Neighbourhood Remodel Watch

‘Have you seen this?’ I gestured out the window for my son Jason to come and have a look. He rolled his eyes – obedient to every teenager cliché he could find – and joined me at the parted curtains.

‘What am I looking at?’ he asked with a sigh.

‘The house next door,’ I pointed. ‘They’re moving building supplies in!’

‘So?’ he frowned. ‘Why do we care?’

‘Because it means they’re going to start remodelling!’

‘I hate to repeat myself, but why do we—’

‘Because it’s probably going to be loud!’ I interrupted. ‘And obnoxious.’

‘How annoying that must be,’ he said, shooting me a pointed look that I didn’t get until later that night.

‘I know, right!’ I cried.

‘It looks like it’s just tiles and stuff,’ Jason squinted at the construction van. ‘So it’ll just be a bathroom remodel or something.’

‘A bathroom remodel? Near me?’ I shook my head. ‘Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve seen a good bathroom remodel?’

‘Didn’t we get ours remodelled like three years ago?’ Jason frowned again.

‘Oh yes, but that was terrible,’ I waved his question away. ‘Your father designed it himself, so it’s never been good.’

‘Fair enough,’ Jason nodded.

‘I wonder if they’ll let me come have a peek at their plans,’ I pressed a hand to my mouth.

‘Why would they let you do that?’ Jason frowned. ‘Do you even know them?’

‘Of course, I know them!’ I insisted. ‘I know all of my neighbours.’

‘Oh yeah?’ he raised a suspicious eyebrow. ‘Name them.’


‘Name the people that live in that house,’ he pointed. ‘First or last name of either of them.’

I squinted in silence for a second, flipping through my mental Rolodex.

‘Maybe I can pretend to be one of their professional bathroom designers from Melbourne and sneak in that way.’

Mum,’ Jason groaned. ‘Why do you have to make everything so difficult?’

‘I don’t make everything difficult!’ I protested.

‘Then leave these people alone!’ he shook his head, walking away.

‘I will, I will,’ I called after him.

Maybe if I make them a pie…