Neighbors can be extremely troublesome and annoying. When trouble arises, what should one do– take revenge or take the high road? In this piece, people share the best revenge they took on an annoying neighbor. Petty or not, these stories are one of a kind. Keep in mind, content is edited for clarity.
The Big O
“Well, this was petty and insidious too. I felt bad about dong it, but something had to be done.
I lived on the bottom Condo on the big golf course in Laguna Niguel, California and it was in the 90s. I lived there for 25 years total and this was in the middle of my time there. It started out as a retirement place, but as the older folks passed away or moved to the rest homes, younger folks bought and some rented the places out for income.
We had new neighbor’s in the upstairs condo two over from me. Renters! Two college aged girls and one had a Marine boyfriend. They had the outer bedroom and she was a screamer when she had the ‘Big O;’ It was so loud and obnoxious and in the middle of the night, she shook the building with the wails and staccato yelps and whiny screams. They had several sessions every single night!
It was so embarrassing and many times it started the coyote packs howling from across the canyon. It was a predictable sonic mess and I thanked my lucky stars when the Marine was finally deployed. Her ritualistic voice was annoying and very obnoxious. But, she got another boyfriend– another Marine!
I had my buddies over and they would laugh and joke about her cartoon sounding screaming, and the bed banging the walls and such. Intolerable.
Then, I started dating a divorced lady with two young children and they stayed the weekend. As I was teaching the kids how to swim and then surf, they were scared from the wailing and would jump in bed with her and I. My passionate life suffered.
I had a sound recording studio and it was very soundproofed, so I put a king-sized bed in there, and we all slept in it and had quiet. But, the daytime drama was getting me and the other neighbors edgy! Then, I got one of the new samplers and it was way cool. It had a microphone and you could sample 9 seconds of sound and play it back on the keyboard and you could transpose it and pitch shift it and add reverb and echo. It was so much fun and musical too.
So one week night, I sampled the screamers Big O. I had the mic set up in my neighbors upstairs balcony and it worked beautiful and it was her to the tee.
Cue the sounds of the big moment.
It was the weirdest thing I ever heard. My neighbors left notes and called her landlord all to no avail!
She was going to her car once and I played a couple seconds of it. She was looking around and dumbfounded. Her distinctive moans were apparent. On the weekend, I set up a big speaker on my patio and had the sampler hooked up and when she wailed, I played her back and it shut them up as they were on the balcony trying to figure out what was going on. The coyotes loved it too.
Her parents stayed a week and I played it at night for them. I even wrote a song with her Big O as the back beat it was a cool riff and my buddies busted a gut when I cranked it up in the cassette player in the car or the beat box!
Finally, she moved out and the condo folks of unit A had a party in celebration at the pool that weekend. I brought the sampler and my song and the mom’s covered their kids ears as I let her rip. I still have it somewhere and I have been listening to the hundreds of tapes trying to find it. The song was called ‘Organic Jelly!’ I am desperately looking for it as it is on a cassette and the sampler was sold years ago!”
Alexa, Play Swan Lake
“Many years ago, I had a young, single, female next-door neighbor who liked to party a bit. That wasn’t the issue, as I was also a young, single, female. The difference was I didn’t bring my revelry into our home because of my daughter.
One evening, my neighbor had a gaggle of girlfriends over. No biggie. But they moved the party and music onto her patio. Our patios are in the rear and with the sliding doors open (no air conditioning) the sound came right into adjoining apartments. They might as well have been in my kitchen. The volume of the chat and laughter increased with the amount of drinks consumed. It wasn’t late so calling the police would have been overkill, but I clearly couldn’t enjoy my evening.
So, I put my stereo speakers in the kitchen and turned on some nice, classical music. Tchaikovsky, I think, maybe Swan Lake. I adjusted the volume to barely compete with their loud, but boring pop and left home for an hour.
They were gone when I came back.”
Pick Up Your Toys
“About 20 years ago, after I asked my neighbors to keep their kids out of my yard and their toys, bikes, and skateboards out of my driveway and off my front porch at least a dozen or more times a week, I came home one day and there they were again busy playing away with my entire yard, porch and drive impassable again like usual.
