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This is a question Scary Neighbours

My immediate neighbours are lovely. But the next house down from that? Crimminy biscuits - he's a 70 year old taxi driver who loves to tell me at length about the people he's put in hospital and how Soho is "run by Maltese ponces." How scary are your neighbours?

(, Thu 25 Aug 2005, 13:20)
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The Pyramid Family
When at university in York we lived in a desparately rough and pikey area called Tang Hall. How rough was it? Within two weeks of moving in our house had been stormed by the riot police (and my very drunken housemate slept through it, but that's another story).

Anyway, our back garden joined onto several other people's back gardens with fairly high fences between them. The third house around was inhabited by the scariest bunch of inbred weirdos you can imagine. There were about 426 of them living in that house and not one of them had a job. So how did they keep themselves busy all day? Soap operas? No. Incest? No (well, actually, probably yes, but that's not the point of the story). In fact, they spent about 6 weeks one summer entertaining themselves by building a pyramid in their back garden.

Yes, a pyramid. Practically full-size. Out of mud.

As the days went by, we watched in disbelief as this family erected a three-metre-high ziggurat out of soil and paving slabs. It was like watching a termite colony in action as they swarmed unceasingly all over this mound. And when they'd finally finished the pyramid they embedded a bathtub in the top. As you do.

We never had the slightest idea why they did all this or what it was for, as having finished it they proceeded to act as if it wasn't there. They went back to their other favourite pastime of lobbing rocks into our garden when we were trying to barbeque. Seriously. Parents egging on their brood and everything.

There's a postscript to this story. Just before I moved out I was walking down the road to the shops when I was stopped by two Mormons (Mormen?), fresh off the plane from Utah with their silly short-sleeved white shirts and name badges. They asked me if I knew anyone who needed saving. Without hesitation, I turned and pointed to the Ziggurat House. Their faces lit up with righteous glee at the thought of bringing the word of their lord to an ungodly area of Yorkshire.

There was no sign of those Mormen ever again. I'd feel guilty, but then those white short-sleeved shirts really do irritate me.
(, Thu 25 Aug 2005, 15:17, closed)

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