Love & Sex

Dear Neighbor, You Are Not Invited To My Party

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A furiously passive-aggressive exchange by comedian and jackass, David Thorne.

A few weeks ago, a guy moved into the apartment across from me. I know little about him apart from the fact that he owns cane furniture; I saw the delivery guys carry it up. I bumped into him on the stairs once, and he said hello, but I cannot be friends with someone that owns cane furniture, so I pretended I had a turtle to feed or something. Last week when I checked my mailbox, I found that my new neighbor had left me a note stating that he was having a party and to let him know if the noise was too loud. The problem I have with the note is not that he was having a party and didn’t invite me, it was that he selected a vibrant background of balloons, effectively stating that his party was going to be vibrant and possibly have balloons, and that I couldn’t come. If I were writing a note to my neighbors saying that I was going to have a party but none of them could come, I would not add photos of ecstasy tablets, beer, and gratuitous shots of Lucius going down on men to show them what they are missing out on. I would make it clean and simple, possibly even somber, so they didn’t think, “You prick.”


From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 Dec 2008 11:04 a.m.
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: R.S.V.P.

Dear Matthew,

Thank you for the party invite. At first glance I thought it may be for a child’s party—what with it being vibrant and having balloons—but I realize you probably did your best with what little tools were available. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. What time would you like me there?

Regards, David


From: Matthew Smythe
Date: Monday 8 Dec 2008 3:48 p.m.
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: R.S.V.P.

Hi David

Sorry the note was just to let you know that we might be a bit loud that night. The house warming is really just for friends and family but you can drop past for a beer if you like. Cheers Matthew


From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 Dec 2008 5:41 p.m.
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Thanks Matthew,

Including me in your list of friends and family means a lot. You and I don’t tend to have long discussions when we meet in the hallway, and I plan to put a stop to that. Next time we bump into each other I intend to have a very long conversation with you, and I am sure you are looking forward to that as much as I am. I have told my friend Ross that you are having a party, and he is as excited as I am. Do you want us to bring anything or will everything be provided?

Regards, David


From: Matthew Smythe
Date: Tuesday 9 Dec 2008 10:01 a.m.
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Hi David

As I said, my housewarming is just for friends and family. There is not a lot of room so cant really have to many people come. Sorry about that mate.

Cheers Matthew


From: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday 9 Dec 2008 2:36 p.m.
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Dear Matthew,

I can appreciate that. Our apartments are not very large, are they? I myself like to go for a jog every night to keep fit but fear leaving the house, so I have to jog on the spot, taking very small steps with my arms straight down. I understand the problems of space restrictions all too well. If you would like to store some of your furniture at my place during the party, you are quite welcome to—if we move your cane furniture into my spare room for the night and scatter cushions on the ground, that would provide a lot more seating and create a cozy atmosphere at the same time. I have a mirror ball that you can borrow.

I have told Ross not to invite anyone else due to the space constraints, so it will just be us two and my other friend Simon. When I told Simon that Ross and I were going to a party he became quite angry that I had not invited him as well, so I really didn’t have any choice, because he can become quite violent. Sometimes I am afraid to even be in the same room as him. So just me, Ross, and Simon. Simon’s girlfriend, Cathy, has a work function on that night but might come along after that if she can get a lift with friends.

Regards, David

From: Matthew Smythe
Date: Tuesday 9 Dec 2008 4:19 p.m.
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Wtf? Nobody can come to the houswarming party—it is just for friends and family. I dont even know these people. How do you know I have cane furniture? Are you the guy in apartment 1?


