Britons agree: dead neighbours are the best neighbours

Written by Tragic Rabbit

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

image for Britons agree: dead neighbours are the best neighbours
a beautiful day in the neighbourhood

Half of Britons have said hello to fewer three people in their street in the last week, with the other half only mildly curious whether or not their neighbors might actually be dead, a survey for BBC Breakfast has suggested.

More than a fifth (22%) of Britons believe that the UK's neighbourhoods are more likely to inspire violent crime than friendships, particularly when there is a difference of opinion over bins.

However, the survey does suggest that about a quarter of people (24%) are willing to say hello to anything they meet, from French poodles on a leash to shrubbery, regardless of response.

Most now think there is a serious decline in everyday interaction, which can lead to needless bin disputes, hellish crimes conducted in underground root cellars and other everyday neighbourhood niggles.

This tends to manifest itself in a reliance on the police and the authorities to get involved with rows over wheelie bins, shallow graves and parking.

Among those who are concerned that a lack of good neighbourliness is causing problems is Mister Rogers.

"I think people have lost the habit of saying 'good morning' and 'welcome to my neighbourhood'," he has often said.

He has introduced pre-taped televised "Neighbourhood Visits" to try to get people to accept basic standards of neighbourly behaviour such as speaking with a smile and talking to hand puppets.

When he does see someone, Mister Rogers' friendly hello is often met with a blank stare, though that may be related to the widespread idea that he is dead.

Two-thirds of survey respondents appear to prefer dead neighbours to live ones, citing as reason the lower noise levels and considerably less misplaced trash.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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