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My bite is worse than your bark

June 14th, 2010 · 107 comments

Although she’s embarrassed to admit it now, Kristi in Portland confesses that when she wrote this letter, at age 14, she felt oh-so-very-grown-up.

In retrospect, she says, the most ridiculous part — besides the charmingly pretentious tone throughout — is probably the self-made letterhead. “I guess I thought the frog made for a good personal logo or something,” Kristi says. ”To my credit, I didn’t send the letter anonymously…I included my full name (first, middle and last), my address, my phone number AND my e-mail address. I only left off my Social Security number!”

Dear Sir or Madam, This must come to an end! Last year, every night for almost an entire summer, your dogs would bark late into the night disturbing my peace and thus threatening my sanity as I was allowed only a few precious hours of sleep per night. For some reason, this has not occurred often recently, and for that I am grateful. However, tonight, that peace was once again broken. I am certain that I am not the only neighbor in the area who has been kept awake because of your pets.I am a fourteen year old student, trying my hardest to complete my sophomore year of high school maintaining good grades. However, to do this, I need to be paying attention in my classes. To do this, I need to be awake, and in order to stay awake, I need to be able to sleep at night. This evening, I was very glad because I finished all the things that I needed to do earlier than usual (despite my inability to concentrate on a book for English due to the incessant barking) and was ready to go to bed at 10:30 p.m. However, once I was in bed, the dogs started to get noisy again. I tried to ignore it, but after half-an hour of restlessness, I finally got up, got dressed and came over to your house and rang your door-bell. I was not surprised that you were not at home, because I assume that if you were, you would not have tolerated the animals' behavior. I do not know if you even realize that whenever you are away, your dogs bark on and off all through the night, so now I am telling you. Please take whatever actions necessary to ensure that this bad habit ends here, whether that means just locking them inside while you are away, or possibly leaving them with friends or if it comes down to it, in a kennel. I know that I would appreciate it, as well as my family and assuming the surrounding neighbors would as well. Please, do not allow your animals behavior to deprive us of the sleep that we need to function reasonably and sanely. Thank You, Kristi

Adds Kristi: “My parents still live next door to these neighbors, and I avoid them to this day! Oh, and yes, they did try to keep their dogs indoors more after I sent the letter.”

related: Your to lazy

FILED UNDER: dogs · kids · neighbors · nice stationery · noise · Portland

107 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Esther

    I didn’t think your letter was pretentious. It was actually very mature. Those damned neighbors. I also liked that you had the balls to go and ring their doorbell.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm   rating: 156  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   park rose

      Good letter, and it worked.

      Jun 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   infant tyrone bang

      That ain’t pretentious, that’s the way you do it

      Jun 15, 2010 at 12:04 am   rating: 55  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Scribbles the Monkey bang

      When I was 14, I don’t think the thought would cross my mind to write a note in a situation like this. I would have skipped right to the part where the rotten eggs are thrown at the front door.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 12:47 pm   rating: 41  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   Mo® bang

      I would have skipped to the poop in a bag phase myself and it wouldn’t have been dog poop…

      Jun 15, 2010 at 1:49 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #2   Kat

    I think after a reasonable attempt at in-person communication has been made(you did so) the doorway to PA notewriting is perfectly acceptable. This is actually a pretty polite note explaining the situation reasonably.


    Jun 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

  • #3   Zoe

    I love your letter! It’s so 14-year old channeling their mature self. Cute :)

    Jun 14, 2010 at 7:32 pm   rating: 39  small thumbs up

  • #4   Heather

    I don’t think this is inappropriate in any way. In fact, for a 14 yr old, WOW! This is way more mature than what I am tempted to do in such situations!

    Jun 14, 2010 at 7:37 pm   rating: 32  small thumbs up

  • #5   BeBe

    I can’t stand dogs that bark endlessly either. If they have a good reason to bark, that’s one thing but to just bark for the sake of barking…
    Makes me crazy!!
    Good for you!!!

