Today’s Installment of Those Crazy Neighbors

I woke up at 3am this morning to the sound of a ruckus in my front yard, followed by giggling, followed by people giving other people decorating instructions.

And I thought to myself, “My neighbors are drunk and toilet-papering my house, aren’t they?”

The answer:

Why, yes. Yes they were.

These neighbors, incidentally? Older than me. So I can’t even shake my cane at them!

That’s it. I’m going back to bed. That’ll show them.


88 Comments on “Today’s Installment of Those Crazy Neighbors”

  1. Just in case you missed it, incidentally: Not in the least upset or annoyed at the neighbors. I think it’s nice they still do things as a couple. At 3am. In my yard.

  2. It’s a very neat loo papering. Well, apart from the tree. I would have called them back and made them redo that bit.

  3. Your sober lifestyle unfortunately does not lend itself for true appreciation of 3am art endeavors, although I think they missed an opportunity to put a giant penis on your lawn or say hello in 20 ft. lettering.

  4. The teens around here would call that a good start. They tear off individual sheets and use it like confetti–that’s where they get you! (Your neighbors sound like fun.)

  5. Just in case you missed it, incidentally: Not in the least upset or annoyed at the neighbors. I think it’s nice they still do things as a couple. At 3am. In my yard.

    Yeah. Just think what they could have been doing as a couple. At 3 am. In your yard. ;)

    @kennelliver: why NOT? :)

  6. Ross Hershberger – Approximately Detroit – I've been an electronics tech since trade school in the 1970s. I've worked as a mainframe programmer, tooling machinist, restorer of vintage tube amps, custodial equipment technician and several other unlikely jobs. Since 2012 I've worked as a YAG Laser Field Service Engineer for the North American division of TRUMPF GmbH.
    Ross Hershberger

    Funny until it rains.

  7. @Doire

    By the time Ravelry finish the Holy wars over whether acrylic or hand dyed, home spun, merino is better for yarn bombing they’ll have forgotten who they were supposed to be yarn bombing.

  8. Several years ago (less than 10, more than 5), I was lookout for my mother and her sister-in-law while they TP’ed a neighbor. They were not drunk. Mom was in her early 60s — and she was definitely the ringleader of this escapade. (She and my aunt really need to be supervised when they’re together…)

    Senior delinquents are a more widespread problem than I thought.

  9. gethinmorgan – Wales – Writer, baker, beard bon viveur. And single-dad of three precocious little Jedi. Single father, Catan Addict, and writer.

    Revenge could be sweet!

  10. Even though you’re not annoyed, you can still get a cane and wave it while yelling something humorous at them.

  11. Revenge plot scenario (non-flaming poo bag edition): While you still hold some sway over them, instruct all the SJWs to drop the internet on your neighbors’ heads.

  12. Nice.

    In the days of my youth, I was part of a highly trained TP commando unit. We would plan ingress and egress routes, study topology and scout targets. We had our own code of silence. Teachers were our favorite targets, and we would hit some of them again and again. We would take multiple vehicles, hike into target areas, and were generally really, really, good at spreading cases of toilet paper all over your neighborhood.

    We never got caught. This is my confession.

  13. My neighborhood mixed eggs in with the TP for unpopular houses. (And no, I never did. But siblings, on the other hand..)

  14. If you weren’t a gamma rabbit, you’d have driven them off with automatic weapons fire, then burned their house to the ground a couple hours later to show that you were an Alpha Male, a force to be reckoned with. Then you’d get their women or something.

  15. When my neighbours make a lot of noise at 3 am it tends to be their party guests leaving. They do this by thumping down the stairs and yelling at each other for 20 mins and banging doors.

    There is only 3 floors in the building I’m on the lowest one and the new neighbours are on the top…

    To top it off, these are students, so this is our illustrious future yelling, clomping and generally being doucheweasels at 3 am. Would you like to trade neighbours?

    (Oh and at least one of my other neighbours has young children – I hope they sleep through the racket).

