I’ve got a neighbour, who’s got a teenage daughter.
This teenage daughter shags her boyfriend very loudly in the bedroom next door to mine at 4 in the morning, every weekend – and I never complain about the noise.
As a family, they’re often prone to noisy late-night parties, fuelled by cider and Lambert & Butler. And yet I rarely bat an eyelid – publically.
They also have a cat, which – until it recently went on safari – regularly made use of my vegetable bed as a giant litter tray.
So, when this neighbour effed and jeffed about my afternoon acid house set the other day, I was in no mood to tolerate her Jeremy Kyle Show-esque aggression.
It began when I bumped into an ages-ago caner pal of mine, after dropping my brood off at school.
Delighted, we headed to a hostelry, where we enjoyed brunch and Bloody Marys, Leffe with lemon wedges, pints of Stella and jugs of Moscow Mule – we were friends in the ’90s.
Several drinks in, talk turned to my DJ-ing days and I was persuaded to go home and drag my acid house vinyl collection into the light.
I’d forgotten how actually cool I am and what a venerable selection of records I own – and, no, they’re not for bloody sale, before you ask.
Pretty soon, the windows were vibrating, my student-era Boddingtons ashtray was overflowing and we were knocking the living-room lampshade with a broom handle to give a swinging, disco light effect.
And that’s when there came the hammering on the window – Old Ratchet Face was standing in my front garden, nose to the glass, looking fairly angry.
“Turn the fucking music down, will yer?” She foamed.
I put my best Stepford smile on, as I opened my front door.
“It’s too fucking loud.” The neighbour raged, eyes popping.
“Sorry.” I signal to my friend to turn the tunes down.
“You will be, one of these days.” She walks away down the bath and pulls her Primark dressing-gown a little closer to her corned-beef body.
“I’ve got your number, lady,” Then, with pointed finger, “I know who you are.”
And for a minute, while my old pal’s skulking indoors, it’s just me and the neighbour, eyeball-to-eyeball.
“How’s the cat?” I ask, innocence personified.
“He’s been gone a week.”
“Shame,” I say.
I shut the door and head back to my front room to watch her walk down the path.
She’s looking a bit puzzled. A little suspicious, perhaps.
I smile inwardly with my real face and turn the music back up.