    Jun 14, 2010 at 7:40 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   megs

      I love this! Two years ago I lived across a verrry narrow alley from a family with a howling dog and they’d let him out at 7am on Saturdays – I just constantly screamed “SHUT UP” out my window…


      Jun 15, 2010 at 7:28 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #6   Nack

    Yup. I don’t sense a bit of pretentious or passive-aggressive in this. You said, “Look, I can’t sleep, deal with your dogs.” And said it in a nice way! And that was -after- you went over, and rang the bell trying to have a face-to-face. If only adults could muster half the maturity you put into this, at just 14!

    And look, you didn’t even use a curse word, so proud of you. Usually teenagers think they invented foul language.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 7:49 pm   rating: 35  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   FeRD bang

      I think the point is, as you noted, she said “Look, I can’t sleep, deal with your dogs.” — and took the entirety of a single-spaced, letter-size sheet of paper to say it! That sort of long-windedness definitely smacks of pretension. (As does her 14-year-old self’s assumption that she needs to explain her crazy need for sleep, and detail the unusual conditions of her life that lead to this strange requirement.)

      Look, I’m not saying there’s anything to find fault with in the letter, exactly. But it’s far from perfect, mostly in terms of what it doesn’t need to contain. As someone who — even as an adult — is prone to the same wordiness, I understand where Kristi-today is coming from, and appreciate her willingness to laugh at her younger self. If she’s stayed the same reasonable, polite person she was then, but also learned the value of brevity and simplicity, then she’s even better off!

      Jun 14, 2010 at 8:53 pm   rating: 61  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   FeRD bang

      (*SIGH* Proving my own point, as of its submission my previous comment is easily the longest left so far. And that’s even after I consciously tried to keep it tight and avoid rambling!)

      Team Oh, How I Do Go On!

      Jun 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm   rating: 51  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   Xenobiologista

      I think when you’re 14 you’re old enough to have figured out the trappings of grown-upness but not how to wear them. I don’t even want to think of all the silly things I did then…

      Jun 14, 2010 at 11:02 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   infant tyrone bang

      Brevity’s a great tool, tough to stick to and hard to hone, but it might not be the best technique for an audience made up of inconsiderate people.

      Maybe Kristi’s use of detail and repetition was an unconscious strategy employed to try to give the neighbors a sense of what the dogs did to her.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 12:13 am   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #6.5   brandine bang

      “I think when you’re 14 you’re old enough to have figured out the trappings of grown-upness but not how to wear them.”

      Like bras.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 6:08 am   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #6.6   Weewy?

      <3 it

      Jun 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #7   Sesquipedalian

    Team 14-year-old Kristi!

    Jun 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #8   Team Kristi

    My downstairs neighbors have barking dogs and it is infuriating. Hooray for anyone who has the guts to complain about it, no matter how passive-aggressively.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 8:01 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #9   Lurker

    Hmm, a 14-year-old with an email address included in a letter in 1996? Says something for the socioeconomic status of the letter writer, as does the latent sense of entitlement present in the pretentiousness.

    While I would probably have written a similar letter at 14, and had an email address in 1996, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Kristi might have been going to a nice private school and living a pretty good life when she acquired such effective communication skills.

    Team Rich Little Girl.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 8:03 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Amy

      AOL was popular in 1996, I had an e-mail from them too, and I was about 14 at the time too. I think you got a master account plus you could add 4 or so other e-mails to the account for free.

      My family was nowhere near poor, but I wouldn’t have said we were rich and I definitely didn’t go to private school.

      Jun 14, 2010 at 8:10 pm   rating: 40  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Nack

      Sorry, but having email wasn’t just for “rich” people in 1996. You’re thinking the 80′s, in 1996 it was pretty available to most everyone with a computer and internet access. Granted, it was a hopping 14.4 modem, but it was there.

      Jun 14, 2010 at 8:11 pm   rating: 45  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   Nahhh

      So what? Kids whose parents have money aren’t deserving of a good night’s sleep?

      I don’t see any PA in this letter, just enexpected (and possibly unappreciated) maturity.

      I hate barking dogs, btw.

      Jun 14, 2010 at 9:15 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   jadefirefly

      In 1996 I was 16, my family had AOL, and I had my own e-mail address.

