NOTE: I forgot this post had been living in my drafts since April, 2011. The good news is that I’m in a much quieter apartment. I still think this is one of the most entertaining exchanges I’ve ever seen.

Apartment living and nightmarish neighbors – like bacon and eggs, black and white, Uncle Joey and Uncle Jesse – those two always go hand-in-hand.

My last apartment in N.Y. was reasonably quiet, minus my across the hall neighbor’s prayer bell, which sounded multiple times per day. My beach apartment offered some of the worst neighbors that money could buy. And my current apartment complex may or may not be populated with fugitives. It simply seems suspect that everyone decides to move out after 11 p.m. Last week, when my parents were visiting, my dad jokingly asked someone if they had a body rolled up in a carpet they were loading in their truck. He said they didn’t laugh back – chances are they probably did.

In typical upstairs neighbor fashion, Stompy McStomperson cannot walk lightly on his feet. He drops everything when he walks in the door. And he had a niggling cough for about three weeks. All night long, I would hear him coughing – when it finally stopped, I suspected he dropped dead from tuberculosis.

One night, my friend Ashley texted me from N.Y. – she couldn’t sleep, due to the incessant noise caused by her upstairs neighbors. What follows, simply needed to be shared … because it’s amazing.

Bulldog looks grumpy, because Ashley and the cats aren’t getting any sleep!

Ashley left this adorable bulldog card for her upstairs neighbor.

Her card read as follows:

Dear Upstairs Neighbor(s):
I am writing you this because I am a coward and am completely terrible with in-person problem-solving.

Anyway, it’s a few minutes after midnight on a Monday … well, Tuesday now, and it kinda sounds like you’re bowling up there … here … where you are. This happens often between what I imagine are games of tag, exciting cage matches and vacuuming.

I usually get back late from work so I completely understand how tough it is to fit in all of that activity before bed. But I guess what I’m  really trying to say here is: I would super-appreciate it if you could please try to keep things down after 9 p.m. on “school nights.” If not, please at least invite me to the festivities. I love bowling! And I’m totally bad at it so you could get a huge ego boost from kicking my butt … unless you’re bad, too.

Sincere thanks,
Your downstairs neighbor

The next day, she received this card.

No, her upstairs neighbor is not Christopher Cross.

What he wrote:

Dear Neighbor:

Apologies for your disquieted home. Your note proves that my faith in the building’s soundproofing has been overly optimistic. I say my, though my wife lives here as well – I am probably the cause of most noise. One caveat – our refrigerator had been slowly and loudly dying for some months and was only replaced this week. Some bowling games, at least, were caused by its thudding. It is dead and gone.

We will be more conscientious of our noise level at night and __ ___ hope that your evening will be improved. Therefore, may I suggest 10 p.m. as a reasonable start time for Night Procedures? With two of us navigating space in this apartment, there will surely be some noise, but we will do more to mitigate it.

Unfortunately, we have no bowling lane to offer but we do love tea and coffee. You are welcome to come up and share some if you’d like to get acquainted with more than our ___ detritus.

We are sorry you were put out.

(Name detracted)

Stay tuned, as Ashley brokers peace in the Middle East using greeting cards …