THE new neighbours have just moved in, and within minutes they’ve dropped one of these red flags into conversation. Time to move:
‘They’re not like us, are they?’
Wonderful. A chat and a mug of tea and you’ve been drafted into an ethnically pure subgroup. Or they’re ‘not homophobic but’ or they’ve ‘nothing against them but’. Why can’t people like this all live on an island of prejudice and intolerance so we don’t have to share space with them? Actually maybe they do.
‘Our son’s a talented drummer’
So talented, in fact, that they left their last house because of a noise abatement order. And as you live in a semi with paper-thin walls you’ll soon find out whether their son is the next Dave Grohl or uses drumming as a form of ADHD therapy.
‘You’re invited to all our parties’
The old quid-pro-quo of ‘We’re going to have all our mates round getting hammered until dawn, and because you were here sipping a warm lager at 8pm you legally can’t complain’. The road will be so clogged with their cars so you’ll have to park two streets over.
‘Nigel should have been knighted’
Ah. The Gammons live next door. Expect lively lectures over the garden fence about Brexit, those w***ers in Brussels, and how foreigners are stealing our fish. You face a hard choice – keep quiet and be embraced as a fellow Gammon, or engage in debate and be branded as ‘that Remoaner knob next door’.
‘I tinker with cars a little’
Within the week there’ll be an old Jaguar jacked up on their drive. Within a fortnight bits of its engine will be strewn around the lawn, along with two or three motorbikes. Within three weeks, the area will resemble the set of Scrapheap Challenge.
‘Our last neighbours were right f**king bastards’
A gauntlet thrown down, inviting you not to fail like their previous neighbours. But you will. When they burn tyres at 11pm on a Saturday and you mention it the next day, you become those bastards of legend.