      Believe me, my family was NOT rich. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back on my life, I’m very aware now that when I was small, we lived in housing projects.

      We were only a few steps above that, by ’96. In fact, I seem to remember that’s when my dad lost his job, and we were living off a single income.

      ’96 sure feels a long way back, but we weren’t living in caves banging out our e-mails on rocks QUITE yet.

      Jun 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   modernmoron

      Yeah my family was barely off food stamps and we had Internet back then. I was MUDding like crazy back then.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 7:19 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #9.6   selianth bang

      At 14 years old in 1991, I had an email address. A local college was giving them away to anyone that had a “school affiliation” – supposed to be teachers and administrators, etc., but my friends and I just all claimed that we were affiliated with our (public) high school and signed up for one anyway. And with AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy going strong at the time, it’s not like it was that rare.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 8:12 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #9.7   Canthz_B bang

      At 14 years old in 1975 I had an email address…and a really cool Delorean! ;-)

      Jun 15, 2010 at 8:32 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #9.8   KJ

      From about 1991? 92? through 97 or so there was a service through UNC-Chapel Hill called LaUNChpad – a free email service that you would dial into and check email, newsgroups, GOPHER sites and the like. Yes it was slow as hell sometimes but thanks to being back by an innovative work group it was free, and people all over the world used its services.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 11:13 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #9.9   Mo® bang

      Ah back in ’91 my friends and I had Heliographs! Oh the times we would have chatting back and forth all afternoon.
      Ooooh 1991!

      Jun 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #9.10   BurstingAtTheSeams


      I was 14 in 1996 but I didn’t have an email address.

      Not until 1998. I soooo wish I got to use a BBS.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 9:27 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #10   Amy

    Hah, I kind of want to print out this letter and put it on my neighbors door with their constantly yapping dog

    Jun 14, 2010 at 8:06 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #11   Rachel

    I’m so on Team Kristi! I love your letter.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 8:15 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #12   Michelle

    I’ve got neighborhood cats who, lately, really enjoy getting frisky in the backyard at night. Every time I hear them, I wish I had a gun. (Should I be ashamed to admit this? I’m not, sadly.) So, props to your 14-year-old self for being a LOT more mature than my 27-year-old self.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 8:28 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   Xenobiologista

      Call Friends of Ferals or whatever your local crazy cat lady organisation is and tell them to pick up a bunch to be neutered. At least they won’t wail any more.

      Jun 14, 2010 at 11:05 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   infant tyrone bang

      Until the neutering crew gets there, you could get a Super Soaker.

      I kept our cat’s adventurism in check for almost his first year with well placed shots just above him when he would start climbing the tree from which he would have been able to hop the fence and wander out into the condo common area. Then one evening, after a well placed shot was dripping a goodly volume of water onto him, he looked over his shoulder and said (optically) “I’ll be back soon, but I really, really have to go.”

      I’d tell you Springsteen’s Independence Day was playing,
      but then I’d be lying and my name would be Mudd.

      The next day we bought a leash, and the next 15 years were glorious.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 12:30 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   Meesh

      Cats on leashes are hilarious.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 7:28 am   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #12.4   Gladystopia

      Cats on leashes are PISSED.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 11:18 am   rating: 23  small thumbs up

    • #12.5   Woman on the Verge bang

      Kids on leashes are even more PISSED.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 11:31 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #12.6   infant tyrone bang

      The cat-on-a-leash phase was only another 6 months or so, after which we moved from a condo to a 1/2 acre in the back-country area of San Diego. Then Toes (cuz he had 6 instead of 5 up front) had free range and became The Sheriff, cutting a large swath through the local gopher population.
      But he would also walk 50-100 yards down the road with me to the mailbox, always very careful of road traffic and intermittently responding to and complying with verbal commands (suggestions).

