Tuesday, July 9, 2024

What is the most satisfying passive-aggressive thing you have ever done to a really mean or rude person?

 What is the most satisfying passive-aggressive thing you have ever done to a really mean or rude person?

My wife and I were at a social event at a campground. Talking, partying, and drinking until very late is common at these things, but it isn’t a hugely rowdy crowd.

But the group in the tent next to us went beyond the pale… We were kept awake until around 5 or 6 am by one person in their group who kept making penis jokes.

“Bla blah blah PENIS! HHA HAH HAH HAAA!!”

“Bla blah PENIS Bla blah! HAH HAAA HAAHA HAAA!!”

All. Night. Long. We could have and often have slept through the usual loud conversations, but this guy was LOUD.

Sunday afternoon we’re packing our stuff and we engaged the lady taking down the tent next to ours in some conversation. After a while she told me that we seem like nice people and that we should try to camp next to each other at future events.

I said “That sounds like a great idea. As long as we aren’t next to the crowd making all the penis jokes all night.” And then I repeated a few of the jokes along with a pretty good impression of the braying, forced laugh we’d had to listen to all night.

She said quietly “That was my friend, sorry about that.” and stopped talking to us, and would not make eye contact.

OK, another. This was over a course of years and was very satisfying.

My wife and I bought out first house together. The neighbor was a bit odd, for the first few months she seemed to flip between liking me and hating the very air I breath at the drop of a hat. We both tried a few friendly overtures, but when she was mad and when she wasn’t seemed to have nothing to do with us. Then she settled on just hating my guts with a passion beyond measure.

But she would not say anything directly to us. She liked to talk outside on her cordless phone, in her loud braying voice. If she caught sight of me, she’d start talking even louder about her idiot neighbor, and what a moron he is. If anyone parked in front of her house, legally on the street, she’d let the air out of their tires. She actually came up into my property once and let the air out of my tires.

My wife and I had both separately concluded that the best way to handle this was to ignore all of the hostility and only respond as if everything were friendly between us. So when she came out of her house while I was filling my tires up and she said something vague that implied she did it, I ignored the implication and just gave her a cheery “Good morning!”

One day I found a huge pile of cigarette butts next to our house. Our backyard was so small, it was literally 6 feet from our house to the fence, and she sat working on her boat next to the fence. It appeared she’d been tossing her still-burning butts at my house for quite some time. Enough to fit overflowing both my cupped hands. So I gathered them all up, and tossed them over the fence. Aware the entire time that she’d been watching me through her blinds. I looked up and with a smile and a cheery wave, said “Hi, Sue!” I didn’t know that you could slam Venetian blinds, but she did it.

I was working under my van one day. I became aware that she was standing on something, staring daggers over the fence at me. So as I reached for a tool, I looked right at her and gave her a cheery “Hi, Sue!” She literally ran into her house, and slammed the door hard. Another neighbor later told me that she’d been there for close to 2 hours, glaring at me the whole time.

Numerous other occasions she’d act very hostile and we’d respond with a friendly “Hi!” or suitable response.

One day we came home and she had her huge truck pulled out and was struggling to get golf clubs in behind the front seats. Her driveway and ours were very narrow and close together, so we stopped and waited patiently for her to finish. But to watch her, you’d think we were screaming and honking. She yanked the golf bag back out, slammed the door very hard, and started waving her arm and shouting “Go! Go! Go!”

I guess she didn’t see that my wife had her window open. As we pulled in, Sue said in a mutter “Fucking shits!” and my wife said cheerily “Right back at you!”

I started to get tired of hearing her barking into her phone outside. I couldn’t even get peace in the bathroom. Second story bathroom, window open, curtain closed. If she heard me do so much as fart or make the rustle of a newspaper, there’d be a pause in her conversation, then the even louder blatting about her stupid neighbor would start up again.

So one day I walked outside and she did it again. Without looking at her, I started making that “Ack Ack Ack!” noise like the Martians from Mars Attacks:


She got very quiet… A couple more times, and when I’d come outside while she was on her phone, she’d go back inside. Then when I walked by a basement window, she started braying into her phone again, and I did the “Ack! Ack Ack Ack, Ack!” thing again, and she got quiet. Did the same from the bathroom. After that, she stopped talking on her phone outside when I appeared.

The last time we saw her, Sue and her partner had sold their house and were moving to Hawaii, I heard, and we thought we’d not see either of them again. We had no problems with her partner.

Then about a month after the “for sale” sign came down from their house, as we were crossing the street to go rent a movie, this stream of abuse poured out of a car waiting at the light. It was Sue! “You people are the worst neighbors bla bla blah bray!!!”

We both started gushing sweetly about what a great neighbor she’d been, please write and tell us your new address, we’ll miss you!

I thought she was going to break her arm or the window rolling it up so fast. She sat there waiting for the light, just fuming and looking like she was going to tear the plastic off of the steering wheel.


Someone commented that they thought we were too hard on Sue without first trying to work things out with her. I said this:

I didn’t go into great detail. We actively tried for a year to get along with her. She went from hot to cold depending on her mood.

One evening, I saw an opossum in her garage (no door on it). So the next day I knocked on her door and told her about it. Keep in mind that this was years into her hating me nonstop. But today she lit up when I mentioned the opossum, and after making sure I had not chased it away she invited me in. Spent half an hour excitedly telling me about the life cycle of opossums and how they scutter around the shadows, cleaning up roadkill and dead animals, and generally keeping the streets clean.

That opossum had been spending days in her garage, so she was staying out. They tend to move around a lot. She sent me home with a thick stack of printouts from webpages about them.

I thought, this is good, she likes us again. So a few days later, there is a big windstorm and my wife sees a baby opossum by the parking lot where she works. Observes it for a while from a distance, no mother seems to be anywhere. So she gathers it up and brings it home. We knocked on Sue’s door as we figured she’d be happy to help, but they weren’t home.

With help from all the printouts from Sue, we found an opossum rescue person and called her. She wasn’t available that evening, but with her advice and all the printouts, we found out what else we should give the baby other than just water.

Next afternoon, we came back from dropping the opossum baby off with the opossum rescue lady. I was already around the corner and my wife was gathering some things from the back of the car, and Sue came out of her house. So Robyn told her excitedly about the baby opossum and that we’d knocked on her door, and that the opossum was now with opossum rescue who’d take care of it and release it when it was old enough.

Sue just looked pissed and walked quickly away as my wife was talking. As Sue opened her gate and walked through she looked over her shoulder without looking directly at my wife and barked “What’s wrong with you people!” and slammed the gate and her door as she went in the house.

Even friends of her partner didn’t seem to like Sue. She’d bark something like “Who invited you?” and then laugh like it was the funniest thing, while they looked at each other with pained expressions.

My wife and I honestly did nothing to egg her on. In every situation, she got her own goat. We were not playing jokes on her. The ONLY mocking thing I ever did was the “Ack! Ack ack Ack!” thing, and that was pretty late in the game.

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