What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

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Mon voisin a les cheveux blancs et des taches sur les mains. Il fume la pipe. Chez lui, ça sent le tabac et la vieille confiture - pourtant il ne m'en donne jamais. Il n'aime pas trop quand on fait du bruit, Nigel et moi. Il dit qu'avant la guerre, c'était mieux.

Mon voisin a un paillasson en forme de coeur.

Reginald (don’t ever call him “Reggie” - he has high blood pressure) knows how to stand out from the crowd. He wears a tie 24/7, drinks beer from exquisite glassware, even outside, and uses plastic cigarette tips to keep his fingers milky white. His home is impossibly immaculate. A most interesting phenomenon is his greener-than green grass during a summer water crisis. On windy days we are all …

I did not know his actual name. He used a graffiti "tag" that referred to an insect. I cannot mention which, though years have passed and said bug may be dead, such was the fear he inspired. On the other hand I don't think he'd be much of a reader.

The Bug dealt drugs and had an ear for music, a very big ear: the …

The neighbors called us trashy becuase frequently the front lawn was strewn with toys. We have bats and balls, hockey sticks and nets, blankets for picnics and pitchers for lemonade. We are a family.

Where the other neighbors heard shouts of glee, of children playing and parties for toddlers they heard offensive noise.

They never returned balls that went over the fence. They never smiled. …

On several occasions, I'd be working in my garden and knew my unfriendly next-door neighbor was in her back yard beyond the fence. I would hear a ringing telephone and her door slam as she raced indoors to answer it. Before I moved away, I never did have a chance to tell her that the local mockingbird was imitating the ring of her telephone.

It was a Saturday morning, and I awoke to a knocking on my window. Since I lived in the crummy basement studio apartment of the building, anytime anyone in the building had to flip their breaker, they had to come downstairs to the utility room to do it, and I had to let them in. In my blue cloud pajamas (matching button-up shirt and pants, of course) I opened the …

I came back to my apartment late one night, and I heard moaning in the hall. Being naive, I thought someone was hurt , so I walked down to the end of the hall, but no one was there. I walked back to my door, opened it, and the moans were louder! My next door neighbors were getting it on in their living room, and it was like I …

My neighbor ran outside in a blanket to rescue her dog from the bushes where it was hung up. While she fiddled with the chain and the branch her blanket fell off. She was completly nude. I'm just glad my kids didn't see.

There once was a neighbor who lived downstairs, directly underneath us. A short, stocky, little battle-ax with gray hair, always untamed, mangled in a bun. Her smile was conflicted with a lone rotten tooth apparent in gapping gums. We dubbed her the ‘cat-lady’. Not to be confused with ‘catwoman’ sexy, fem, fatale! No, no, the cat-lady was mother to at least 15 cats and one permanently stoned adult son. Our …

Thank God, Jacob a lonely widower in his sixties lived next door and came to my rescue. Things always broke down and with the kids. I fixed him a meal when I had a few extra dollars and the kids loved to hear his stories about the old country (Ireland). I wondered why Jacob's children never came to visit him.

After days of not seeing him in …

The house two doors down sat empty for nearly a year when the owner finally moved in. Immediately, I sensed something wasn't right and went to great lengths to avoid him. For the most part, he kept to himself until he came home with a small, white dog, which would periodically run away. One afternoon, he came by, looking for the dog and by the end of …

My neighbor across the street, Simone, was remodeling her house. Simone is a nice woman, about 60, very quiet. She lives alone. We used to feed each other’s cats when we went away on vacation.

The remodeling took a long time. She moved out for months and a bunch of unruly construction workers moved in. Well, they were there from 7 a.m. until 3. …

As I opened our door to answer the bell, I saw a man of small physical stature standing there. "Hi," said the older-looking black man "I'm Fred, your new next door neighbor. I just wanted to introduce myself and say nice to meet ya both." He became not only our next door neighbor, but one of our dearest, most cherished friends. We must have looked like a reverse …

On a sunny afternoon I was playing basketball on my driveway with my friend. We spotted my neighbor peeking at us through her living room window and when she saw us looking at her, she came outside to join us. After a few calm minutes of playing basketball, my friend and I turn around to see my neighbor rolling around in the middle of the street. "Marcy! What are you …

When we bought our house two years ago it was still being built. The builder took me into the house next door to show me the cabinets because our new neighbor was getting the same ones and I wanted to see what they looked like when they were finished. Before he opened the door he warned me, "When you see this, don't ask me what this woman was thinking!". We …

When living in a college town in texas, in a house split into four apartments, I had an upstairs neighbor with florid, untreated mental illness. His paranoia and delusions would lead him to do unusual things, such as 1) boring holes into my baseboard from the hallway at precise distances, one inch above the floor in order to "let the air out"; 2) emptying his freezer and leaving raw …

I was 20 when I moved into the duplex next to Alan. He was a part of my brother's group of friends. I thought he was kind of creepy, but harmless. He was 36 and I'm attracted to much older men, so in the back of my mind I knew something would happen between us. Apparently our friends knew something would happen too. They had a bet going on when …

It's scary when you're 3 years old and your parents are video taping through the peak hole on the door of our little out-grown apartment because of our neighbor. Of course I didn't know what was going on at the time but when I watch it now, its scary. The dog barking, locked outside of the door. She comes out with a steak knife and holds it up to our …

Whenever I say I grew up in the Bronx, people want to know about the summer of 1977: The Yankees, The Blackout, Son of Sam. But none of those compared to The Great Voodoo War of 1979.

My family had been the first Latin family to move into our apartment building. So when two other Latin families finally moved in on either side of us, we thought we'd …

It was our junior year of college. A classmate and I had moved into the second floor of an off-campus apartment house. Not the luxury loft of my fantasies, but it was fine for a rather thin student budget. Directly above us resided Dante and Raymond. Dante was a dapper man with a warm, dimply smile. He was never at a loss for a kind greeting or lively …
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Have a Next-Door Neighbor Story?

As part of our new webcomic, Next-Door Neighbor, we thought it appropriate to have a little contest. Tell us your best true next-door neighbor story, and the winning tale will be matched with an artist and transformed into a webcomic and included as the final installment of Next-Door Neighbor.

About Next-Door Neighbor


No matter how close or how far, we all live next to someone, and we all have a Next-Door Neighbor story. With that in mind, editor Dean Haspiel asked some of his favorite storytellers and cartoonists to create their favorite NDN stories so we could share them with you.

The Fine Print & Contest Rules

By submitting an entry, you are granting SMITH the right to reprint or republish that entry online or in print, as well as make any necessary edits. See SMITH's terms of service for complete details.

This contest ends September 1, 2008. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and must be accepted as awarded. Winners are decided at the discretion of SMITH judges and all decisions are final. SMITH reserves the right to change the contest rules. Enter as often as you want. SMITH reserves the right to reprint or republish all entries.

 
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