I was so frustrated, because like usual, when I asked them to move their toys, they told me to park elsewhere. Instead of getting out and cleaning it all up so I could pull into my effing driveway and clear all their stuff off my front porch so I could go into my house like I normally did, I did as I promised the last time and drove over it all.
I swear I crunched that bike under my tires. I recall hoping to high heavens it did not dent or scratch my car especially when it was stuck under and dragged a bit as I ran over a skateboard breaking it in half, and other things ultimately ending up parked on a doll’s smashed head. When the girl started screaming hysterically about that, I ripped the body off and handed it to her and told her if she liked her baby, she should take better care of it.
Of course, the kids are screaming at me about destroying their toys as I’m picking other toys up and shoving them in my garbage bin. Then their mother comes out and wants to know what in the world I’m doing?
EXCUSE ME? WHAT THE EFF AM I DOING? MORE LIKE WHAT THE EFF ARE YOUR KIDS’ TOYS DOING ALL OVER MY DRIVEWAY, YARD AND PORCH WHEN I’VE ASKED YOU A THOUSAND TO KEEP THEM OUT OF MY YARD?
She wants me to stop throwing her kids’ toys in my garbage.
I tell her that what her 5 kids don’t pick up before I do will end up in the garbage bin and if they touch it, I will call the police for burglary as garbage is private property and what is left on my property is mine to do with as I will.
The kids race me to pick up their toys.
After it’s all cleared away, I take my garbage bin into the garage and I don’t set it out until 6 AM on the morning of the trash haul. Normally, I set it out the night before, but not that time. If they want their toys they can dig through the garbage before they go to school. To make it special for them, I put the dog poop in the bin with the toys too right on top.
They weren’t happy about that and paint balled and egged my home. I sat right out there in front of them instead of running off like they did when I came out and returned the same to theirs. After that, we lived happily ever after and never said another word to each other ever again.”
A Brown Mass Of Death
“I had a real prick a neighbor many years ago on Long Island in NY.
For background, my backyard was half abutted the nuisance neighbor and the other half my best friend. She and I had a gate which joined our backyards, so she and I could get together without having to walk or drive around the block. Her husband put it in after I moved there. That gate is important.
Her next door neighbor, who was the same moron whose back yard abutted mine, was a real winner. He would take his leaves and throw them over her fence into her flower beds which was bad enough, but what he did to me was worse.
He actually lived half the year in Brooklyn and came out to the island in the summer. He also grew a vegetable garden, which he was fanatical over. His yard was raised a bit, had a cement border, and a chain link fence separating us. The guy was a creep. I had a cement patio and if I was outside reading, he would come out, water his garden and stare. Fine. I put up a trellis and planted a couple of butterfly bushes and wisteria for privacy.
At some point, he decided that my plantings and trees were interfering with his precious garden and that’s where the fun starts. I had honeysuckle growing on the side fence. It in no way was growing on the back fence, so it wasn’t growing into his garden but while I was at work, he came in my yard and cut it down to the ground.
I also had an oak tree in the corner with some gladiolus planted around it and some bayberry bushes in front. There was also a small birdbath. He decided that my oak was blocking his sun, so he came in the yard while I was gone and started cutting branches. Not the ones hanging over his yard, but the ones clearly in mine that were supposedly blocking his sun.
When I confronted him, he admitted to doing it and basically told me that his garden trumped my property rights and too bad if I didn’t like it. I called the police but if they don’t see it or you can’t prove it, tough luck. Now, I’m starting to about have had it with this guy.
I was a single mom then and worked a lot of hours. I drove a school bus, so I was also in and out. He would wait for the bus to leave and strike. Now, I had three dogs. Two I couldn’t leave out because they were both descendants of Houdini but one, a lab, I could. He had found some potpourri and tried to eat it, (he ate anything) and while it didn’t really hurt him, he did get diarrhea, so he was banished until it was out of his system.
Now Tar (the lab) was a typical lab. Friendly, but dumb as a box of hair. He also barked if you were in the yard and he didn’t know you. It was during this time that prick neighbor decided to trim a bit more of my tree while I wasn’t home. I come back later and poor Tar is leaning on the back of the house trembling.
