Jun 10
Shove Thy Neighbour
icon4 Jun 10th, 2008 | icon2 Neighbours |

Rach and I have just witnessed an interesting piece of social intercourse between two of our cherished neighbours.

We had just finished an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, when we realised that the shouting on screen was continuing outside in the street. We crept out onto the front balcony and, peering through the foliage, watched the drama unfold.

Let me first introduce the combatants. In the blue corner, weighing in at 22 stone, we have Fat Aussie Prick (FAP). In the red corner, with a combined weight of about 15 stone, we have Asian Mother & Asian Son (AM & AS).

FAP is an enormous, red-faced bogan in trackies and t-shirt. When we join him he is mid-argument with AS, a clean-cut 20-ish Asian kid. AM is in the background providing moral support.

The dispute seems to be related to two things:

1) FAP’s trees are hanging over into the yard of AM & AS. Some large clippings from said trees were offered into evidence as Exhibit A, with AS adamant that it was FAP’s responsibility to dispose of such.

2) FAP’s garbage bins are right on the border between the two properties. A bag of garbage – Exhibit B – was alleged to have fallen onto AM’s property, with AS insistent that this too was FAP’s responsibility.

Anyway, FAP and AS are going at it verbally, each in his own front yard, with FAP shouting at the top of his lungs. It’s fairly infantile stuff, with FAP screaming that he’s “bloody well had enough” and why don’t they just “leave him alone”. Meanwhile, AS attempts to clarify the logic of his argument – that the clippings and rubbish belong to FAP and are thus his responsibility – but this goes nowhere. Logic is not FAP’s strong point.

FAP and AS walk back and forth, each attempting to dump a large piece of shrubbery on the other’s lawn. FAP gets a bit rude with AM and AS takes offence at his mother being spoken to in such a way. I am expecting the fisticuffs to begin any moment.

Then the bag of garbage comes into play. I can see FAP’s garbage bins and they are indeed right on the edge of his yard, and are overflowing with household waste. AM makes the shocking claim that she once had to pick up FAP’s wife’s “sanitary products” from her lawn … ewwww! AS tries to place the bag of garbage onto FAP’s lawn, but FAP boots it back, with the result that AS is sprayed with a shower of trash. Charming.

Next thing out comes FAP’s wife, a blonde scrag in trackies and a Wallabies jumper. Unsurprisingly, she is not exactly a calming influence. She has also “bloody well had enough” and tries to coax her husband inside, while giving her neighbours a verbal spray. Meanwhile, FAP’s young kids are watching all this from an upstairs window. I wonder what they think of their lovely dad?

The wife disappears inside and things get more heated. Both FAP and AS are screaming now, and pieces of garbage and foliage are being thrown backwards and forwards between the two lawns. AM gets more vocal, finally makes the observation that FAP is an “arrogant arsehole” and heads back into the safety of her house.

FAP and AS continue, but their argument is going over old ground now. I wait for the racist slurs to begin. In fact, the only thing I have to say in favour of FAP is that he didn’t lower himself to physical violence or racist language (not in public anyway).

In the middle of all this, who should wander into the fray but little Fubar Takalua from next door. He strolls right through the middle of this shouting match – literally in between FAP and AS – as if it’s the most natural place for a four-year-old kid to be. Where the fuck are Fubar’s parents? His sister has to come and lure him away.

FAP is beetroot red now, and a heart attack appears imminent. He disappears into his garage for a moment and returns carrying an electric chainsaw. They are still arguing at this point, and things are looking as though they might get very ugly. Texas Chainsaw Massacre ugly.

Wisely, AS backs off, tossing a few scraps onto FAP’s lawn before he heads inside. FAP plugs the chainsaw in to an extension cord and begins to hack away at the shrub, shoving the pieces haphazardly into his neighbour’s green bin. He is still not having a bar of the rubbish, however, which he proceeds to kick and throw back onto his neighbour’s lawn.

FAP eventually goes back into his house, leaving little Fubar to wander about the cul-de-sac surveying the aftermath: a green garbage bin piled about twelve feet high with tree branches, and the lawn of AM/AS covered in what looks like several kilos of shaved carrot (upon closer inspection these are flowers and clippings).

UPDATE: Almost 24 hours later and the rubbish is still on their lawns. Nobody is wandering into this no man’s land to clean it up. An errant grapefruit has rolled down the hill and lodged in a drain several houses away. The street is eerily quiet.

Signing off, this is your correspondent Snubian reporting from the front line in the war for Suburbia.

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