Keeping up with the Joneses

Normally I wouldn`t be nasty. It`s not me. But really…one can only take so much.

I live in a gated community. A little piece of paranoid Eden in the heart of the Boerwors Belt. My friends joke about my stubborn attitude towards moving out of the northerns…they say they have to pack a passport and a ‘padkos` to visit me. In fact, more often than not, I will drive all the way to the CBD or the Southern Suburbs to see them. And I will do it with a smile because my choice of geographical location makes perfect sense to me.

I live in Vredekloof, in a neat security-patrolled gated Estate. Some of the homes are architectural wonders and the people are of a good caliber. Nice people. Hard-working upwardly mobiles with 1.2 kids (HAH! Nobody has 2.5 these days). Because of the nature of the estate, it is one of the rare places where you feel safe to jog (*snort*) or walk your dog. Kids still play in the street, and ducks, geese and fisante meander into our front garden. We have a park. We have a lake in our park. We have fishies in our lake in our park. We have a newsletter for our community for Pete`s sake. Hell, even the dogs are well behaved.

And the neighbours…aah…the neighbours. Perfect. Good people all round. Friendly but not overly so. We show enough interest in each other without being nosy or overbearing. And I can rest assured that if I ever fall, knock my head and start bleeding…my neighbours will eventually notice that my dogs are going crazy and, before I bleed out totally, they will come to the rescue with the local ER24 guy in tow (firstly…don`t kid. This is a common singleton fear. Nobody wants to be a smelly corpse because nobody realised that you haven`t surfaced in days. And secondly…yes, we DO actually have our own ER24 guy *smirk*). So, my neighbours are perfect.

Except for Danie

Dear Danie,

I know we don’t talk much, but I thought we should open up our lines of communication. You see, sometimes, it seems like you and I talk more than you and your girlfriend talkand the two of you live together! I know, crazy, right? Well, it has to do with your really loud voice. It is regal; I’ll give you that. Totally royal. It’s just that when I’m sitting down watching a movie or reading a book, it can be unsettling to hear you tell your girlfriend that she’s a stupid bitch. I mean, I’m sure she is a total cow, but that’s beside the point.

I mean really…respectively we have actually got a garden around our homes and a boundary wall. It`s not like we`re living on top of each other. But that`s ok, Danie. I don`t mind. Really…I love the fact that you`re such a caring sharing neighbour.

I mean, I guess that must be why you park your pimped-out Golf on an angle in the spare parking space. It’s totally reasonable to take up two parking spots, even if you only drive the thing about once a week! I’d be worried that your girlfriend might open her car door and chip that lovely aluminum paint job you’ve got going.

Another thing is your sinus problem, Danie. I’m really concerned about your health lately. You seem to have an excessive amount of mucus in your throat and nose and it’s well past allergy season. Don’t get me wrong – it’s totally great that you spend many hours of your day clearing said mucus with ferocity and determination. Show that snot who’s the damn boss, Danie! Go gettim` Tiger!

I guess it’s good to know that you’re still enjoying yourself despite the health and girlfriend issues. In fact, it’s really nice to know that I don’t have to watch the Springboks play all the time because, based on your maniacal yelling, I can tell who’s winning! And that surround sound system you’ve got must really heighten the experience of your nightly movies. I’d be jealous if you weren’t so kind enough to share with me!

In the end, I think maybe I’d suggest some nice relaxation techniques. It may help with your stress. Yes, of course I know you’re stressed! I can hear the weight on your shoulders as it resonates down through your heavy feet. Especially in the bedroom. For some reason I hear you pounding around a lot in there. Oh wait a second! I’m so embarrassed! That must be you and the lovely lady enjoying your relaxation, together! Sorry to intrude!

I mean, I’m practically privy to your every. single. move.

So, thanks Danie. Thanks for being so open. For sharing so much of yourself. For just being you.

Your neighbour,


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