In theory, I feel kind of sorry for the girl - her parents are always going off in the dad's zippy little penis-extension - I mean, vintage sports car, and they seem to be out every single evening and every weekend, and no one seems to make sure she actually turns up to school or anything. But she and her friends are such obnoxious little pricks that I just hate them. For one, they're incredibly, incredibly noisy, but I was noisy when I was their age, so whatever. But the really obnoxious thing is the way they throw all their cigarete butts and packets into our garden. Like, hundreds of them. I had plenty of crafty smokes in my back garden when I lived at home, but I didn't throw them into my neighbours garden (I ran them under the tap and shoved them into the kitchen bin). Also, I can't help thinking that if the dad cared so much about his daughter and her friends smoking, he might actually be in the house some time, ever. So maybe they shouldn't be so worried. But either they are worried, or they just want to be horrible. And every morning there are at least another twenty butts in our flowerbeds and patio. We didn't really want to rat on the girl to her dad, so Patrick asked them politely to stop doing it, ages ago. But of course they just laughed. They're really easily amused, these kids.
Now, this would be pretty annoying but you, know, not too bad, if what happened the other day hadn't occured. Because the stupid little shits set their fence on fire. The fence that's next to our garden. And, like, house. Basically, there are two tall wooden fences between our garden and theirs, and there's a gap of about six inches between the fences. And one of the fools dumped a still-lit cigarette in there, which is why on Monday morning David (P's brother) and I were having our breakfast when vasts amount of smoke started billowing out of the space between the fences. Dave ran out and poured water in to quench the blaze, but it didn't stop. I went on water duty, running for water refills while David stood on the garden chairs and dumped water onto the smouldering crap which the little fools had dumped in the gap over the years. This was bad enough, but he could see the kid and a friend in their house, looking out the window and sniggering! Oh, how hilarious it is to set something on fire and watch your neighbour trying to put it out. Wankers.
Eventually, they came our and laughed some more. We've always tried to be adult in our dealings with these kids, but hey, David's only 21, so I can justify him yelling at them and telling them to "get a fucking ashtray, you morons". But they still didn't try to help, and the smoke kept billowing. And very reluctantly, I called the fire brigade. I told them it wasn't an emergency, but the fire just wouldn't go out. Of course by the time, five minutes later, the fire engine arrives, the fire had suddenly stopped. But I told them what happened, and they all marched next door to hopefully scare the crap out of - I mean, give a little talk to our neighbours. I wouldn't count on it having any prolonged effect, though.
On the plus side, the other neighbours are lovely. The other day, I answered the door to find two of my infant neighbours and some of their infant chums in a state of high excitement.
"Ju Ju is in a fight!" they cried. "Come and save her!"
Now, Ju Ju never gets into fights. She's just too crap. She has face-offs with her arch-rival, Bumptious, but never fights. But when I followed the infants down to the scene of battle, there was a white cat fighting with a black and white one. And they were totally killing each other. It was kind of scary. When they (briefly) separated, however, i saw that they were not Bumptious and Ju Ju but their freaky ugly twins - two weird looking cats who live in the neighbourhood and share our felines' colouring. I announced that Ju Ju wasn't one of the fighters and Leon, the 8 year old who lives next door, was so relieved he nearly started to cry. Then I went in to my house to root out the real Ju Ju, and her infant fans were so happy they gave her three cheers (which she seemed to like, madly enough). The little kids on our road rock. I just hope they're still like that in ten years - I'll be so sad if they turn into the pyros next door...