Basket Case

The other day I was planning on working out in the yard, but knew I had to change from my “good” workout pants to my outdoor gardening pants. So I ran upstairs to my room to ditch the good workout pants, knowing my other pants were downstairs.


I ran back downstairs, grabbed a piece of gum, laced up my dirty shoes and walked out my back door—without pants. While I openly admit to forgetting certain beauty tricks, I think forgetting pants is a first for me, at least accidentally.

At any rate, I’m going to blame this temporary lapse in clothing as a direct result of an interruption in my sleep as of late due to external noise disruptions.

Because along with it now being “Camping Season”, it is also apparently “let’s make tons of ridiculous noise late at night season” as well.

Let me preface this by saying that I love sleeping—especially sleeping in the summer with the windows open. What I don’t love is when I get into bed only to be jolted five minutes later by a sonic boom.

Considering my suburban neighborhood is not under attack from anything other than those damn white fuzzies from the trees, this means people are lighting off fireworks.

In June (and July, August and September.) 

At 2 am.

I’ve written about this before, so I will save you an additional rant and simply refer you to the post in which I opine with the explosiveness of 1,000 M80s being lit by groups of amateur pyromaniacs.

Let’s move on.

The pyromaniacs usually only surface on the weekends, so I can deal with it a little better. But what I have a harder time dealing with is the fact that the neighbor kids have recently started to play basketball at midnight.

On the weeknights.

Their hoop is on a parallel line from my bedroom window, so I hear every dribble, every argument, every “if you miss this shot you have to eat that dead thing we found in the garage” clear as day.

And no, I’m not making that part up.

Again, I can tolerate the noise on the weekends and during the day. But during the week when I get up at 5am, manic ball dribbling and plans for worm consumption keeping me awake are no bueno, mi amigos.

I’ve shut my window at times to try and muffle the noise, but that doesn’t always work. 

I’ve considered going over and talking to them, but I’m too lazy to get out of my bed at midnight to catch them in the act (and apparently they’re now nocturnal, as I haven’t seen them during the day as of late.)

I’ve even thought about taking up a collection to send them to a summer-long camp — not because they’re poor, but because I fear I might become the crazy neighbor that takes their basketball and deflates the bastard, leaving it on their driveway with a warning ransom note.

But instead I’ve decided that if this crap doesn’t stop, I will make a conscious effort to intentionally forget my pants the next time that I garden and streak across their lawn at midnight in the middle of their game waving sparklers and laughing maniacally.

If that doesn’t traumatize them into submission, I’m pretty sure nothing else will.

Wish me luck.

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50 responses to “Basket Case

  1. So, three things:

    1. My neighbour is a police-officer. He regularly wakes me up as he stomps around his flat (above mine), at 3am, or 6am, or midnight (basically any time I am asleep). I invested in earplugs.

    2. My cat is not a police-officer. However, she also regularly wakes me up as she sits outside my bedroom window and meows at 3am, or 6am, or midnight (basically any time I am asleep). I invested in earplugs.

    3. Only last night, Kristin decided to hang Union Jack bunting outside our flat, for the Queen’s Jubillee, whilst wearing only a t-shirt and underwear. She hadn’t forgotton her pants, however, she intentionally paraded round, in full view of the neighbours, because she clearly has no shame.

  2. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I don’t think your streaking plan is going to work, friend-o. They’re boys, right? BOYS LIKE LOOKING AT WOMEN WEARING VERY LITTLE.

    Surely this action is only going to encourage them?

    I don’t think you’ve thought this through….

    • Two boys, one girl and I think the boys are still too young to care about girls. Plus, you know, I’m not exactly a Playgirl. 😉

  3. Ah… similar issue here since the houses are only about 8 feet apart and there must be some law of physics that forces every bit of sound to travel down the driveway and directly into my 2nd floor bedroom. After several summers of telling myself that they will grow out of it, I resorted to yelling like a crazy neighbor that it was effin’ 2 in the morning and go inside. Not too surprisingly, it worked as it is not my normal way! Just want to know what the other neighbors do since they never seem to be bothered by this!

  4. I too, love sleep! Sorry your nights have been so rough lately.

    I haven’t opened my windows in a while because of pollen and humidity. It’s nice that you have the option.

  5. So my moving-to-suburbia-to-escape -the-endless-noise-of-Brooklyn plan won’t work, I take it? I woke up to the sound of sawing cement this morning. Not kidding.

  6. I vote for yelling out your window like a crazy person. Instilling fear in them is key.

    • I agree. But if they’re already eating dead insects and poking hairy carcasses in the yard, I’m thinking that fear isn’t really high on their list of emotions.

  7. I don’t know, I think your deflated basketball with ominous note of warning sounds like a perfect plan. Crazy? Maybe. Awesome? Yes.

  8. Shirt, no pants. Is there any look that can compare?

  9. Hahahah I love the streaking plan. I say go for it.

  10. I have the same issue with sleep lately, mostly due to crazy anxiety and my inability to tell the difference between Neocitran day time and night time. I think I slept a total of seven hours all week! (No joke) Last night, my neigbor decided it would be fun to open/close his garage door on repeat. His garage is just to the right of my bedroom, so not only did I freak out thinking someone was breaking into MY garage, but after I “checked it out” while holding my old guy cane umbrella for protection, it continued at least three more times. WHO does that at 1 am? Is he a garage door tester?

