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House Party

The violent monkey-man who lived next door has moved out.

He had a ‘party’ with some of his stylish gentleman friends on Saturday night to celebrate his departure. It got very out of hand. There was noise, destruction on a grand scale and intimidation on a small scale.

He and and mates from ‘oop narth’ managed to: play drum-and-bass music loud enough to shake the foundations of the houses of his neighbours (including me) until three o’clock in the morning; destroy the fence that separates his garden from mine and, along with the new pine decking from his neighbour on the other side, burn it in a big bonfire; and threaten the wife of the aforementioned neighbour-on-the-other-side with a tight fist and gnashing teeth if she even thought about calling the police.

She didn’t call the police. Neither did I. We were too frightened to get involved.

The next morning we surveyed the damage together and decided that it could have been a lot worse. No one was injured and our houses escaped with only minor damage considering the fury of the ‘celebrations’.

‘That’s life,’ she told me.

I had to agree with ironic resignation that sadly, these days, it often is.

Crowds of gloating onlookers gathered throughout the day on Sunday to tut and shake their heads in arch wonder.

Along with the general Mongol Hordes of the village and their mentally disabled children, there was a constant stream of squawking teenagers whose comments had a sad calculation to them. ‘Not so clever now, are we?’ one of them shouted at me as I was picking up empty bottles, bricks and pieces of stained wood that once constituted my garden fence. He smiled broadly at his girlfriend as if he had just uttered the most profound and hilarious comment ever known in the history of mankind.

‘Oh go home and tidy your hormones,’ I told him, drily.

I think he probably did.