      P.S. We didn’t know then that cats with pink or light-colored noses are more succeptible to skin cancer. If you have one such and live in a sunny climate, you can get a sunblock designed for animals that applies like Chapstick. A minor annoyance for The Boss, but it beats a risky and expensive surgery 16 years down the road. End of PSA.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #12.7   The Elf

      Cats on leashes are pissed. That’s why they are hilarious.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #12.8   BurstingAtTheSeams

      My cat walks on a leash and actually likes it. He actually slips into the leash himself so we can go explore the halls of my high rise.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #13   lolsuz

    Count me in on Team Kristi as well. Kudos to you for a letter well-written! If you neighbors had ANY character at all, they would have come to see you directly upon receiving your letter- to shake your hand. Then again, if they had any character at all they wouldn’t let their dogs bark all damned night, either.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 8:39 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #14   pilgrimchick

    That is a GREAT letter, and very articulate for a 14 year old. Good for her.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 8:47 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #15   Will

    I agree, this letter wasn’t pretentious at all. Besides, it did the job didn’t it? I would call that effective writing! Score 1 Kristi, neighbors from hell, 0.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 9:07 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #16   Jess

    Really? How in the world is this passive? This just sounds like a spoiled little latch-key kid to me.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 9:14 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   Canthz_B bang

      Latch-key kids aren’t spoiled. There’s no one home to spoil them when they get home…that’s why they have keys.

      Jun 14, 2010 at 10:08 pm   rating: 63  small thumbs up

    • #16.2   Meesh

      CB is right. If Kristi were a latch-key kid, she would be too busy fucking her boyfriend on the sofa to notice the dogs barking.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 7:33 am   rating: 23  small thumbs up

    • #16.3   Canthz_B bang

      More likely busy getting dinner started, but at least you know what a latch-key kid is. ;-)

      Jun 15, 2010 at 8:06 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #16.4   Scribbles the Monkey bang

      Ahhh, so that’s what a latch key kid is. I had a friend who was one of those. He had Mario Brother 3 on the NES and he cooked a can of chili for us when I hung out there once. We were like 11. I never saw his mom the entire time I knew him. Geeze, I think he did his own laundry…

      Jun 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #17   dd

    I’m impressed. You tried one-on-one communication and that didn’t work so you wrote a to-the-point letter.

    You didn’t cast aspersions on their character, you identified a problem, told how it affected you, and suggested some possible solutions.

    I bet their other neighbors would’ve hugged you if they’d known you were the one to make the problem less bad.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 9:43 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #18   Canthz_B bang

    So, clip-art of a barking dog inside of a red circle/diagonal line was out of the question then?

    Jun 14, 2010 at 10:05 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #19   eli

    I was 14 in 1996 and I’m from Portland… eerie.

    That’s my important input.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 10:05 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   carramrod

      Me too! And I had an email address. But my name’s not Kristi and my neighbors didn’t have annoying barking dogs so I don’t think I wrote this letter. But still….

      Jun 15, 2010 at 1:14 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #19.2   FeRD bang

      Are you sure they weren’t your dogs that were ruining poor teenage Kristi’s childhood??

      Jun 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #20   Name

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I STARTED high school at 15. I was a sophomore at 16. She was 14? And wrote like this? And I don’t think it’s pretentious at all.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   Scribbles the Monkey bang

      I graduated at 16, so put that in your pipe and smoke it, late bloomer!

      Jun 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #20.2   much to my chagrin bang

      I can’t smoke because I’m only twelve and I’m working on my Master’s degree!

      Jun 15, 2010 at 4:48 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #20.3   FeRD bang

      Go away, Doogie, nobody likes you. ;)

      Jun 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #21   bowloftoast bang

    Little did 14-year-old Kristi know that sleep deprivation and borderline insanity would become a way of life on reaching college age.

    Jun 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm   rating: 32  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   infant tyrone bang

      Good thing she knew by then how to manage SOB’s and beyotches.
      Maybe she wrote some seriously PA notes during that era.
      She’s so reasonable we may have to wait for dorm-mates to submit them.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 12:37 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #21.2   The Elf

      Can you imagine the notes written to the girl in the dorm room next to hers?

      “Last year, every night for an entire semester, you had very loud sex late into the night disturbing my peace and threating my sanity as I was only allowed a few precious hours of sleep a night. ….”

