Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Love Thy Neighbor? Eh, Not So Much

Betsy from Not on the Road writes
Dear Helen Hartman,
The guy in the apt. below me who is in his 60s plays loud rock music at all hours.  I and other neighbors have complained to the rental office. 
      Love some ideas about what we can do to get Roy to turn down the tunes

Dear Loved One,
 Helen knows you. You could give ol’ Roy a run for his money with a couple of practice sessions with friends on the concertina playing old sea shanties. 

Benny was bummed to the max when the accordion didn't turn out to be the chick magnet his mom had promised it would be.
I’d be happy to bring the vintage noisemakers: 

Of course, the neighbors might write Helen about You.

They say good fences make good neighbors. This is the kind Helen has around her home.

Hubby got so tired of hanging around flea markets he started his own collection - metal signs. Should I be worried that this is his favorite?

Dangerous? How can anything so entertaining… 

As soon as I hear that  "POP" I run to the window and watch intruders, um, visitors jerk and wiggle. Some of them actually smolder as they walk away! Good times. Good times.

…be dangerous? Oh, all right, if you insist on being reasonable about it. Helen went looking for a more subtle way to give Roy the brush off… brush off… Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket.

"Look, kids, Mr. I Bring Home the Bacon So I Don't Have to Interact with My Family  is here to try to buy our love with cheap gifts again!"  "He'd better do better than last time or all he'll buy is a kick in the shin."
Who knows more about that kind of thing than the friendly neighborhood Fuller Brush Man? He must have gotten told to knock it off in a million different ways. Get it, door to door salesman, knock it off? Sigh. You see there used to be people who walked thought the neighborhood 

"Hell-oo, ma'am, I'm going door to door seeing to housewives needs."  "Why doesn't that salesman have a sample case or vacuum cleaner or something, Mommie?" "Never mind that, Tommy,  just go out an play while Mommie lets the man show her his goods."

(yes, WALKED – weird, huh?) going to each door trying to sell stuff to housewives.

Helpful hint - When somebody says "Yeah, if you love your house so much,why don't you MARRY it?" that's a joke. How can I be married to a house when I'm THIS in love with my laundry?

So let’s check out this Fuller Brush catalog for Christmas 1960 (Christmas stuff will show up later, I’m sure) I’m sure they have whatever you need to handle a dust up.

Okay, the bad pun worked for Helen because, well, everything works for Helen but really, you'd think a brush selling magazine wouldn't stoop so low. Also, is that a DUSTer?

Let’s see, you can always go subtle – tell the old guy to kiss off, if that’s your game, Fuller has just what you need:

Glamorize Around the Clock! Everything you need from lipstick (in colors ranging from Red to Red!) to powder from Fuller, ironically with no make up brushes.

If you want to tell him to go whistle up a tree:

A whistling toothbrush! And Dental cream - why wouldn't you buy the things you rely on to care for your gums and choppers from a guy lurking around the neighborhood?

Or raise a stink:

I'd have bought it for the little pipe cleaner angel alone but what woman could resist a cologne called "Blue Hedge"?
Or maybe you should just go old school on the creep.

When Stan M said he still loved 'the old bat' people had assumed he meant his wife, how wrong they were. "Hey, you want I should introduce ol' Roy to my friend Lou.. Lou-a-vull Slugger?"

No, I was thinking more of mopping the floor with him. 

Mop Technology has advanced very little in 50 years. I blame the lack of good mop science being taught in schools.

  Or maybe just mopping the floor yourself, really loudly, at odd hours with a metal bucket that you kick around the floor!

In the end you have to get along with the people you live with

"Unless you married or gave birth to them, then they just better do whatever you say because you’re the mom and you say so. That’s my rule." (We don't dare say it out loud but look at our body language and expressions. We're begging you: Help us, please, help us!)
In the end it's probably best to keep reporting him to the apartment complex so they can build a case against this guy – when it comes time to renew his lease maybe he’ll be singing – or playing – (quieter) another tune!

Joining Rednesday and Share the Love today and...Thrifty Thursday at Tales From Bloggeritatville and


  1. Dear Helen:
    Noisy neighbours can be so annoying and we rather like the electric fence idea....without the warning sign. However, we are rather fond of some 1960s tunes and just wonder whether this particular neighbour might come in useful for a Mods and Rockers theme party? Then everyone could be, win?!!