My gate is wide open and my shovel, which was on my patio is also leaning on the house. I have no idea what was going on I’m trying to calm the dog down and it all falls into place. Creepy, has gone into my friends yard, through her gate into her back yard, through the connecting gate into mine to cut back that tree but this time the dog was there and probably barking at him.
So he grabbed my shovel, hit my dog, god knows how many times until he was cowed and cut that tree. Could I prove it? No, but Tar would make a wide berth past that guys fence and cower when he saw him, so that was all the proof I needed. I had Tar checked out and other than being scared, he was fine and that was when I made my plan.
When the prick went back to Brooklyn, I went to the store and bought six boxes of Kosher salt. I also bought three gallons of kerosene. I salted his precious garden and gave it a good dose of kerosene on top of it. Falls on Long Island are rainy, so it soaked into the soil.
The following Spring, I put a small 10 by 10 garden next to my patio. I planted tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and some herbs. My tomatoes grew beautifully, I had so many I gave them away.
His garden? Well the plants would start then shrivel up into a brown mass of death. He kept asking me what I was doing to make mine so nice while lamenting his and wondering what was wrong.
I just played stupid. He never had a garden that year and never found out why. I put a lock on my gate and gave a key to my friend, so he was never able to trespass. Hurt my dog, will he? Fixed him, but good.”
Circuit Breaker Tripped
“I rented the ground-level apartment in my friend’s split-level for a few years. The guys who rented upstairs owned a party lighting company, and as a result, they usually came home from work around 3:00 AM. I worked a nine-to-five job, and I’m a fairly light sleeper. When they came home from work, they’d occasionally turn on the TV, usually loud, which would of course wake me up, but most of the time I could drown out the noise by turning on a fan in my bedroom.
This was annoying, but I could deal with it…until one of their girlfriends moved in upstairs. This nasty such-and-such had no problem with turning up the volume on the TV all the way, in the middle of the night every night, and watching for hours. This was the early years of flat-screen TVs, and they had a big one, so likely it was very expensive. When I knocked on the door to ask them to turn it down, I was told ‘this is when we get home from work, and we’ll do what we want.’ Even having my friend, their landlord, intervene had no effect.
Well, a few nights of one or two hours’ sleep made me downright ingenious. I remembered that once, while microwaving my dinner, I had started vacuuming the floor and having both appliances turned on tripped the circuit breaker. I crossed my fingers that we were on the same circuit and during the next morning’s 3:00 AM showing of Willy Wonka, with the girlfriend screaming ‘I love this movie!’ and turning the volume up even louder than usual, I turned on the microwave and the vacuum. Five seconds and poof! Blessed silence! I heard a little shuffling around upstairs, then one of them went down into the basement and reset the circuit breaker.
The power came back on, and so did the television. I waited about a minute before turning back on the microwave and vacuum. Poof! Silence! They reset the circuit breaker again, but this time there was no more TV. I went back to the most blissful slumber ever.
My friend later told me that they complained to him about the power going out because it was such an expensive TV and that could damage the electronics. I told him that if they kept the volume to a respectable level then I wouldn’t have to do anything about it, but I wouldn’t hesitate to if it happened again. The microwave/vacuum trick was only necessary a couple more times before they got the hint and kept the noise down in the middle of the night.”
No More Relatives
“We had a neighbor who lived across the street from us who was a real witch. After hearing the things she’d yell at her terminally-ill husband or her adult son or any of her other relatives who had somehow been induced to stop by, it was pretty obvious to me that it wasn’t just her neighbors that she hated.
She had a three-car-wide garage with a correspondingly wide driveway, even though she only had one vehicle (this was after her husband had died). When it snowed, she expected whichever of her male relatives were currently at her beck-and-call to clear the entire width of the driveway. If it was just an inch or two of snow, a snow shovel would suffice. But once in a great while we’d get a deep snow. At that point, random-male-relative would arrive with a snowblower.
In addition to the snowblower, he also brought an apparently genetic lack of respect for other people, because the direction in which he chose to blow the snow was not—as would seem logical—onto witch-neighbor’s lawn, but instead into the street…specifically, toward the end of our single-car driveway (which was a bit further down the street from her driveway), where it turned into a wide patch of ice.
Because the street had a bit of a slope upward in the direction you’d need to drive to get off our street in the winter, that patch of ice made it nearly impossible for a car to get any traction after exiting our driveway. It wasn’t just a nuisance; it was a dangerous nuisance.