      Seriously, though, very mature and not particularly passive-aggressive letter from a 14 year old for a very real problem. Kristi first tried to resolve the problem face-to-face and then resorted to the note. Team note-writer!

      Jun 15, 2010 at 6:44 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #21.3   infant tyrone bang

      “I would have mentioned this earlier, but during all of your encounters, your pet stallions were in the habit of emitting dog-like noises.

      I don’t know if this was at your request or if you somehow just happen to attract and engage with barkers. Hopefully you got something good out of the carnival sideshow, because all I got was a series of abreactive episodes without any catharsis. (see enclosed copy of letter for background.)

      If this continues this semester, I will have a package containing a leather corset and dog leash delivered to you c//o the RA in Room 763. Maybe some Bible verses about lions and lambs posted on your door will help.”

      P.S. If you would care to discuss this face-to-face, or cheek-by-jowl,
      feel free to contact me next Monday or later, after my Vet. Biology final.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #22   jen

    I think that letter is very well written, especially for a 14 year old! And you obviously were doing well in school – your syntax, punctuation and grammar are excellent!

    Jun 14, 2010 at 11:57 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #23   TippingCows

    Nice letter – and there is nothing worse than irresponsible dog owners. There is such a thing as crate training. Dogs bark because they get bored and/or because they weren’t trained correctly. (i.e. if you want to leave your dogs outside when you go away start by putting them outside when you’re home and teaching them not to bark).

    Jun 15, 2010 at 12:44 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #24   Bonnie B

    What irony! As I am reading this post, my neighbor’s dog is whining, which has been going on for about half-an-hour already. It is 11:30 pm. I should be sleeping, but his whining was keeping me awake, so I thought I’d surf some ‘net until I’m too tired to stay upright and hopefully will pass out eventually, even as the d*mn dog continues to whine … Maybe I’ll write a letter … ;p

    Jun 15, 2010 at 1:36 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   dave

      that is not an irony. That is just a coincidence, boring one at that. Now if you had turn to youtube to make it away and if every video is of incessant dog barking than it would be really ironic.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #24.2   BurstingAtTheSeams

      um… Daves 4 Life!

      Jun 16, 2010 at 9:35 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #25   Sofar

    You know, the more I read this site the more I consider being a light sleeper a character flaw. Light sleepers must be responsible for a disproportionately large percentage of the world’s passive-aggressive notes.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 3:00 am   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   Meesh

      Agreed. Have these people heard of earplugs?

      Jun 15, 2010 at 7:30 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #25.2   megs

      as a chronic snorer who has a light sleeper of a fiance, I’m inclined to agree ;-)

      Jun 15, 2010 at 7:33 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #25.3   jayskinner70

      You can’t wear ear plugs if you have to hear the alarm clock.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 9:19 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #25.4   Gladystopia

      Oh, sure you can. You just turn the volume on the alarm to “ear-shattering”.

      Now, I would be lying if I said a simple loud alarm would wake me up from slumber while wearing earplugs; in my case, the alarm would need to be set to “thunders soul-crushingly through your ears, squeezes your brains into a pulpy mass, and thus readies you for another demoralizing day with your boss, who–both in appearance and in temperament–resembles a giant rectal wart.”

      Generally that’s the point at which I roll over and try to remember which fake excuse for absence I haven’t used lately.

      Jun 15, 2010 at 11:28 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #25.5   BurstingAtTheSeams

      I wear ear plugs every night and the little tiny beep of my cell phone wakes me right up.

      My boyfriend, now… that’s another story. You know there’s actually some guy who slept through a tornado and woke up dumped somewhere in a field? My boyfriend could probably do that.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 9:37 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #25.6   FeRD bang

      As someone who’s suffered a lifetime of sleep problems (including sleeping through my alarm clock, which sounds like a fire bell, ringing continuously for an hour before it roused me!!), your little story about your earplugs and your phone just makes me HATEyou. :(

      Jun 16, 2010 at 10:23 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #25.7   BurstingAtTheSeams

      @ FeRD:

      Let’s meet halfway. That way, you won’t sleep through any potential tornadoes and I can stop waking up every time an acorn falls on the roof!