    • Yeah. I can only blame a couple nights on crappy sleep on the neighbor kids. The rest is on the pyromaniacs and my own stupid brain. Is a garage door tester a thing? I could probably do that…

  11. Girl, teenage boys seeing a mature woman wearing no pants waving sparklers are going to think HOT COUGAR BABY!!!!!!

  12. while living in the second floor condo, directly above a newly freed from parents young man that liked to party, LOUD, i was becoming increasingly crazy, from lack of sleep due to the LOUD parties. i politely went downstairs, knocked and asked them to please turn their tunes down as i had to get up at 6a.m. for work, only to have them get LOUDER. so i tossed, turned and plotted, they stopped at 5a.m., i got up at 6 a.m., hauled my then very heavy speakers into the bedroom located directly above his bedroom, laid them flat front down, found my most obnoxious, uncool music c.d.s, turned the volumn up high, flicked on the stereo, and jumped in the shower. wasn’t long before i heard pounding on my door. i grabbed my robe, and coyly answered the door to a very irrate young man, telling me to turn it down. i closed the door, got dressed and went to work, leaving the stereo on, and loaded with music, on replay. he was rather quiet after that, would even say, polite in passing, until he moved out 6 months later.

  13. Having your sleep disrupted on a regular basis is horrible. I used to have drug dealing young men living next door and they loved coming out every night from 10pm to sit around their back yard – about 10 feet from my bedroom – smoke dope, pop pills, drink, play loud music and shout at each other in a facsimile of conversation until 4 or 5 am. Politely asking them to stop got me nowhere so, after warning my other neighbours, I took my CD player outside, turned up the volume and played classical music. I hummed along to the music in a voice that resembled a strangled cat as a point of emphasis. It worked! They hated the music, especially Beethoven. After three nights they gave up, eventually moving house, saying they couldn’t stand living next door to ‘that crazy old bitch’.
    Drugged arseholes 0 – Crazy old woman 1.

    Playing classical music from a ghetto blaster in one hand and sparklers in the other whilst laughing maniaclly as you streak through their game should do the trick. Only you have to promise to get someone to video the whole thing then show us. I’d pay to see that 🙂

  14. First of all, I did not think I could love you anymore. But the fact that you went outside sans pants just made me do so.

    I have a neighbor who is in his 40s, and sits in his car with the door open blasting music. I like to sit at night with the front door open and just the screen closed ’cause I love fresh air. So one night I texted him, “Arnie. Music down dude. I can’t hear my programs.” He immediately turned it down. I try to be kind ’cause he’s obviously lonely. But who sits in their car at night blasting music with the door open??? Weird.

  15. Yesterday some guy warned us that EARLY this morning there would be a thunder shower. Most people would say “So what?” Most of my windows are above me, and in an angle so when it rains outside it pours inside. The warning was enough to keep my up all night because I was so afraid my sleeping pill would make me sleep so soundly I wouldn’t hear the dripping inside. Boats take forever to dry on the inside. And it’s so bloody hot, every single window has to be open. So I spent a sleepless night because somebody needed to poke his nose in everybody’s business.

    It didn’t rain btw.

  16. Oh and ps. you would fit right in here, Leo and I are always walking around in our underwear even on the deck. I mean, that stuff does look like a bikini right?

  17. I have a similar issue, but it’s generally only a problem on holidays so I don’t make too much of a fuss (except for the bitching I do to my husband about it). Our neighbors shoot off fireworks all through the night and it bothers me only really because it makes my dogs upset. Our 75 lb. German Shepherd mix is up in the bed with us shaking so much that the entire bed is moving much like in The Exorcist only without the pea soup vomit and devil type thing. Our small dog is also in the bed with us shivering and whimpering. It’s very sad actually.

    That whole basketball thing would drive me absolutely batty, however. Pants are overrated anyway!

    • I agree on the fireworks and dogs as well. When it happens at my house, I just get cranky. But when it happens at my mom’s, it’s actually really traumatic for the dog. He literally makes himself sick, which in turn just makes us all stabby. Keep it to the Fourth of July, people!

  18. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    I will just add that I have also walked out the door without pants.

  19. I LOVE that you went out without pants. sorry. 🙂 only because it sounds like something I could do?

    when we were kids, one of our neighborhood friends had the “mean dad” who would THROW our bicycles – and whatever else we left – from the yard and driveway out into the street! we thought he was SO mean… just a few days ago my brother and I were talking about that… doesn’t seem so mean now 😉

    isn’t there a noise ordinance in your area? typically around 10:pm? at least for the kids playing basketball? (I exclude the dippy firework folks because we have them here too, and I doubt there is anything to be done… *sigh*)

    • I wouldn’t cause a fuss via a noise ordinance with these kids unless it was every day. I would simply start yelling obscenities and possibly deflate their balls (pun intended.) So far, I’m just complaining 😉

  20. I did that once…the pants thing. At least I didn’t get to the car. We have issues like yours b/c we are on a dead end street next to a golf course. Where do you think kids hop the fence to said golf course. Yep. We don’t want to be those people that call the cops so we stare at them through the curtains…because those people are totally fine.

