Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Daddy's Little Princess*


What kind of father buys his daughters, who live in a townhouse with a twenty-five-by-fourteen back garden, which is separated from next door's twenty-five-by-fourteen-foot garden by a six-foot fence (see also their neighbours on the other side except they are in a five bedroom house, their garden is considerably bigger and I suspect they will be even less pleased than we are) a trampoline? A trampoline! In October!!

An absent father, that's what kind.

Next door to us, on the side not occupied by twenty-seven noisy Portuguese people whose main hobby is clog dancing on wooden stairs at random times of the day or night, is your classic secretary-fueled divorce scenario. She's all highlights, £200k house and red wine in the afternoons; the numberplate on his car spells his name. Mostly. He has an expensive haircut and (according to her) only sees the kids for an afternoon every week or so.

Apparently, this isn't enough to assuage the hole in his bank account guilt he feels at not living with his family any more. No. And I would wholeheartedly agree.

Except I might try to think of something a little more meaningful with which to make reparation than a fucking trampoline which will a) result in tears and recriminations at the first hint of an accident, b) make Small Person insanely jealous as she Is Not Having A Trampoline and c) destroy any tiny, flickering vestige of hope I might have been harbouring that at some point next summer we might actually be able to enjoy our own fucking garden without the neighbours' fucking kids screeching and kicking footballs at the fence and staring at us from atop garden chairs AND NOW BOUNCING ON A FUCKING TRAMPOLINE AND WATCHING US!!!!!

I feel drained already and summer is eight months away. This may well say more about me than it does about my neighbours. But really, how many people have spent the summer smiling at the kids next door at four-second intervals as those kids offer a squeaking, boinging, staring soundtrack to a peaceful afternoon in the garden? Trampolines in the back garden are the scourge of a society that dumbs consumables down to a level where suddenly it's not a rabbit or a wendy house that makes you feel good about meeting the minimum recreational needs of your offspring. No. Suddenly it's trampolines, and giant, twelve-foot diameter above-ground swimming pools and hey presto! Every neighbourhood's a trailer park!

And they're trampolining now!! I can hear them! And it's dark!!


* If you thought this might refer to me you are deeply, irrevocably wrong. Fifi holds this title. I am the Black Sheep of the Family. Fact.


Blogger claire chimed in with...

If you're quiet enough, i'm sure there's a way to disassemble it in the middle of the night. Make sure to remove the more important pieces and take them with you.

Practice your stealth skills.

03 October, 2006 21:23  
Blogger frangelita chimed in with...

I want a trampoline.

Sorry, that probably doesn't help.

It would be cool though.

Show small person pictures of horrific injuries obtained while trampolining in back gardens. That'll put her off. Some kid died once, you know.

Maybe that will happen to your neighbours.

03 October, 2006 22:18  
Blogger GreatSheElephant chimed in with...

I want a trampoline too.

Possibly not a good thing for a balcony though.

03 October, 2006 22:45  
Blogger funny thing chimed in with...

You could always chuck a burning petrol cannister over the six-foot fence.

Or a pack of drawing pins.

03 October, 2006 23:00  
Anonymous Anonymous chimed in with...

ooooh, i want one! lol. i'd be the first to break a bone or become dismembered b/c of a trampoline.

as far as the pictures of horrific accidents had on one? nah, the kids will want to re-enact the tragedy to see how many cool points they can redeem.

fire? nah, it could spread.

sure fire way - in the middle of the night, while practicing your stealth skills, take a very small knife (preferrably the kind you peel apples with) and skip around the edge of the trampoline, cutting almost the entire way around it, but not enough to make it noticiable, that way when the little brats jump on it, it'll suddenly break, and ooops, no more trampoline!

04 October, 2006 03:46  
Blogger Kellycat chimed in with...

We too have neighbours with a trampoline and children who seem to have no curfew, so the "thump, thump, thump" often carries on until almost midnight. They also have an adolescent with a moped, which he likes to sit on in the garden and just rev the engine for hours on end...

I have visions of you doing a Sharon Osbourne and hurling a ham over the fence at them...

04 October, 2006 07:29  
Blogger toomuchgrief chimed in with...

Surly by name, meanspirited cow by nature. So mateys number plate reads TW4T and his Secretay got lucky (or perhaps not). The kids - whats their crime?

Making best use of a twenty foot square garden by filling it with colourful plastic and encouraging Children to play in it seems a good use of otherwise useless space.

If your idea of a garden is somewhere to drink feckin' Mateus Rose on a summers evening listening to the birds in the hedgerow then think again.

Shouldn't have bought a Barratts (or is it Charles Church). Town House my arse!

Snotty town-house dwellers (three beds- What are the two spare ones for?)

My own long suffering offspring do have a trampoline, a huge one, and they love it. Rather than watching endless non-sensickle (that surely is spelt wrong) and poorly drawn Japanese cartoons they spend almost every waking hour bouncing and jumping, with all the other kids in the street, on our trampoline.

Perhaps I should send them out into the street to chill out and intimidate flatulent cyclists.

Otherwise of course everything you say is correct.

04 October, 2006 09:28  
Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

I favour the more mean-spirited approach. I will systematically cut the the fabric in said bouncing device so the little cunts fall and break something fatal.

I don't give a flying fuck what people think, parents should have some consideration for the community in which we all have to live and instill proper values in their kids. We're far from perfect but I believe we show some thought for our neighbours however I'm fast approaching the point where this will cease. For a £200k house I would have expected a certain quality of inhabitant (call me a snob, I really don't fucking care) but no, they are all mindless fucktards and from now on my concern is only for the continued happiness of my wonderful SG and Small Person.