Despite my husband having had words with her and with random-male-relative about the situation, it kept happening. Finally, since I was pretty sure that this behavior wasn’t legal, the next time that the snowblower was used to cause this hazard, I called the police.
Sadly—according to the cop—moving snow onto the street turned out to be a perfectly legal thing to do. That news (which she overheard) seemed to please witch-neighbor quite a lot. Unfortunately for her, that fact was very useful to me.
When her random-male-relative was done with his dirty work and gone, and the sun had gone down, I went outside with a nice, quiet snow shovel (we didn’t own a snowblower ourselves). I removed the snow from the road in front of our driveway. In fact, I removed it from most of the street between our houses. But I was very careful about where I put it…
I put it, very legally, on the street in front of her driveway. From one side of her very wide driveway to the other, I built a ridge of snow about a foot high and a foot thick. I didn’t set foot on her property at all. The snow was all on the street, where the cop had very plainly said it was permissible to put it.
But once the twice-moved snow froze into a solid mass, there was no way she was going to get a vehicle out of her driveway. In fact, it took her quite some time the next day to get someone out to do the very difficult (no snow blowing possible) work of removing that ridge. The only bad part was that it was a Saturday (it would have been much nicer if she’d been late for work).
Interestingly, witch-neighbor never permitted her random-male-relatives to blow snow into the street after that.”
Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25
“The teenagers down the street speed by my house and my little ones play out front. Recipe for disaster.
To slow the speedsters down (and possibly preserve their lives), I bought one of those neon green plastic men who stand by the roadway and hold a flag that says, ‘Slow down.’ I got this little green guy from a lumber/lawn and garden store. They did not slow down.
There is one young lady in particular (college age probably) who not only speeds by, she does so while looking at her phone. One day, I purchased a used stroller from Facebook. I brought the stroller home and placed it in my driveway, which has a steep slope to the roadway. I needed to clean the stroller before use.
After a period of time the aforementioned young lady came racing toward my driveway, staring at her phone as usual. SOMEHOW, the stroller rolled out into the street as she was passing by, and she ran over it. Never. Even. Saw. It.
She did stop immediately upon running over the stroller, and she was crying when she got out of the car. I just stood there watching her as she gripped her phone, staring at the stroller under the car. Then, I walked back into the house, nonchalantly.
She was in the middle of the street (as is her driving habit) and her car was positioned over a crumpled baby stroller. She knew she was in deep, deep trouble, so she called her folks, my neighbors. They came in less than a minute and assessed the situation. NOBODY CALLED 911.
I watched this whole ‘parents on the scene and nobody called 911’ scenario unfold from the comfort of my dining room window. I made a mental note to dust the window sill.
After a full minute had passed, I walked back out through the garage door, carrying my cleaning supplies, and looked around for my stroller. I pretended to notice the commotion out front for the first time. I walked toward her car, looked under it and said, ‘Oh, I see you found my stroller. I just took it out of my car and went inside to get something to clean it with. I guess it rolled out into the street. Good thing it didn’t have a baby in it.’
With that, I turned and walked back toward my house. The dad was offering to pay for the stroller while the girl and her mom stood there crying in a pitiful embrace. Over my shoulder I told him, ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ll get another one. No big deal.’
She does NOT speed by my house anymore.”
“We had recently moved into our new home and didn’t know any of the neighbors. One neighbor a few doors down had an old basset hound who, for some unknown reason, decided that our front yard resembled his bathroom nirvana. I didn’t yet know for sure which dog was ‘blessing’ our yard until I caught him in the act- with his pants down so to speak. I finally scooped up the large steaming pile of poop with my shovel, carried it over to its rightful home, knocked on the front door, opened the screen door, and when the owner answered I dumped the prize in the entryway just inside the door. I said, ‘I believe this belongs to you’ and left.
They and their company were having dinner in the dining room a few feet from the door and everyone present watched and heard what I said. I wasn’t loud, growling, or threatening- I was just friendly and matter-of-fact about it. Their stunned expression was priceless. That was the end of our front yard surprises. The neighbors never again mentioned it.”
