What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

The Thistle Lady

“Mary. I’ve been meaning to discuss an issue I have with you about the thistles. You see I have noticed that they have been growing in the park space and I have taken the opportunity to be pulling them out. I was just wondering if you thought about doing the same. It's for the children. Of course...”

Mary looked at Debbie with a dazed incomprehension of what she was actually talking about and wondered about the children.

“What do you mean for the children?”

“Well, you know how prickly the thistles can be?”

“My children seem to have no problems with thistles. Why would I want to pull them out of the public park space? Don’t we pay property tax and home owner’s association fees to have it taken care of?”

“Yes, we do! But it’s about communal living. The people of the community must take back the park spaces. Maybe we should even charge for others to use the park.”

“But why?”

“As you know we need to take care of our common space.”

“But it looks fine. “

“You have no idea. But what do you know? I’m not quite sure you do anything besides stare at the computer, drink wine, or read books all day.”

Mary grimaced, “I think I hear the phone ringing.”

She, quickly, ran inside, heart palpitating, how she could not stand that woman. What a busy body! Constantly, in everybody’s business, now she stands in front of her very house and expects her to pull thistles. Thistles of all things! No wonder eight houses went on the market on this very street last year.

Quite frankly, they should have a busy body warning on every house for sale within the radius of the nosy old bat. It would be a warning to all potential homebuyers. The sign would say “Crazy Lady lives here! Get out while you can!”After this last thought Mary felt slightly vindicated.

In the weeks which had passed she had been wondering - how did I end up here? It was one of those dazed ADHD moments that she agreed with her husband would be an opportune move that could not be resisted. Now, she wondered, where was my opportunity? She felt like an alien that landed in the suburbs. And was now stuck with the thistle lady as her neighbor.


No comments yet, why not leave one of your own?

Leave a Comment or Share Your Story

Please Sign In. Only community members can comment.

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.

SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.