Diligently solving the first world problems of the inhabitants of the inner-west.

    Hi Pete, here’s a tricky one for you. I recently had a dinner party during the stage where we were allowed to have 15 guests to our home. I thought really carefully about who to invite and planned accordingly, but just as we were sitting down to dinner my neighbours popped over with a nice bottle of Tempranillo. I appreciated the gesture but that took us over the government limit and I had to gently turn them away. I felt awful, but what was I to do?

    Gwen, South Kingsville (via email)

    I get it Gwen, but maybe with more time to make a decision you might have chosen someone else to turf out. You have to live with your neighbours you know, but admit it, some of those “friends” were purely making up the numbers – pun intended – and were probably just there to freeload off your food, booze and infinite patience. Your neighbours brought Tempranillo but what about Kevin from work? He brought a bottle of Coke Zero and then drank all your craft beers. Or your ex, Mike? Scoffed your Dauphinoise like the French were about to ban all cheese exports, then just sat in the corner texting his new girlfriend all night. And don’t get me started on Scotty. Yes I know he’s just broken up with Jenny and doesn’t know what to do. If you’d gently asked him to get lost he wouldn’t still be sleeping on your couch!

    Pete the other day I had a friend over who I hadn’t seen for ages. We had a lovely night catching up, but it was soured when as she was leaving she found a rude note on her car windshield complaining about her parking. Apart from being unnecessary and not very neighbourly, I recall my friend had parked very carefully in front of someone’s bins that were out. Should I do something about this or just let it go?

    Tammy, Altona Meadows (via Facebook Messenger)

    Tammy first of all let’s get something straight – never let anything go! I didn’t get where I am today without dragging around a large sack of grudges you know. So how to approach this? Obviously you’re not a psychopath, just a concerned friend, so parking really badly in the same spot then setting up an all night stake-out with security cameras, spotlights and sirens is probably overkill. Wait… I’ve got it! Why don’t you knock on all your neighbours’ doors and ask them if they know who owns the (make and model of your friend’s car) and complain that it was parked across YOUR driveway really badly! Lo and behold, your anonymous pain in the arse will gleefully out themselves in a fit of solidarity, thinking they have a partner in petty-ness! What you do after that is up to you, but give me a moment and let me look here in my old sack…!  

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