Dec 13

Once again our neighbours have gone into uber-friendly Christmas mode.

First we get a notice in our letter box from down the street asking if we’d like to be part of the Christmas morning Santa syndicate. For a small fee it can be arranged for Santa to stop by and deliver to our bright-eyed kiddies a pre-purchased gift to the value of $20. This is an annual event in our street. Sadly I can’t find the piece of paper otherwise I’d go on heckling in more detail.

Next arrives from a few doors down – people we’ve barely seen let alone spoken with – an invitation to a “Christmas eve street party”. Apparently BBQ facilities are provided, so all we need to do is bring our own food and drinks and we can all get together and “have a few laughs”.

I’d rather eat tinsel.

You see, our neighbours are a strange lot. There’s the “Takaluas” (not their real name) next door who, though unfailingly friendly, are a mysterious bunch with odd nocturnal habits. The “Ethans” (not their real name) on the other side are a pair of screaming nutcases who are on the verge of bringing a third child into their high-tension household. Further afield our street holds a selection of suburbanites who collectively have taken lawn care (and hence annoying me) to new extremes. One of my favourites is “Crown Lager guy”, who can be seen in his front yard each afternoon around 4:30, cradling a Crownie, looking for his next conversational victim. Lately he has taken to standing, beer in hand, out front of the construction site across the road, staring intently through the wire mesh fence at the bare concrete slab, as if it somehow all makes sense.

You’re probably thinking I’m being a bit bah humbuggy about this, and you’d be right. I’ve searched deep within myself and found not even an inkling of desire to spend a single minute socialising with any of our neighbours. For 364 days of the year they annoy the shit out of me with their lawn mowers and line trimmers, so I don’t see why I should happily share a beer and a sausage with them just because it’s Christmas.

I plan to spend Christmas Eve with people I care about. Namely, Rach, our cats, and a large glass of eggnog.

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