“When I left college, moving back in with my folks just didn’t seem like the thing to do, but back then my girlfriend and I didn’t feel ready to move in together. So I found a flat to rent close to where she lived. It was a nice area with four houses with generous gardens. Most had been bought by the tenants and as a result were well maintained by the owners; quiet, leafy suburbia.
The flat in question was leased to me by a middle-aged couple who had bought it for their elderly mother hoping to make a killing flipping it when she died. Granny it would seem, helped them by apparently smoking herself to death and left them with a slight problem – they couldn’t sell the place. The decor was horrendous, and the interior was yellower than a toliet. I could virtually limbo under the gap between door and floor. But my new landlords kindly said if I wanted to strip out all the granny stuff and redecorate, they would pay for it – splendid!
The only blot on the horizon was the two chintzy, old ladys that lived next door. They had been there for decades, so their normality must have been shattered by the death of their neighbor who had lived there for years. I was sensitive to this and was as friendly and courteous as could be, but it wasn’t long before the barbed remarks began. One day I was in the back garden stripping layered paint and nicotine off the doors. Obviously, this would meet with firm disapproval. So no real surprise when from the corner of my eye I caught a garish splash of floral polyester. They had a habit of appearing stealthily like some incontinent ninja brigade. They were standing silently, side by side, like a horribly shrivelled version of the twins from The Shining. A few pleasantries were exchanged – then it came…
‘So you don’t work, do you?’
‘Well no, I’ve just finished an honors degree and I am looking for a job in my field, but there is a pretty major recession on.’
I continued to be cheery and redid the place from top to bottom – whilst also applying for jobs. During this time, they closely monitored my EVERY move. If I went into the back garden they would immediately appear, set up deck chairs, plonk themselves down and knit with sustained and intense fury – never once taking their little beady eyes off me. It started raining lightly one day so they simply moved the deckchairs into their shed, left the door open, and continued the surveillance!
Eventually, I found a job. They quickly turned their attentions to my relationship with my girlfriend.
‘So you’re not married, ARE YOU?’ they chimed in unison with their powdery bunched-up little faces.
The curtain twitching would go into a frenzy any time my girlfriend arrived. It was a warm summer, so I’d often have the barbecue on the go of an evening. As soon as I lit the thing the same routine would begin: they would make a huge deal out of slamming all their windows shut, then rush out to take in their washing, tutting and muttering. I should point out the washing that was about 40 feet away down their side of the garden and well up-wind from my tiny barbeque.
Then one day they made some comment about hanging out laundry. From what I could gather they had certain days for washing and somehow expected me to adhere to this bizarre ritual. This and the constant prying about my girlfriend gave me an idea.
The following day, I waited until they toddled off to wherever the public hanging was that day. Then I hung my washing out, sat in the garden, lit the barbecue, opened a brew and waited for their return. I even took my shirt off for good measure. It was at this point I really wished I had some tattoos. Soon enough I heard their respective front doors slam, counted to 5 and turned around. Sure enough, there they were peering out their windows. Clearly, they couldn’t get a close enough look from there so out came the deckchairs.
They sat in complete silence staring at the spectacle of my laundry billowing in the breeze. With considerable skill I had carefully pegged one of her laciest prettiest bras to the line. Then below the bra hung a matching suspender belt which in turn supported a tiny wispy little pair of panties and of course a pair of sheer lacy-topped black stockings that waved lazily in the breeze, like a very thin lady running in slow motion.
‘Hello ladies, lovely day!’ I waved cheerily.
If they could have pursed their little faces up any more, they’d have turned them inside out. Vicious old bats.
Then, things escalated considerably.
This first became evident when they started to mow further and further into my lawn. The old biddies were quite literally cutting my grass. They always conspired together, frantically rushing around the garden in tartan slippers, always at dusk – one mowing, one cable bashing. I’m not a petty man; well I am actually, so clearly, this was going to escalate.
The garden had a white fence about 6 feet high at the division point of the properties, but this barely extended onto the back lawn-whereas the lawn stretched farther. To make matters worse, my side was an end terrace so I had another large garden area and parking for three cars at the side of my place. They had no such luxury, so this was probably an issue of hot contention for them too, even though neither of them had cars.