  16. When I was in high school my yard got toilet-papered one weekend. The next Monday at school one of the local kids – a guy named Dan Hollar, who had a reputation as the local toilet-paper artiste – came up to me and said, “Hey dude, do you want to know who toilet-papered your house?”


    ‘You really don’t want to know?

    “Nope. I couldn’t care less.”

    “But don’t you think-”

    “Dan, I really don’t care,” I said, and walked away, to the sound of him sputtering behind me as his friends laughed. Not with him, but at him.

    One of life’s little joys, even thirty years later.

  17. I think it was nice of your neighbors to make sure the birds had something to dry off with when they are done with their baths.

  18. I was thinking “Do kids still do that, even out there in Reddest Flatland?” and lo, it was grown-ups. Which explains the restraint and neatness.

    I can think of a lot better things to do with my husband at 3 AM, but that is retro-charming. Is this the guy who mows your ginormous yard? He’s entitled to a little TP fun.

    Although, indeed, the TP is nothing compared to waking me up at that hour.

  19. @MarkSpice: Oh, no, we never, never forget. Do not mess with the Ravelry.

    @Jerome ONeill: And that’s why none of my students ever knew where I lived, and why I chose to live at least one town away from wherever I taught – I was fully aware of just what they could accomplish if they only pulled it together!

    But they did disappoint me – back when I was student teaching, the senior class was particularly apathetic and unorganized. Another younger teacher and I tried to get a decent senior prank going, but even with our offers of advice and instructions they refused to so much as stack tires around the flag pole. I wept for the future of entrepreneurship.

  20. When I was a kid TPing was done only to people you really hated. Our house got hit a fair amount. Also egged.

    The flaming poo-bag is REALLY unfriendly.

    I like the idea of whiting up your hair, and going over early in the morning and waving a cane at them while calling them “wild kids” and “juvenile delinquents.” Best would have been to do it when they were hung over, but it would still be funny tomorrow.

  21. Interesting that you presume neighbors and not Athena’s friends. Or maybe this isn’t the first shot in the war?

  22. One night my neighbors decided to party loud and hard until early in the morning. They were bbqing, drinking, smoking and fighting. In the morning, due to a lack of REM sleep, I accidentally placed my speakers in an open window that faced their house, found an album, Patridge Family’s Greatest Hits, that someone had left at my house, and played I Think I Love You, at a higher than normal volume. This, at 6:30 in the morning.

  23. Wow, John – given the size of your yard, your neighbors may have had to go a long way even to *get* to your house to TP it. Shows real neighborly dedication, and/or lots and lots of alcohol.

    For yarn bombing, obviously acrylic would be the right choice, because it’s going outside, and it’ll be more tolerant of rain (assuming it’s going somewhere that rains, like Ohio but usually not Phoenix.)

  24. @Mark Spice (8:35 am)…Don’t bet on it. Those of us over on Ravelry are smart, focused, and determined. We aren’t your grandmother’s knitters. We aren’t even your mother’s knitters. And we never forget. *grin*

  25. Shawn – Ohio, USA – Early to bed, early or whirlybird or something. Bored now, bye. Don't step on any Lego's 'cause it _Hurts_!
    Shawn T

    @snail: Well, trees /are/ hard to work with.

  26. @Ray: My parents enjoy the story of their very first apartment as a married couple. They shared a paper-thin wall with another couple who were very nice people until the first time they threw a house party. My parents waited until the party put on a record that my parents also owned, and then put the same record on their phonograph, timed about two seconds after the party record, turned it to max volume, and went to a movie.

    They got an apology note and a bottle of cheap wine the next day.

  27. Hooray for your neighbors, who’ve taught us all an important lesson: do your TPing while you’re young enough to enjoy it! Because dropping a box of Depends on someone’s front porch is just kind of sad.

  28. seekatesing – I am a mezzo-soprano with a degree in Vocal Performance, currently employed as an English teacher in South Korea. I aim to work my way back into the musical field after about four years away. Watch me go!
    Katherine Traylor

    I think you should gather the TP, wet it, make some kind of papier-mache artifact (a ghost, maybe?), and leave it on their porch.