      Jun 17, 2010 at 11:33 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #25.8   FeRD bang


      Done! My previous tornado defense plan, of simply living in New York City, has been quite effective… but it has some obvious limitations. I think we can really be of use to each other!

      *sniffle* Aw, shucks. This is the most honest relationship I’ve ever been in! ;)

      Jun 18, 2010 at 12:54 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #26   KS04

    I think the true pretentious nature of this note lies in the fact that Kristi felt obliged to provide her address . . . for her next-door neighbor.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 4:07 am   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #26.1   Kimmypie

      I’m thinking that if she had an email address, she could also look up the proper form for a letter online. Then she wrote one based exactly on what was shown. Hence the proper header for formal letter.
      Or she could have used a book, and she seems like she would have been precocious enough to do so!

      Jun 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #27   Cory

    “I was not surprised that you were not home, because I assume that if you were, you would not have tolerated the animals’ behavior.”

    This letter is an instant classic.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 6:10 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #28   The Elf

    May I also point out the proper grammar and correct spelling? Kristi even used apostrophes correctly. Now she just needs to stop spelling her name with an “i” at the end.

    We need more PA notes that are written in proper English!

    Jun 15, 2010 at 6:47 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   FeRD bang

      While I agree, it’s a little disheartening that so many people here seem surprised that there are 14-year-olds who aren’t illiterate morons!

      Jun 16, 2010 at 10:32 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #29   Dirk

    Kristi seems to be a very mature and sophisticated yound woman.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 7:28 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #30   Denise

    Love it! The detail into “why” she needs sleep, or how she got done early with homework was hilarious!
    I would honestly feel horrible if I got this letter. First, for keeping the poor (although wordy) child up at night. But mostly because she left the house so late at night to confront me about it! She would have gotten an apology personally from me, but then maybe a verbal smack for being out of the house so late.
    Then again I wouldn’t have left my dogs outside for that long or at night.
    OH and I am in my 30′s and still as wordy as a 14 year old!
    LOL Team Kristi!

    Jun 15, 2010 at 8:09 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   FeRD bang

      Ew. People who would take it upon themselves to lecture their neighbors’ children on what time they should or shouldn’t be doing anything should be forced to spend a week being followed around by a committee that critiques all of their actions!

      (That sentence is long and sucky, but I can’t work out how to easily fix it. Meh.)

      Jun 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #31   Ryan H

    Your neighbors were lucky to have you, and it sounds like they took your note to heart. When my neighbors’ dogs bark incessantly like that over a period of days, I call the cops. That may sound harsh, but it’s what I’ve been advised to do by the police department itself (unless I know and trust those neighbors very well). You never know *why* the dog is barking–is there a domestic disturbance? A burglary? Someone pull a gun? You simply don’t know what you’re walking into.

    [The one time I called the cops at 2am to report dogs barking, I felt silly about it but the dispatch said it's their singlemost common call--she said close to 65% of their overnight calls are about dogs. And that in the middle of the night, NEVER to approach a neighbor's house if the dog is barking. It's a safety issue. Better to have the cops come out and inconvenience the neighbors, than to have your head blown off by an antsy owner or worse yet, an intruder.]

    Jun 15, 2010 at 9:05 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #32   JS

    This letter isn’t funny, or passive aggressive. Not a good addition.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 9:45 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #32.1   FeRD bang

      Your comment wasn’t insightful, or entertaining. Not a good addition.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 10:27 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

  • #33   MomWhoThinks

    Well, I think you did yourself, all the neighbors, and–most importantly–the anxious dogs a favor by speaking up, so, well done!

    Team Over-explanatory Kristi!

    Jun 15, 2010 at 10:01 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #34   Erin

    This was a great letter and very well-written for a 14 year old. I’m glad you had the guts to go over there and ring the doorbell. I hope you have retained some of gumption and ballsiness as an adult!

    Jun 15, 2010 at 10:39 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #35   Gladystopia

    Count me among those who don’t think this note is terribly P-A.

