New Jersey is breathtaking, PSAs

Knock, knock! Who’s there? THE WORST NEIGHBORS EVER!

A year and a half ago, I moved into a quaint two-family home. There aren’t many historic houses in the area, and my entryway bears a unique mark of pride:

Of course, this agèd gem comes with a few charms that some might find off-putting: low ceilings, slanted floors, light switches to nowhere, and my personal favorite:

Ghost cows.


The house is a renovated cow barn, and late at night, I can almost hear the far-off cattle cries.

I think they’re coming from the beam where I hide my flask.

I haven’t told anyone this, but I stopped eating meat a few months ago, and my top theory is that the ghost cows took over my body.

Jules circa 2014
Jules circa 2016

In fact, now that I think about it, the cows were probably behind the sconce incident of April 2015.


But I digress.

Recently, my quiet and respectful human and living neighbors, with whom I share a very, very (did I say very?) thin wall, moved out. I recall overhearing something about “carpenter bees” and “allergies,” but I was too busy Googling Yankee candle scents to appease undead livestock to fully appreciate their rationale.

Strange families were suddenly perusing the now-vacant apartment next door. This past weekend, I stepped outside and nearly collided with an older gentleman.

“You’ve probably surmised that I’m looking at the apartment,” he said in an I’m-just-a-guy-who-likes-hugs-and-hey-I-wonder-how-many-human-heads-will-fit-in-that-freezer tone.

“Ah,” I replied, avoiding eye contact and wondering why his tour included my half of the yard.

Uncle Jesse, my dog, barked loudly from inside.

This is the actual apartment ad. Oops.

Since this run-in, I haven’t been able to shake the nightmares of what who might move in next door.

Please, help prepare me: What’s your worst neighbor story?

My lucky bamboo (a housewarming gift) committed suicide long ago. I need all the help I can get.


26 thoughts on “Knock, knock! Who’s there? THE WORST NEIGHBORS EVER!”

  1. Many years ago, when I had only two children (now I have 4) and back then aged 3 and 1 1/2 years old.
    I lived in a 2 family house. Weird thing, the bottom bit was half shared, but that was fine.
    What wasn’t fine, was the pot smell which wafted through the whole house including my children’s bedrooms.
    I flipped very VERY loud and got a hold of him… I must have looked like the devil himself, threatening him with all of sorts if he ever smokes that sh.t in the house again!!!

  2. I’ve had a neighbor who called the police to complain about us having a party at 11pm on New Years Eve. Also when one of the roommates accidentally dropped a cooking pot on the floor.

    1. I’m shocked you didn’t invite them to the party. They sound like a barrel of dropped pots!

      (I’m giggling over the fact that the first two comments both mentioned pot — in very, VERY different ways.)

  3. We live in an area where zoning mandates 2+ acres. Our neighbors to the rear have their house at the far end of their property. Ours is closer to the boundary with them.

    They had a huge German shepherd who was contained by an electric fence who hated us. He acted like we were trying to get into his junkyard whenever we were outside. Angry, aggressive barking and throwing himself at the area of the electric fence. We were sure he was going to get through and kill us. We complained constantly and ultimately threatened legal action. We didn’t use the yard. For 8 years. He finally died. They have another dog now …

    1. Oh jeez! Please tell me it’s of the stuffed variety.

      The people in the house behind me have a dog who barks every time I try to get into MY house. Not when I water the plants, not when I take out the trash. Just when I open my own door.

  4. I’ve lived out in the middle of nowhere for so long, I don’t even remember what neighbors look like. But that makes us even more of a target for psycho axe murders, in my opinion.

    I see two posts in a row here, Jules. What brought you back to the blog? We’ve missed you!

    1. Well here’s hoping the axe murderers choose to go the extra mile — to your neighbor’s house.

      Aw, Peggles. I’ve missed you, too! I feel like Dorothy at the end of Wizard of Oz. “And you were there! And you!” I guess what I’m trying to say is: there’s no place like bloggy home. (Autocorrect tried to make that ‘bloody home.’ And we’ve already established that that’s reserved for your neighbors.)