The wonky line that veered further into my lawn, now twice a week during the height of summer, was getting on my nerves. Then plastic bottles filled with water started appearing everywhere. I had to ask.
‘The bottles keep YOUR cats out of our garden?’
‘Their reflection, it scares them off.’
‘Does it really? How ingenious!’
On further inquiry, I was informed (incredulously, as though I was an utter cretin): ‘It keeps cats out – cats are too lazy to climb fences.’
But it was the lawn thing that really made me mad. When the man arrived to deliver my fence, I got him to leave the posts: 16-pound sledgehammer, fence panels, clips and other related paraphernalia stacked up ominously in the back garden. Then I went out for a brew.
By the time I came back, they were out on the deckchairs perched on the disputed border, knitting. I stubbed my smoke onto the lawn, dead on the borderline. Grinding it in with my foot I squinted into the sunlight, and snarled…
‘Can’t hang around ladies, things to do.’
Whang – the first metal post spike pierced the lawn and plunged into the ground. It was like pushing candles into a birthday cake. A few taps on the wooden post and it was done. The first birch lap, pressure-treated panel was up. At 6 foot it was considerably taller than me, and these old bints were struggling to hit 5 foot.
They went absolutely, vein-popping, mental. Literally running in and out of their flats, shouting insults from upper windows.
‘You can’t do that, this is private property’ one shrieked.
‘Yes it is, and this half is mine’ I smiled sweetly.
‘You don’t own it; I’m phoning Mrs. Cantremeberhername (my landlady).’
‘No need, I have in writing from her that she approves of the fence. Would you care to see?’
‘You need planning permission.’
‘I don’t – it is classed a temporary structure, and as it is less than 7 feet in height therefore I don’t need permission from anyone except the landowner, which I have.’
‘It’s on the wrong boundary.’
‘Not according to this copy of the deeds (flip, flap, unfold) – care to see? In fact, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you but that part of the end of the garden is also actually mine – right up to the back fence.’
She was apologetic by this point – the bit at the bottom of the garden was her favorite spot for deckchair surveillance. It actually looked into my living room.
Then, her son arrived.
‘Tell him Malcolm, TELL HIM.’
I explained the situation to the clearly long-suffering man. He apologized and gave me his number in case I needed it. Then smiled weakly as he tried to assure her it was not a police matter and I was not deliberately destroying the value of her property. I continued to put the line of fence panels up at an impressive rate. The mad old witch now had to be physically held back by her son. Then the other old bint who had been quieter up till now suddenly opened her upper window and screamed…
‘You’re not even married; it’s disgusting!’
‘Why don’t we elope?’ I suggested. ‘Blue hair really does it for me?’
As the last panel went up I stood back and took stock. Just as I was about to pop another brew, I heard a clattering from the mad old bat’s garden shed. Then perched on ancient stepladders, craning and wobbling awkwardly around the last panel, I saw a frazzled mop of blue hair attached to an alarmingly purple face glaring round the fence – so far down the garden I struggled at first to see which poisonous harridan was there screeching the now immortal line…
‘I can still SEE you, you know! I can still SEE….’
I can only assume at that point the ramifications of a person of advancing years clambering onto an antique ladder suddenly became distinctly apparent to the old witch.”
Bring On The Lights
“I lived in a house that was built out into 3 apartments. The middle unit (my apartment) had a separate entrance on the right side of the house, small walk way. For the first year or two the neighboring house was a legal daycare. I worked days so there wasn’t any problems; it was a nice situation.
Well, the daycare owner retired and sold the house to a prominent realtor. Who chose to rent it out? Our town has a Major University, so the renters were young College students. They had a band, they had parties, the street was almost impassable with all the cars. This was almost every weekend.
Did I mention there was only one bathroom and the line was long?
So inebriated college guys would go out and urinate adjacent to my front door. I could tell when the door opened from their house by the increase of volume of the band.
Numerous noise complaints, calls to the police then the landlord mostly useless.
My revenge although small was a motion sensor ‘Flood Light’ aimed at my walk and the porch next door. There was just enough delay, door opens guys line up zippers down urination begins BAM Flood lights pop on. I could see through the peephole in the door, it was hilarious. They urinated on each other zipped up delicate portions of their bodies and were trying to run. It looked like cockroaches scattering when a light comes on.”