Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday pet peeve: noisy neighbours

We're avoiding the worst effects of the (now thankfully waning) heatwave by sleeping in the spare bedroom, which is much cooler than our own. However, last night's attempt at a good night's sleep was a massive FAIL.

It is NOT COOL to use power tools in a residential neighbourhood at 11 pm on a weeknight.

Mr E Man had to go out into the back alley in just his shorts last night to find the perpetrators and ask them to STFU. (Response: "but we've almost finished!" Tough shit, buddy, some people get up at 5.30 am for work).

It is NOT COOL to repeatedly attempt to park a huge truck equipped with one of those beeping reversing / backing up alarms, in the same back alley, at 1 am on a weeknight.

Especially when you clearly suck at parking. Perpetrators currently unknown as I couldn't actually see the truck from the window.

The subsequent Crazy Kitteh attacks on our feet were no-one's fault but our own; we've been keeping the bedroom door open to get the benefit of the ceiling fan in the next room, giving the cats access to our sleeping selves for the first time. But the damage was already done by the time the latest manifestation of a recent jump in feline craziness started to hit, just as it got light.

A plague of tinnitus upon noisy neighbours!


  1. Is it sad that I love Pet Peeve Tuesday? I look forward to it every week.

    All very good points. Why is it that big trucks never seem to get parked until the wee hours anyway? Maybe your husband should have to 'gun' his engine at 5:30am in front of the power-tool using house (car problems...what can you do?)

    May I add a few?

    It is NOT COOL to stand outside with your wailing child at 3am so you don't wake your husband up. We have our windows open and our master bedroom is right above where you are standing. Why should the father be able to sleep when we can't? (You know you have a lousy strata when your neighbours admit this).

    It is NOT COOL to smoke outside our open windows, at any time of day/night. Yes, we know most people don't like smoking in their house...we don't either...so please don't fill our house with smoke.

    It is NOT COOL to drive your car down the lane to collect the bottles on recycling-eve. If you can afford to run a car, why are you doing this? And if you do have to do it, can you at least keep your radio turned down?

    Fun game :)

  2. Wow am I glad I own my home, because seriously where esle are you supposed to take your screaming child if not outside?

  3. It is not so much that it is taking the child outside. It is more the rationale behind the action. We have lots of neighbours with kids....and kids cry...no problem. I am sure we aren't silent neighbours either. What I don't understand is why it is OK to wake all of us up so the husband could sleep? Surely our need for sleep is just as important?

  4. Some cities or neighborhoods have a begin and stop hour for construction, and some kind of limit for noisy things, like 10 pm. Don't think I've seen an actual limit to truck noises, though. Way uncool.

  5. Re: screaming, crying babies. My parents said they had to drive me around in the car when I would get into those kinds of fits. Apparently it worked. Probably they both went on those night trips.

  6. SM, I'm sorry but I'm with Mermaid on this one... it's one thing to have a screaming kid in your house, but another to actively choose to inflict the noise on neighbours at 3 am rather than disturb your own household. And I can't believe she'd publicly admit to such antisocial behaviour! (NB Mermaid's place is in a built-up area and is pretty damn close to the nearest neighbours!). I like SF's car ride idea ;)

    Mermaid, I haven't done this every Tuesday - I wasn't feeling peeved at all last week, which might even happen again at some point in the future!

    I'm sure there are some neighbours who hate Mr E Man's 6am leaving time, but he does his best to be quiet. I don't think he's mean enough to go and rev his engine outside someone's house at that time, not for a first offense anyway!

    The smoking thing bugs me too. All our tenants have been smokers of one substance and/or another, and they were really good about not smoking in the house, but I forgot to mention the "and not by open windows or doors either" thing with the first guy! He was happy to move further away from the house when we asked him though.

    SF, we did think about going to look those rules up, but it was too late and we'd rather take the personal approach, at least at first! If it happens again we'll (well, he'll) go in person again, and if it keeps happening after that then we might think about making a complaint.

    Anyway, it's not as bad as on Commercial Drive, when all the motorcycle gang members would hang out at the restaurant downstairs and rev their engines for 10 minutes at a time outside. Mr E Man once went storming out of the apartment to complain, got outside, saw a HUGE gang of super-tough looking dudes, and came meekly back inside!

  7. How about, for apartment dwellers, neighbors getting in a 2am and walking heavily about on their hardwood floors in heels, then deciding to vacuum the floor even later? Granted, I'm usually still awake at 2am, but on those occasions that I can trick myself into sleeping earlier it really annoys me. It's also very annoying when your neighbors argue loudly at night in a foreign language that you can understand. Rowing in another language doesn't make it any more polite.

  8. It is NOT COOL to disappear for days on end, leaving your two giant dogs stuffed in a tiny (about 3x3 meters) back yard with barely any shade. The poor things barked THE WHOLE TIME, broke the fence into my tiny back yard (now sort of fixed), and broke the owner's door screen. I wonder what would have happened if I didn't refill their empty water bucket with water twice (thank goodness for a hose, I wouldn't dare get within their reach!)