  5. In my last apartment, I had several neighbor encounters. I would hear one of the neighbors with whom I shared a landing keening, as I came and went, at all hours of the day and night. High pitched wailing— not loud but certainly piteous. At least until the night when I heard the police use a battering ram on his door. I might have turned off the lights/turned down the TV and pretended not to be home. Or something.
    The people who moved in after that had an electrical fire that required evacuation of the building. They would also let their dog out of a second-floor apartment off-leash to pee at her own discretion.
    My upstairs neighbor had a St. Bernard and hardwood floors. He also had a penchant for gatherings at 2 a.m. that made it sound like I had a bass drum player in my living room.
    The people next door to me had some sort of plumbing issue that created a pretty impressive waterfall down on the people below them, repeatedly flooding their place.
    And at the condo I bought after that (no more upstairs/downstairs neighbors for me), the next-door neighbor one day knocked on my door and accused me of killing a squirrel she’d be feeding and burying its remains in my garden. (I determined it was the work of our local coyotes.) Good times. My neighbors wonder why I’m not friendlier. Let’s just say I have my reasons…

    1. Holy squirrels! You could start an entire blog on heinous neighbor stories alone! (My plan is backfiring here…I’m more scared than ever.)

      I can’t stop laughing (and cringing) at the thought of someone letting their dog out of a second floor apartment with a simple, “Have at it, Fido!” It’s like the pet owner equivalent of throwing trash out of a car window.

  6. Ha, this is too funny! Okay, I have tons of neighbor stories but here’s one that might be even more relevant and if you’re a vegetarian you will probably hate me but.. I was in a thrift store and found these magnificent pair of fuschia boots. Upon closer inspection, it turns out they were actually dyed cow hair. Well, they were a bit expensive for me but I decided to buy them for my sister as a birthday gift. Only her birthday isn’t until mid September so they’ve just been hanging out in my room in the meantime.
    My daughter thinks my room is haunted so now I make jokes that there’s a punk rock cow haunting my room….you know, cause of the shoes so…maybe it’s like you had to be there….

  7. Yeah, what Peg said! Two posts in a row! We missed you.

    I have plenty of bad neighbor stories. The worst I would say is the man who lived beneath my apartment in a split level ranch back when I was living alone in my 20s. He was in the basement apartment and I had the entire upstairs floor. A few notable things: he looked just like the Unabomber, he liked to blast ACDC so loud on his stereo, pictures on my wall would fall down, and he had a cat he named Eye because one of his eyes was missing. It was sewn shut. (shudders) Ever heard of a psycho cat? Well, Eye would run full tilt across the lawn every time I pulled up in my car. He would claw at me and hiss and bite as I walked into my apartment. I think he thought he was a pit bull. The thing scared the living shit out of me. I bet Eye’s ghost still haunts that house today.

    Feel better now??

    1. Ditto, DP!! I figured why not add one more thing to my plate this fall and try to resurrect the blog? 😉

      A cat named Eye with one eye strikes me as really cool and really creepy at the same time. I picture it with a crystal ball and a turban, telling fortunes, but only giving people sh*tty news.

  8. Lived in a condo in a suburb outside of D.C. I should have known it wasn’t a great neighborhood because we (ex-hubby, baby Alex, poochie-pie, and I) could afford it. Our share-the-wall-with neighbors were The Screamers. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t their last name, but that’s how they spoke to each other during normal conversations. Or maybe they were always angry, but it’s hard to sustain that kind of rage for the 4 years we lived there. Then, the neighbors down the hall had a drug deal go bad and someone got murdered. We moved shortly thereafter, deciding that city living was too stimulating for us. Sigh.

    1. It’s important to know one’s household stimulation limits. Some days the fact that I have to hold the door shut with one hand (because it won’t stay closed on its own) and lock the deadbolt with the other is too much for me. I’m pretty sure it’s been at LEAST a century since anything was murdered in here, though.

      1. Let’s hope your safety record remains intact! I had an apartment door like that once in my college days. The only thing keeping a would-be thief out was my doofy Old English sheepdog. He was big and so was his bark.

  9. No strange neighbor stories. I just adore your sense of humor. You should have your very own talk show. Can I executive produce it? LOL.

  10. when I was in university (when the dinosaurs roamed the earth) my upstairs neighbours in a house I rented in a dicey part of town turned out to be people who relieved others of their possessions. did not find this out until after I had moved out. had I known this I may not have pounded with the end of the broom on their ceiling to get them to quiet down. sounded like they were bowling….

  11. The worst neighbors I ever had lived under me. They would constantly scream, yell and threaten their children. They’d constantly fight and slam doors. Their TV was always super loud. Then they’d have visitors park outside my window, and blast their music. Needless to say, I never figured out how to shut them up. So, I moved out, and left the stress to my ex roomates.

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