Terrible Neighbors: Four Good Ways to Teach Them a Lesson



Our upstairs neighbors are out of control. They have three tiny children, a dog, and, if my ears are to believed, a baby rhinoceros that they like to drop on the floor over and over all day long. They are literally noisy from four in the morning until midnight. It’s incredible, actually, that a family can make SO MUCH NOISE.

Also, they are hopeless chain-smokers, and apparently they have never heard of either an ashtray or of laws against littering. Our deck is covered in cigarette butts, and they’re burning holes in our patio furniture.

I just learned about this last part yesterday, and I was pissed. My instinct was to gather up all the cigarette butts and lighters, mix them into a cake mix and bake it for them and see how they liked that. Yum, nicotine cake.


My husband said this was “probably not the best response.” It would have been fun, though.

So, in light of that, I’ve come up with some other solutions to common neighborly issues. I hope to get the chance to implement one of these someday.

Problem #1: Your neighbors get their son a drum set, and he is just the worst musician ever.

Solution: This kid is terrible, and must be stopped. One night while your neighbors are out, break into their house, drill a hole in the wall in his room, and place a recording device inside. Turn it on with some kind of remote when your neighbors get home. Record his music, and then the next time he gets all crazy on the drums, play your recording, softly at first. When he stops to see what it is, cut the power. Each time he plays, amp up the volume, until the recording is shaking the entire house.

Eventually, he’ll get really scared, and he’ll either decide that the walls have absorbed his music and it’s compromising the structural integrity of the house, or that there’s a drum set ghost living in his room, in which case, he’ll go totally crazy and never touch the thing again.

Problem #2: Your neighbors’ dog poops all over your yard, and you can never catch him in the act.

Solution: Easy. Get your kid to go poop in their yard. Your kid will think it’s hilarious. If your neighbors get mad, just say that you’ll stop when they stop. And then when they say, “Hey, there’s a big difference between a dog and a kid,” then you can say, “Yeah? Clearly there is NOT.” That will shut them up.

If they still don’t stop, you could always resort to setting up all of your barbecues and garage sales on their lawn, and then explain that you were confused and thought they wanted to switch yards since they use your so much.

Problem #3: Your neighbors are way too involved in your life.

Solution: They may be very nice people, but you just moved in, and they keep coming over to suggest home improvement projects to “keep the street looking presentable.” So here’s what you do. Be very secretive. Close your curtains all the time, only drive places at night, and play loud chanting music from your basement while your neighbors are grilling outside in the evenings. And never let anyone in your house.

Once they can’t take the curiosity anymore, send out invitations for a baby shower or something seemingly harmless. Make it clear that gifts are expected, and then pick all the really expensive stuff at Babies R Us. Then, when everyone shows up, struggling under the weight of the massive gifts they’ve bought you just to get inside your house, act totally normal. Serve good food and keep the conversation going, but don’t let anyone into any other part of your house. Keep it all closed off with scary “Keep Out” signs.

Every few months, throw another one of these lavish parties requiring people to spend lots of money on gifts, and one time, maybe accidentally open a door into a dark and foreboding closet, and when you see them looking, demand that everyone leave immediately. You can keep this up for years, and you’ll end up with lots of free stuff. Also, your neighbors will be terrified of you, and they’ll completely leave you alone.

Problem #4: Your neighbors are a bunch of over-privileged college students who never go to class and think drugs are lots of fun.

Solution: Once those kids are super high, dress up in last year’s Halloween costume. It helps if it was something nostalgic like Super Mario. Don’t even knock. Just burst in, totter into the center of the room, and announce that, congratulations, they collected all the gold coins, so Mario is here to take them home to Super Mario Galaxy. They’ll get really excited, and then you can prance out of the house. The stoners will follow you around like you’re the Pied Piper of potheads.

Once you’re halfway down the street, stop, turn, and smell them suspiciously. Then say, “Oh, no, this will never do. This is no good. You all smell like power-up mushrooms. Princess Peach is going to be pissed that you ate all her mushrooms. I can’t take you back with me now. You’ll NEVER get into my world!” Then they’ll all start crying and swear off drugs forever. Oh, and then get a friend to dress up as Yoshi so that you can jump on his back and ride off into the darkness. Works every time.

I wish that I could put a few of these into action, but my husband is going to be on the look-out since I told him I would bake a cake out of cigarettes. Next time, I just won’t tell him before I do it.

I guess I’ll just continue to bang on our ceiling with a broom to get them to shut up. It hasn’t worked so far, but it’s pretty fun.

Have you ever had an annoying neighbor? What did you do about it? Were you nicer than me?


18 thoughts on “Terrible Neighbors: Four Good Ways to Teach Them a Lesson

  1. Love the Mario idea!!!
    When hubby and I moved into our house, a neighbor left an anonymous note in our mailbox asking us to please mow our lawn east to west, and not north to south. Now I get super paranoid that someone is watching me every time I am out in the yard!
    Also, I now always make it a point to mow north to south, just because I can!;)

  2. I had some partier neighbors, and landlord refused to do anything, so I called the police and filed a noise complaint every time. No, I wasn’t nice.

    I would try to talk to your neighbors once, especially about the damaged furniture and cigarette butts — both are a hazard to your family. Imagine if they set the furniture on fire and it spreads to your apartment? Or if your child eats one of those nasty cigarrette butts?

    After that, I’d go to the landlord and then to civil court for replacement costs of furniture.

    I’m not a very nice person, am I? 😉

    • Those are all much better ideas than what I wanted to do. My husband suggested several of those, and I said that if he didn’t like my idea about baking them a cake, then he could talk to the landlord. Which he did. 🙂

  3. We had a neighbor named Biscuit (yes Biscuit) who would get into fist fights/screaming matches/other violent displays at odd hours of the night. He left behind his cat when we moved, which was sad because it kept on trying to get into his old home. He was a jerk…and I wish I could have told him to his face!

  4. We have neighbours, who always stand at their gate, we have learned to act as if we are in an extreme hurry when we arrive home or we gets sucked into loooong boring conversations. I really liked number two wish my neighbours dogs could get into our yard and that I had small children to try it out.

  5. Before we moved, we had a washed-up frat boy neighbor who a) smoked more ganja than Bob Marley and Willie Nelson combined, and b) once drunk-puked all over our door in the middle of the night. I got up early on a Sunday morning to go get some groceries and was greeted with a behemoth pile of vomit; the only silver lining here was that I was so grossed out that I didn’t impulse-buy *anything* once I got to Whole Foods. (This is a big deal for me.)

    If I could’ve busted out your suggestion for how to deal with super-high neighbors, though, I think the situation could’ve been redeemed! 🙂

  6. I lived for a few months in what can only be described as a tenement. My upstairs neighbors had 3 kids who woke up at 5 a.m. every weekend to scream at and smack each other. Before I ever met the kids, I was pretty sure I had successfully diagnosed at least two with ADHD based on what I heard through the walls.

  7. Pingback: Making Kids Eat | Who Stole My Baby?

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