  9. As usual, Cath, you two handled the situation with grace :). I would love to have you as neighbours! I have great dreams about revenge, but always seem to wuss out....to the point of quietly sneaking out of my house to go to 5:30am swim training so as not to wake any neighbour children (I guess I am nicer than I sound).

    When I was ~19, I was at the Peach Festival, camping out in some person's backyard. We (a large group of campers) kept the neighbours awake until the wee hours with our noise. One neighbour fought back and started his drill press as soon as legal - about 7am I think. Even young and hungover, I had to laugh as he was just getting us back!

    As to leaving dogs on their own - not only is that not cool, but downright mean and dangerous. Thank goodness for neighbours who provide water!

  10. Toaster, oh so many fond memories of people walking around on my ceiling... you can't really yell at people for walking on their own floors, but hard-soled shoes on hardwood floors are NOT COOL. Vacuuming is beyond the pale!

    I think I'd rather hear arguments that I can understand than ones I can't. At least there's a chance you'll get to hear something good while lying awake.

    SG, I think you win! That's shocking. Good for you for giving the poor dogs water. I hope the owners don't do this again - but in case they do, maybe you should have the number of your local animal protection people on hand?

    Mermaid, neighbour wars are no fun for anyone! It took us ages to really feel like home in our street, but now that we know our neighbours better, I'd like to keep the sense of harmony going! And it really bugs me when people go over your head to complain about something, rather than coming to you in person (I'm talking to YOU, the people on the Toronto-Vancouver train in 1999 who asked the guard to tell us to stop playing guitar one evening. It was only 7.30 pm, the poor guy was embarrassed and very apologetic. (Grudge-holding, moi?)).

    I'm sure my friends and I annoyed some fellow campers too in our teens... I like to think that I know better now!

  11. Cath - I live in my own house, that has huge yard. Even if I took my kid out at 3am, no one would hear. Have I taken him outside, at night when he's screaming? Yes. Not to prevent Mr.SM from waking up, but to either cool off monkey because its freaking hot OR to get him some fresh air so he can breath (ie middle of winter and he's stuffed up).

    I'm not sure I could live in a city where everyone is so close. As a suburbia gal, I've never dealt with this sorta stuff.

  12. My obnoxious neighbor story: Our neighbors in our old apartment complex. They decided to tire the kids out by allowing them to run up and down our stairs (these were inside the building and it was raining out). This would've been just mildly annoying until the mother (or babysitter?) told them that they had to run all the way up the stairs and tag (our) door. Three kids knocking on our door all afternoon while our dog went nuts was interesting to say the least.

  13. SM, for me (and for now), the benefits of living in the city outweigh the drawbacks. Especially now that we're back in our own bedroom and only have the noise of passing cars, which we're completely used to and don't even notice any more.

    Amanda, that must have been so annoying! I'd have been tempted to yell at the kids and/or have a word with their supervising adult...

  14. Dude, that sucks. It was a bit like that where I lived in DC. Too hot, too noisy, too many asshole neighbours... so I moved to the 'hood...

  15. It was too hot, so you moved to Memphis?! I hope it's quieter, anyway ;)

  16. I have one thing to say about this and I say it without judgement. I can hear my neighbor watching and participating in porn in his living room. I can tell you that he really gets into it. Like, really, really gets into it.

  17. Wow.

    If you don't want to pass judgement, let me do it for you:

    "there is nothing intrinsically wrong with enjoying p0rn (depending on the kind of p0rn), but inflicting it on your neighbours is SICK and WRONG".

    How was that?

    Oh, and thanks for the future Google search terms, I'm sure they'll be hilarious!

  18. One time a car parked outside our building got the horn got stuck on. For several hours. It was awful. They finally had it towed around 11 pm. However, I think they were trying to fix it the whole time, so I mostly felt bad for the car owner.

    I still like Tuesday Pet Peeve. :)

  19. Sorry for chipping in so late but Toaster Sunshine could you upstairs neighbour have been inflating an air mattress - you know one of those flashy ones where you just plug-in a cord and then the little engine do all the pumping for you?
    I noticed last night (at 10.30 and felt bad for my downstairs neighbour… but I also keep forgetting to inflate the mattress before our guests need it...) that the noise that engine makes sounds remarkably like a vacuum cleaner.
    It doesn't make up for the inconvenience of the noise but maybe makes it less outrageously than if she decided to vacuum in the middle of the night...

  20. EGF, that sounds dreadful! But I can see why you'd be sympathetic, they must have been suffering too.

    Lisbeth, good suggestion. Ours sounds much like a vacuum cleaner.


I promise to respond to all respectful non-spam comments! Don't be shy! Oh, and please don't type my surname in your comments; I know you all know what it is, but I'd prefer Google to rank other pages before this blog.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.