  21. I live in the city, so I’m used to a degree of noise but one of the things that gets under my skin are the people who’ve decided they like to hang out in my backyard in front of my bedroom and living room windows while they smoke a joint. I don’t even care about the weed… It’s more the noise. All of the sudden, I have no choice but to sit here and listen to their cringeworthy conversations. My boyfriend is pretty consistent about shooing them away, but I’m personally terrified to stick my head out and tell people to take it elsewhere.

  22. You could sell tickets to that event!

  23. The music thing does seem to work. especially religious and country western music. As for the kids with the basketball games, every time they start up a game, sneak over to their parents’ bedroom window and sail a basketball through it, then run like hell.

  24. I have sleep issues to begin with and my neighbor’s dog doesn’t help when she leaves it out all night and it barks at just about anything.

    I wrote her 2 letters and went to her house twice. She had the nerve to tell me that I’M rude. I can be snippy but I wasn’t. I will be when I go the third time with the Dog Control Officer in tow.

    As far as the kids playing basketball. If you run around sans pants laughing manically, you’ll probably be dubbed the “crazy lady”. And while it wouldn’t bother me one bit, it might not be good if you ever need to borrow sugar.

    But good luck with those late-night basketball players. I do know how annoying it is. I won’t let my kid play after dark in our drive-way for that exact reason.

  25. Hahahaha! Love your strategy…. we’re being attacked by the white fuzzies from the trees too …

  26. We sleep with a noisy air purifier AND a noisy fan so we have the opposite problem. If war breaks out right outside the window, we won’t hear it.

    • I do have a dehumidifier and/or fan because I need the noise anyway (ironically.) In the summer I sometimes like to just listen to outdoor nature, not the freaking beasts next door 😉

  27. Haha- I love the streaking plan!!! LOL! Come link up on my Saturday laughs-

  28. Oh, no! Is this one of those “can’t walk and chew gum at the same time” incidents? (We must ban chewing gum for the safety of the public?)

  29. you could also call the cops and tell them you think you hear someone breaking into your neighbors house, but you are alone and afraid to go check, could they please send an officer for a well check?

  30. I guess I’m lucky, because the excess jiggling always alerts me when I’m not wearing something with 8% lycra on my lowers to rein it all in. If you need a lookout while you deflate their basketballs, call me, because midnight b-ball is unacceptable.

  31. That would drive me insane. I guess the good part is that you know who is making the noise. I thought we were safe in the middle of nowhere. Apparently, cherry farmers like to use some kind of equipment that makes a loud whining noise for several hours. They start around 10:30pm–my bedtime. God only knows how long this will last….

    When I was a kid, our next door neighbor’s dog would bark all.night.long. So my dad started to record the barking and he’d play the recorded bark back to the dog….which didn’t make matters any better although it was pretty damn funny.

  32. I am cracking up over the fact that you left your house without pants. But, I would totally say something to those noisy neighbors setting off sonic booms at 2am, weekdays or weekends – unacceptable.

  33. I understand how much that sucks, but you at least made it very funny!
    The only thing I can think of that is worse, is working graveyard shift and trying to sleep during the day. Every day, gardeners, construction workers, street sweepers, trash trucks kept me awake. What was worse than that was my own friends and family, who refused to understand that their day, was my NIGHT! And I needed to sleep!

  34. Yeah, that’ll get ’em. Just be careful of holding sparklers with no pants. That could be a bit dangerous.

    I once had to call the cops on some neighbor kids that were setting off fireworks at about midnight. See, I am not a tattler or a cop caller, but this one time it was just too much. They were incredibly loud, my kids were sleeping, and despite numerous warnings from me (yes, I was the crazy lady yelling across the plain “please stop, my kids are sleeping” and “one more and I’m calling the cops” to which they replied to both with a resounding WOO-HOOOOOO!!!!!!), they just wouldn’t stop. These same people set off fireworks throughout the year for EVERY holiday (I’m talking flag day and arbor day here) and on random weekend nights. Some weekdays, too. They are out of control. So I called the cops. It had to be done. I don’t know what happened or if the cops even found them (I mean, you could see the fireworks, but not which hous is was coming from), but it’s been pretty quiet of late, so maybe it worked! Try that next time, maybe. It is a definite noise violation at that time of night.

    Maybe that will solve your not wearing pants out of the house problem in the future.

  35. I have to admit – I love the threatening deflated basketball idea. It’s really almost poetic.

  36. kelleysbreakroom

    That is hilarious that you forgot your pants. That’s like Twitter gold. They’re always talking about being pantless over there. If these guys are teenagers, they might like it if you ran pantless, especially if you had fireworks! I’d come up with a Plan B.

    (Thanks for linking up with us over at #findingthefunny this week!)

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