What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

The Perfect Neighbor

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 on high alert, ready to whisk the kiddies indoors while he generously shares his pesticide spray with the neighbourhood. A spirit level ensures his lawn is even, while scissors perfect the edges. Reginald’s apparent affection for beauty ends at his property line however. His shiny chariot is parked on the street to protect his driveway (it leaks oil); rubbish is tossed to the curb whatever the day and cigarettes butts are given flight the second they expire. Over the years we’ve witnessed his home regularly transformed with the kind of enthusiasm that would shame Debbie Travis. Some people say that his first wife didn’t mean to leave him. She just came back from shopping one day and didn’t recognise the house. Reggie always has a major project on the go. The discarded garden stones, steps and furniture are piled on the road and mysteriously disappear overnight. It can be disconcerting living next door to a show home. Whilst having little interest in keeping up with the Reginald’s, its no fun looking like the “before” shot in a magazine make-over, simply by comparison. We recently moved to a partially built sub-division on the other side of town and it was almost a relief to see some disarray. We also witnessed the final resting place of Reggie’s excess rubbish. It seems there is no escaping some people.


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.