  29. janeishly – Writer, editor, Swedish-English and French-English translator. European. Addicted to No Man's Sky and Earl Grey tea (ideally both at once). She/her.

    Um… as a Brit I’m a bit confused. This is obviously some US custom that I’ve previously been in ignorance of. Can someone explain the significance (like, for instance, why are these people being accused of having done this several weeks too early?)

  30. @janeishly – generally speaking, Halloween (Oct 31) is regarded as a prime prank-performing night. After the little kids finish going from house to house to collect candy, the older kids will sometimes prank their friends or their enemies or occasionally even strangers. This is the “Trick” portion of “Trick or Treat”.

    TPing isn’t a Halloween-only sort of prank. It is probably the most common outdoor prank in the US. It’s easy to do and not very costly to the prankers. The only real problem is when it rains after the “decorating”.

  31. I like Katherine Traylor’s idea. A neighborly exchange.

    For only two people, that’s actually a pretty fine job. They covered the maximum amount of space with the minimum of material.

    Was there a homecoming game in the vicinity? Or some sort of civic festival? That often fires up folk to re-create the fun of their youth. Nostalgia.

  32. It wasn’t. They were having fun, and we know our neighbors well (they have been our neighbors for 12 years now).

  33. I’m surprised you’re so mellow about it. If someone did that to my house *and* woke me up at 3AM (pst, John, “3AM this morning” is kind of redundant, “today” would be better) to do it, I’d be pissed. It’s not so much that I lack a sense of humour, just that I have trouble keeping up with my own mess, let alone cleaning up messes other people have courteously made on my behalf…

  34. @ Bruce H.: Since Mr. Scalzi keeps that form of vengeance reserved for particularly toxic racist idiots, and since his neighbors seem to be nice people, I believe that Mr. Scalzi will not engage in an “annoy-the-neighbors” fundraiser drive. I could be wrong, of course, but the evidence suggests that he will get more creative with his revenge.

  35. Interrobang, there’s neighbors and there’s neighbors. If my neighbors who set off professional-grade fireworks unsafely last Fourth of July TPed my house at 3 a.m., I’d be pissed off enough to do something deeply nasty to some of their property. However, the chances that they would TP my house are pretty much nil, fortunately for me and for them. If my kind and greathearted neighbors on the other side had done it, I would get a hearty laugh out of it and get their kid to help clean it up. If a bunch of unknown teens from the neighborhood had done it, I would gnash my teeth and curse and consider calling the cops but eventually not bother. If my friends that live in the next town over had done it, I’d be impressed at their managing it and would treat them to beer and stuff. Or coffee if that was their need and preference.

  36. Ah, that brings back such fond memories of the time some friends and I TP’ed the back yard of a girl we were all mad at. We mummy-wrapped a canoe and a picnic table (not together – that would have been ridiculous), and festooned two trees, and my personal project was to tie lovely bows on every geranium flower stalk in the flower beds. I was so proud of the cuteness factor, and yet, none of us could say anything, because her mother would have pressed charges for sure. The easiest part was convincing one of our moms to uphold our alibi, as she was pissed that the girl had been mean to her daughter in the first place.

  37. You need a place in the country, sans looney neighbors.
    I’d say you are far more tolerant then I would have been.
    Sorry, no sense of humor here.
    At least make them clean it up.
    Ask them to do so at three-thirty ayem.

  38. Oh, KateH, I wish I was your friend in those days. That’s great attention to detail, and wonderful solidarity against the mean girl.

  39. I know this is totally out of context, but i’ve got to ask:

    Why is flying the flag such a big thing on american culture ? It shows a lack of respect by not flying it ? You want to tell everybody that you’re an real american ?

    Please note i’m curious as someone not from the us.

  40. Hahaha!!!! And there was some younger ones there…. You could of shook your cane at us and we may have laughed harder than we already was!

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