The letter request:
Kids playing in communal driveway/garage and waking me from my afternoon sleep, Sunday morning sleep-in or interrupting good television watching time! Kids scream/it’s dangerous as they are playing on a DRIVEWAY/ they may scratch my car with their skipping ropes, tennis balls, etc. I’ve attempted to confront parents of annoying kids but parents are just as annoying. Parents stand at one end of the driveway screaming ‘Aaaa – bbeeee’ to their daughter Abby.
Dear Body Corporate,
I spent my first 18 years living on a main road. I have also lived on Temple Bar. I am the eldest of 32 grandchildren on my mother’s side and I have worked at Centrelink for ten years. This demonstrates that I am aurally tolerant – be it with traffic sounds, people puking outside my bedroom window, children screaming or adults abusing me.
I also genuinely like children; I am currently carrying one myself. But I do have a confession to make: despite my overall inclination towards kindness and tolerance I regularly fantasise about killing the neighbours’ children. Or maybe the whole family.
To prevent such a crime happening (I don’t want to give birth in prison – a newborn’s colouring is all wrong for an orange one-piece) there are a few reasonable steps that you, as the people with power, could take.
1. Advise the tenants at Westbank Terrace that neither the driveway nor the carpark is a playground. Key words here are drive, car and play – a happy outcome will not be had if this combination continues.
2. Advise the tenants that city-living requires an element of respect for one’s neighbours. For example, I promise not to have loud sex in your courtyard if you promise not to let your five-year-old scream blue murder at seven am every Sunday morning in mine.
3. Advise the tenants that an apartment block is not a commune. I do not wish to raise the neighbours’ children. If someone wants to teach their child that firing a tennis ball like a missile towards a car is cool, that’s fine with me. When it’s my car, it’s not fine with me.
I have tried to approach the parents but they seem just as bad as the kids. They scream to their feral children from one end of the driveway to the other. They seem angry at the world, as though we should all pay the price for their riotous spawn. They look at me blankly when I speak so I am unable to get through to them with my message of hope and reconciliation.
I want them to know there is a playground behind the apartment block. That’s right, a shiny cluster of colourful beams and swings and ladders. I know modern folklore tells us there is a creepy man in a trench coat lurking in every such place and that safety concerns may cause hesitation in sending their children so far out of earshot. But, oh Body Corporate, if only you could make them understand – the biggest risk is closer to home. If they don’t smarten their ways, the cranky, hormonal bitch lurking next door will be a more frightening threat to their young ones than any flasher ever would.