a regular basis, as the case may be.

Let me give you some examples. Sometimes, you have to scrub urine from the neighbor’s cat off of your basement door in 30-degree weather, because, despite the fact that you have no cat, your basement smells like cat pee. You may be forced to give up vegetable gardening entirely because you do not wish to eat produce from a cat toilet. Dead rodent removal may become a regular part of your gardening routine. Also, you may have to listen to your neighbor’s dog bark (more like a shrieking sound) for up to five hours while trying to paint the dining room, recuperate from a pounding migraine or sleep past six o’clock in the morning. This happens with such regularity that I wish I kept a log of these occasions that I could enclose with this letter. In addition, sometimes, the people around you leave their yard strewn with toys, garden tools and various assorted other belongings that you must simply endure as part of your “view”. You may have all of your tulips consumed by deer who are only in your yard because of the excess of rodent feeders in the yard next door. Also, because of the rodent feeders, you may spend thousands of dollars on a deck and patio, which is actually a bird toilet where you can sit and listen to the previously mentioned barking.

When you live with total disregard for the feelings and comfort of those around you, you are not really in a position to complain to or to embarrass those who have been repeatedly inconvenienced and disturbed.

Because I actually consider those around me, I will sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced as a result of my guest parking in front of your mailbox. In the future, I will ask my guests to avoid parking in front of the house with the screeching sound coming from the back yard.

I do not expect the situation ever to arise again, but if it does, I do not expect that any guest to my home will ever again be left feeling as if they owe you an apology. In the future, you may complain to me directly.


Brenda Roger

They are every bit as inconsiderate as they ever were, but now I feel much better.

Did I ever mention before that my nickname as a child was “poison lips?”

Have you ever had to write a zinger of a letter? Do tell.


Anonymous said...

Brenda - oh, yeah, but I didn't keep a copy. I live in a rowhouse. The adjoining house is a doctor's office. His patients stand in his front yard smoking and throw their cigarette butts and other garbage in my yard. They take all the available street parking and sometimes block my driveway. His cleaning crew bangs garbage cans (I think that's what that noise is), vacuums and plays music in the middle of the night, which I can hear quite well through the party wall. I never said a word until his wife decided that she didn't like my back-to-nature front lawn and, while I was at work, had someone rip out most of the vegetation -- including the other-worldly looking borage plant a friend gave me before he left town -- and the rocks that fascinating little weird things that looked like worms with legs lived under, and the small tree growing through the hedge that had a bird nest in it, and my big jagger bushes (which I always hoped would grow to be 10 feet tall like the huge thistle I saw in a park in Edinburgh), and replace everything with black plastic and cedar chips. I threw all the plastic and cedar chips onto their property and wrote a note about all the crap I've been putting up with from them for years!

Anonymous said...

Dear Poison Lips,

May I simply print out your tirade and drop it over the wall into my neighbor's yard? Because their dogs drive me INSANE and your words perfectly demonstrate the sometime heights of my rage.

Nuts in Pittsburgh

Joyce Tremel said...

I hope you two really sent those letters.

You and Gina should have called the police.

Gina, the neighbor should have to reimburse you for the plants they stole, and his patients should be cited for littering.

Brenda, check your local ordinances. Your neighbors could be cited for letting their cat in your yard. A barking dog is usually covered under a noise or nuisance ordinance. Around here, a dog barking for five hours, even if it's inside a house but can be heard outside, is a nuisance. $600.00 fine.

Annette said...

Well. You have all just reinforced why I live in the country. The neighbors I do have may not speak to me, but they don't do anything TRULY annoying either. And it's hard to complain about cows mooing in the morning.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

When we first moved in to our holier-than-thou neighborhood, there was so much bitching going on I wrote an anonymous letter to the board of trustees. It was eloquent and diplomatic, essentially a plea for sanity.

It didn't work. I stopped writing. The neighborhood is still nuts.

Anonymous said...


Feel free to pirate my nasty letter. It is good to share!

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon, Will. I love the cover of your book. I'll bet if you had been driving that car on the front through the neighborhood, those know nothings would have listened to you.

Can't wait to get my copy.

Faye Adams, SLWG