The rest of the world can go fuck itself.

04 October, 2006 09:36  
Blogger the plate invigilator chimed in with...

I want a trampoline too (but I'm 5 months pregnant so this would not be smart). However, rest assured that, by next summer, the spoilt little brats will be completely bored with the trampoline, so it won't be a factor.

However, they may have something worse by then, like one of those sinister Bratz baby dolls. Keep us posted...

04 October, 2006 10:00  
Blogger The Murphmeister chimed in with...

The whole thing would have been worth it if the family with trampoline were Czechs.
*holds aching sides!*

04 October, 2006 10:07  
Blogger toomuchgrief chimed in with...

Thanks other half- I didnt realise that by buying a trampoline I was training my children to disregard proper values.

Your wish for the consideration of values to be instilled in kids falls well short of your own consideration of other peoples rights to enjoy their own property. If you have children and a garden surely they must then be encouraged to play in it- even if god forbid, they do make a little noise.

Is this "bugger the neighbours " something you will instill in the presumably silent Small Person?

Whilst we are on the subject of tolerance, does the purchase price of your house entitle you to make judgements about the people next door. They probably think the up tight couple next door could do with lightening up a bit.

It is a small world and we are all crammed together so cut the neighbours some slack or the break down of society gets a step closer.

Perhaps you should move to a sound-proof bunker where all the neighbours are vetted for intellect and moral fibre?

04 October, 2006 13:40  
Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

We work hard for the money to pay for our home and I do not see why our all too few chances to relax should be spoilt by the thoughtless actions of other people and their children.

I'm not going to enter further into a debate with anyone on this subject as the views expressed are ours based on the life we lead.

I shall instead reiterate my previous comment...the rest of the world can go fuck itself.

04 October, 2006 14:12  
Blogger toomuchgrief chimed in with...

Boing boing boing

04 October, 2006 14:21  
Blogger Fifi chimed in with...


04 October, 2006 18:05  
Blogger Spinsterella chimed in with...

My next door neighbours also have a trampoline.

And a paddling pool.

Their kids and it seems like every single child in a 200 mile radius spend ALL SUMMER shrieking in the garden.

They also listen to stuff like that 'Fuck You, I don't want you back' song very loudly. Call me a killjoy, but I don't really think that that's appropriate listening for eight year olds.

Especially not repeatedly and very loudly.

Surly, I feel your pain.

04 October, 2006 18:44  
Blogger Geoff chimed in with...

It's an intrusion of privacy and there should be a law against it. There is a six foot fence there for a good reason - a bit of peace and quiet in the summer.

And yes I have got 7676737563863836836383638363836383638346585675448 children so you can't call me a grouchy old childless freak of nature.

04 October, 2006 18:47  
Blogger NON-WORKINGMONKEY chimed in with...

Um, er, this is one of those sheepish comments that goes: I think your blog is splendid, and makes me laugh very much, and ... that sort of thing.

04 October, 2006 20:13  
Blogger NON-WORKINGMONKEY chimed in with...

Um, er, this is one of those sheepish comments that goes: I think your blog is splendid, and makes me laugh very much, and ... that sort of thing.

04 October, 2006 20:13  
Blogger realdoc chimed in with...

Trampolines invariably lead to multiple broken bones. You shouldn't have to wait very long.

04 October, 2006 20:29  
Blogger Steve chimed in with...


05 October, 2006 00:54  
Anonymous pink chimed in with...

what are them trees that grow really tall really quick? i dunno what they're called, but you need some of them.

as do i.

did you blog about robbie yet?

05 October, 2006 01:08  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

....cupressus leylandii.
problem solved!
plus its evergreen!!
i like exclaimation marks!!!
holy crap! a trampoline!!!!

dear god, how unsafe and insane can you get. and noisy?
*plans noctournal foray to surly's nexties with a stanley knife*

05 October, 2006 03:13  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

i'm ignoring the "mean-spirited cow" jibe because, really, that's the entire point of this blog.

so well done, toomuchgrief, for spotting the subtext. go to the top of the class...

i do wonder though if i am secretly jealous and want a trampoline myself.

and then the girl next door starts bouncing and calling Small Person's name to show off about having a trampoline and the bad thoughts start all over again...

05 October, 2006 07:57  
Blogger Fifi chimed in with...

Please blog about Robbie at Milton Keynes!

05 October, 2006 08:47  
Blogger GreatSheElephant chimed in with...

Is being nasty to people on their very own blog the online equivalent of trampolining in the garden and shouting abuse every time your head pops over the fence?

I'm very much into consideration and the quiet enjoyment of one's own territory.

So I'm only playing my trumpet at lunchtime.

05 October, 2006 13:11  
Blogger Annie Rhiannon chimed in with...

One of them will snap their wrists on it and that will be that. (Sorry if somebody has already pointed this out, I haven't read the comments, too many of them).

Annie xxx

05 October, 2006 16:24  
Blogger Annie Rhiannon chimed in with...

Oh, oh, I just read the comments! Hilarious.

toomuchgrief: "lol"

05 October, 2006 16:28  
Blogger Heather chimed in with...

Surly, you think that's bad?

My next door neighbours have their very own full size bouncy castle. With a huge whiny generator.

For their 3 year old.

And what is essentially a full on adventure playground.

When they have other kids over it's a total screamfest.

Urgh, I feel your pain.

10 October, 2006 17:34  

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