  2. The neighbor is probably hard of hearing from listening to his music too loud for too many years. I remember the Fuller Brush Man , One can to our neighborhood in the 6o's .

  3. I like the vintage noisemaker idea! Of course, he would probably just turn the music up louder! Maybe not such a good idea...... :((

  4. Maybe you should try playing classical music really loud, he might get the hint!! Love all the Fuller Brush Ads.

  5. Whenever I hear loud rap music late at night, I reward it with nice loud Barry Manilow at 6 am the next morning. I don't think it does their hang overs a lot of good. Bwah ha ha! Now I really must install an electric fence.

  6. Lance & Jane's suggestion sounds most civilised, a great idea to turn an adverse situation into a party. You could get one of your recipe books out. x

  7. Jane and Lance - I suspect it's the nightlyness of it all that makes folks more want to throw him - over the balcony. But then Mods and Rockers party does sound tempting!

    Myrna - we never had a door to door salesman that I knew of - but my Mama was kinda scary so...

  8. Sherry - He might also take it as 'joining in' or approval.

    Ann - classical music is a good choice, but he might answer with Roll Over Beethoven!

  9. Jori - I love the sound of Manilow in the Morning! Now them's fightin' words.

    Vix - you may have found the key - so many awful recipes one could unleash on a neighbor to pull them into line!

  10. The Fuller Brush guy sold make up? Love that you noticed there was no brush:@)

  11. Not only did we have a "Fuller Brush Man," as my mom and her friends called him, but we had a real "ding dong" Avon lady...not the annoying co-worker who leaves catalogs in the break room and stops by your desk to make you feel guilty for not ordering. My mom had that Fuller dustpan set!

  12. Isn't Fuller Brush Make Up a hoot?

    Dana - really? I recall my Mom did say she loved Fuller brushes but the only ding dongs in my neighborhood were actual neighbors!

  13. Miss Helen,

    I DO love your way with a segue!!


  14. Thanks Rachel - there is much to be said for a lifetime of not being able to walk a straight line.

  15. I don't even know where to begin, except to say THANK YOU, HELEN HARTMAN! You made my day! :-)


    “I don’t have time,” my grandfather said,
    “to dither around and stand on my head,
    pretending that crimson is blue, not red—
    just tell me the truth, if you please.

    “I’m much too old for being lied to,
    so tell me the truth about the rose hue
    that colors the sky when the day is through
    and adds a bright blush to the trees.

    “Some call it red and some call it pink,
    some call it strawberry wine-colored ink;
    I call it rubicund, that’s what I think—
    now leave me alone, if you please.”

    © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

    Featherless Pomegranate

  16. Oh Helen I do love my visits here. My Mum actually still has a few of those fuller brushes. One for the radiator is my favorite:)

    Enjoy your evening!

  17. Great pictures! Love the vintage vibe of your blog! =)

  18. MMT - another fab poem - Rubicund, it sounds to me like it means "big fat red" That apple is rubicund.

  19. Leann - How did we get along without a radiator brush? They had a set of essential kitchen brushes that had 6 different brushes, each for something I never do.

  20. Thanks for visiting Hope - off to visit your blog too.

    Thanks Mom Walds - I think. ;)

  21. If only the Fuller Brush man had brought all that Fuller Brush glamorous makeup to my door! My life might be differnt today. LOL I never knew they peddled makeup!

  22. I think your neighbor could always go to my post and borrow one of my phonographs to even the score...LOL

  23. Oh my. Neighbors. In the 50+ years my family has lived in this house, seems we have always had some kind of neighbor problem.

    The latest is the very nice guy behind me, who plays the very loud mariachi music. Ugh. I mean, he's a nice guy, but the music is just too much some evenings. The smoky BBQ guy next door. The whining Chihuahua on the other side.

    I'm going to get a stereo system in my living room and blast Glenn Miller in the early mornings lol....

  24. Diann - me either and perfume! wow.

    Ellen - off to get a gander at those phonographs!

  25. You can make that house a 1950s atomic ranch but you can't renovate your neighbors!

  26. Another great presentation. You have some of the most fun post ever.

  27. Fun post... as always! Thanks for linking up to Share the Love Wednesday!


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