    Now, a flaming bag of dog dung stapled to the note…THAT would be passive-aggressive. (Also smelly, messy, disgusting, and gross; but definitely passive-aggressive.)

    Jun 15, 2010 at 11:33 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #35.1   BurstingAtTheSeams

      Earl, it’s poop again!

      Jun 16, 2010 at 9:39 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #36   eyehearta2

    So, I’m guessing that was likely the end of the babysitting gig. How *did* you earn your spending money after that?

    Jun 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #37   dave

    Kristi seems persnickety person. I think that she would be the excellent candidate for the position of clerk in some bureaucratic office where you have 10 steps rule book for standing up and siting down.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #38   Elisha

    This is adorable!

    Jun 15, 2010 at 2:32 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #39   forest_rose

    Team Kristi! I think my favourite bit is the first sentence. I must use ‘This must come to an end!’ in correspondence more often.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #40   CLG

    I love this letter! It reminds me so much of something I would have done/written at 14. Good times.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #41   Team Kristi

    The people opposed to this letter must be be superb dog owners, like Kristi’s neighbors.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 5:51 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #42   mystic_eye

    You want to talk passive aggressive?

    We used to go to the in-laws house once a week, not the same day of the week, to do our laundry. This would take 2-3 hours. We would bring our dog so he got to run free as we were living in an apartment. We worked in the music industry, we were not morning people so this would be sometime between about 10 and and 5pm

    Our dog would bark, if there was a squirrel, which would happen 0-3 times and he would bark less than 1 minute before we silenced him.

    The neighbour to one side had 2 yappy dogs.

    Some guy, and later we found out it was someone that lived on the street behind, so he had to have come around to find the house number, called animal control. They apparently had nothing better to do (or he called often enough that they gave in).

    Now THAT’S passive aggressive.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 6:14 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #43   Escape Goat

    My father always used to say, “Pull my finger!” followed shortly by, “Was that a barking frog?”

    Coincidence? I think not.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 7:23 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #44   Neeners

    Kristi the reason they kept their dogs indoors was because they were afraid you would poison them.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 11:00 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #45   P-A Hater bang

    My favorite part is that she’s from Portland. Having moved here from Chicago, I’m perpetually amazed at how passive-aggressive this town is. I even have the bumper sticker: “Keep Portland passive-aggressive…if you don’t mind.” THIS note is the most direct confrontation of problems I’ve ever seen from a native. Alas, she’s probably outgrown it.

    Jun 15, 2010 at 11:34 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #46   Annoyed as well

    Ugh, I hate dogs that bark when I’m trying to sleep! I also hate the headaches that follow. I yearn for a dog-free neighborhood!

    Jun 16, 2010 at 7:51 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #47   ManadaBitt

    How is it possible that a 14-year-old could write that and only miss one comma? Most adults can’t even do that. Pretty damned impressive, if you ask me.

    Jun 16, 2010 at 4:05 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #47.1   Madrias bang

      That is impressive. Having read all of the notes on this site (a week’s worth of reading while I’m searching for employment in a second job), there’s a drastic lack of bad grammar, spelling errors, and missing punctuation/excessive punctuation. A fully mature letter also lacking in violent swearing and threats.

      Me, however, even at 18, would have egged the hell out of the offending house. Slingshots are so much fun.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #48   Lisap

    I’m not sure why you are ashamed of this. It’s way more articulate than the majority of the notes that make it on here.

    I’m not even sure if it qualifies as passive aggressive: you attempted to address them in person before sending a letter that was not anonymous nor posted in public.

    Seems to me like this could be used as a how-to for dealing with annoying neighbours.

    P.S. I love the frog, lends you boat loads of credibility.

    Jun 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #49   TJ

    I don’t see what’s passive-aggressive about this; the letter was perfectly acceptable: polite, friendly and reasonable.

    You stated clearly what the problem was and why, and then offered reasonable solution. Kudos.

    Jun 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #50   Isn’t starting middle school torture enough? |

    [...] related: Another Portland teen takes on her noisy neighbors [...]

    Aug 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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