Friday, December 23, 2011
With friends like this who needs enemas?
Thinking about big loud wooden chimes got me thinking about one of my friends, who I shall for blog purposes name Whingy. Whingy hates wind chimes. My mother has a nice one on her balcony, and when Whingy and her husband, Mr Whingy (known collectively as The Whingies) visited a couple of years ago the beautiful tinkling noise the chimes were making as the pleasant north east wind swirled and twirled them drove Whingy mad.
"I HATE wind chimes!" she grumbled. "I'm going to take down those chimes and throw them in the bin!"
Whingy, it is worth adding here, seems to suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, she has many of the symptoms. Whereever she goes she expects people to bow to her wishes, a self-appointed Queen of Everything She Surveys.
Mum, whose mildness conceals an iron fist in a velvet glove, said politely, "I like my wind chimes." There was the steady gaze that said, "This is MY house and you are NOT touching my wind chimes."
Whingy continued to grumble about the wind chimes all evening and I was glad when the wind dropped. Mr Whingy said nothing. Sometimes he has sense. Other times he backs her up.
Whingy, you see, has delicate hearing, attuned only to notes that are in tune. She has studied classical piano at a conservatorium. She KNOWS. She loves Music. The slightest bum note can send her into orbit, and our wind chimes sound just great to me, but I'm a bit tone deaf.
This delicate hearing extends beyond music. When the Whingies moved into their house nearly twenty years ago their next door neighbour had an aviary. The neighbour was an older man with his adult son living with him, along with about twenty birds, two of which were big white cockatoos.
I love cockies. I love their character, their screeches, the way their sulphur-coloured crests rise cheekily. These two cockies were of the cheerful, chatty, screechy variety, happy to yell at passing birds or wolf-whistle when the old man came out of the back door.
Whingy, naturally, hated them. She hated them so much, and wrote so many nasty letters to her neighbour, that he ended up getting rid of the cockies and finding them new owners.
Whingy was jubilant. I was disgusted. The poor bloody neighbours had had the birds for years before Madam moved next door.
That was the first of their neighbour issues. The old man moved into a home and the aviary was gone in its entirety, to be replaced by a family with small and noisy children. Then the neighbours next door to that changed and there was a kid who used to bounce a basketball (deliberately loudly I'm sure) on concrete outside the Whingies' living room. Five houses back onto one side of the Whingies' property, and they have had issues with nearly all the neighbours over the years, predominantly about noise. Kids jumping, shrieking, into swimming pools on a summer's day has annoyed them to the point where The Whingies would shout swear words at the top of their lungs, knowing the parents would hear and bring the kids inside away from the rude neighbours. Most of their neighbours have received a solicitor's letter about some misdemeanour or other.
The latest escapade is a shocker.
Last week one of her neighbours - new ones who are only now discovering what it's like to live next door to her - threw an afternoon BBQ for some mates. They have a small backyard and the grown up men starting playing ball games. A couple of tennis balls flew into Whingy's garden. Then - and she probably guessed it was coming - a soccer ball thumped over the fence. By now she was foaming at the mouth because the neighbours were making NOISE.
She stabbed the soccer ball with a knitting needle and gleefully watched it deflate.
A short time later the gate intercom rang and two burly blokes were waiting at the gate, presumably to get the ball back. She ignored the buzzer and, lo! two minutes later they'd climbed over the fence on the other side of her property and were wandering up the drive in search of the ball. She read them the riot act and told them they were trespassing; they said she should have at least acknowledged their buzzer if she was home or handed the ball back herself.
Later that night the new neighbour rang the intercom. A heated conversation between the Whingies and the new neighbour ensued. Turns out the soccer ball was brand new and cost $90. Whingy screamed on about trespassing and got mad at Mr Whingy because he was being wimpy and not standing up for her enough. "Can't we talk nicely about this?" pleaded the new neighbour. No, apparently not.
Now they have their pet solicitor - a good friend - writing a nasty letter to the new neighbours about trespass. Jeez!
A couple of years ago the house on the other side of theirs was up for sale and the Whingies urged us to try and buy it, principally so it wouldn't go to 'nasty' neighbours. We said, with sad faces, that there was no way we could afford it. What we were really thinking, apart from being financially downmarket, was the hell we'd go through with our choice of music trickling through open windows, our dog barking at birds or people knocking on the door, throwing a party and having to invite them or they'd be pissed off... and of course our selection of wind chimes.
I wonder if those big wooden ones will be cheaper in the Boxing Day sales? Heh heh heh.