Neighbourly Love

A collection of anecdotes of my favourite crazy friends, told from the POV of a man married to an equally crazy woman. Keeping Up Appearances Mrs. Bucket meets Poppy from Happy-Go-Lucky.

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1. Neighbourly Love

Ludivine glared at the pile of dishes in the sink, her left eyelid twitching spontaneously as it always did when she was annoyed. David had learned long ago to leave the room when this happened. He sidled out as the nostrils began to flare, deciding to hide in the garage and longing for the old days when it was other people who annoyed his beautiful wife and not him.

 

But as he was escaping down the hallway, his ears pricked up;

“What the fuck is she doing now?” he heard Lu declaring, and he knew with relief that she was watching the girl in the house opposite. This particular neighbour was always up to something odd – usually displaying the strange behaviours of somebody who spends far too much time on their own. Last time it was covering herself in paint, naked, and throwing herself at the interior walls of the upstairs bedroom. Unsurprisingly, Lu was utterly horrified and couldn’t stop gasping in shock for days afterwards. Oh, and the time before that, when the girl spent four days nailing multi-coloured tin cans onto their joining fence for no apparent reason at all, was especially memorable. Mainly because she didn’t seem in the least bit bothered when it rained heavily and all the cans filled up with water, pulling the fence down with the weight. The resounding crash even managed to obscure the sound of his wife’s dainty, expletive-filled screams. This particular episode caused endless eyelid spasms.

“David, come in here now! Quick! She’s being weird again… Oh Christ, where’s my glasses…”

He shuffled back into the kitchen and, standing next to his wife, stared over the fence at the back of their garden and straight into the girl’s kitchen, past the clutter of pots, pans and basil plants on the windowsill. She seemed to be striking some sort of peculiar pose; her legs must have been wide apart as she looked considerably shorter than normal, and in one hand she held a rolled up newspaper, with both arms outspread. On her face she wore a look of utter determination, and her hair was quite literally standing up on end. She looked frozen to the spot.

Suddenly, she pounced forward and was obscured by the wall momentarily. Then, bellowed out like a war-cry, they heard;

“AHA!! HAH! FUCKING TOLD YOU I’D GET YOU ONE DAY – YOU LITTLE BASTARD! AHAHAHA! HAHA! HAH!”

They just stood and stared in silence, unable to speak, as she came back into view looking slightly ruffled but triumphant. She began to do a victory dance then promptly disappeared into her hallway, hollering incomprehensibly and leaving nothing for David to look at but an utterly bemused Lu with her mouth hanging wide open. He quickly supressed a snort of laughter.

Then they caught a movement in the house next door, where their friend Petra lived. Craning to see into her kitchen, they spotted her closing the window and Lu waved to catch her attention. Petra shrugged her shoulders and rolled her eyes. She was used to funny happenings from her next-door neighbour now, and every Tuesday afternoon over a cup of tea at their place, she and Lu took enormous pleasure in dissecting absolutely everything this girl got up to. Petra had the sound effects as she couldn’t see into the girl’s kitchen herself, and Lu had the visual effects but caught less of the sound. Together they were the perfect match for gossiping about number forty-four.

Tuesday was today, and tea was in half an hour. For the time being, the dishes were forgotten and David was off the hook.

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