From: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday 9 Dec 2008 6:12 p.m.
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Hi Matthew,

I understand it is an exclusive party, and I appreciate your trusting my judgment on who to bring. I just assumed you have cane furniture. Doesn’t everybody? Cane is possibly one of the most renewable natural resources we have after plastic, it is not only strong but also lightweight and attractive. Every item in my apartment is made of cane, including my television. It looks like the one from Gilligan’s Island but is in color, of course. Do you remember that episode where a robot came to the island? That was the best one, in my opinion. I always preferred Mary Anne to Ginger, same with Flintstones—I found Betty much more attractive than Wilma, but then I am not really keen on redheads at all. They have freckles all over their body, did you know? It’s the ones on their back and shoulders that creep me out the most.

Anyway, Ross rang me today all excited about the party and asked me what the theme is. I told him that I don’t think there is a theme; and we discussed it and feel that it should be an eighties-themed party. I have a white suit and projector and am coming as Nik Kershaw. I have made a looping tape of “Wouldn’t It Be Good” to play, as I am sure you will agree that this song rocks and has stood the test of time well. I am in the process of redesigning your invites appropriately and will get a few hundred of them printed off later today. I will have to ask you for the money for this because print cartridges for my Epson are pretty expensive. They stopped making this model a month after I bought it, and I have to get the cartridges sent from China. Around $120 should cover it. You can just pop the money in my letterbox if I don’t see you before tonight.

Regards, David


From: Matthew Smythe
Date: Wednesday 10 Dec 2008 11:06 p.m.
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

What the fuck are yout alking about? There is no theme for the party it is just a few friends and family. noone else can come IT IS ONLY FOR MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY do you understand? Do not print anything out because I am not paying for something I dont need and didnt ask you to do! look I am sorry but i am heaps busy and that night is not convenient. Are you in Apatrment1?


From: David Thorne
Date: Thursday 11 Dec 2008 9:15 a.m.
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

Hello Matthew,

I agree that it is not very convenient and must admit that when I first received your invitation I was perplexed that it was on a Sunday night, but who am I to judge? No, I am in apartment 3B. Our bedroom walls are touching, so when we are sleeping, our heads are only a few feet apart. If I put my ear to the wall I can hear you.

I also agree with you that having a particular theme for your party may not be the best choice. It makes more sense to leave it open as a generic fancy dress party; that way everyone can come dressed in whatever they want. Once, I went to a party in a bear outfit, which worked out well because it was freezing, and I was the only one warm. As it won’t be cold the night of your party, I have decided to come as a ninja. I think it would be really good if you dressed as a ninja as well, and we could perform a martial arts display for the other guests. I have real swords and will bring them.

If you need help with your costume, let me know; I have made mine by wrapping a black T-shirt around my face with a hooded jacket and cut finger holes in black socks for the gloves. I do not have any black pants so will spray paint my legs the night of. It is a little hard to breathe in the costume, so I will need you to keep the window open during the party to provide good air circulation. Actually, I just had a thought—how awesome would it be if I arrived through the window like a real ninja? We should definitely do that. I just measured the distance between our balconies, and I should be able to jump it. I once leaped across a creek that was more than five meters wide and almost made it.

Also, you mentioned in your invitation that if there was anything I needed, to let you know. My car is going in for a service next week, and I was wondering, seeing as we are good friends now, if it would be OK to borrow yours on that day? I hate catching buses because they are full of poor people who don’t own cars.

Regards, David


From: Matthew Smythe
Date: Thursday 11 Dec 2008 3:02 p.m.
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: R.S.V.P.

WTF? No you cant borrow my car and there is no fucking 3B. I reckon you are that guy from Apartment 1. You are not coming to my house warming and you are not bringing any of your friends. What the fuck is wrong with you??? The only people invited are friends and family I told you that. It is just drinks there is no fucking fancy dress and only people i know are coming! I dont want to be rude but jesus fucking christ man.


From: David Thorne
Date: Sunday 14 Dec 2008 2:04 a.m.
To: Matthew Smythe
Subject: Party

Hello Matthew,

I have been away since Thursday so have not been able to check my e-mail from home. Flying back late today in time for the party and just wanted to say that we are really looking forward to it. Will probably get there around eleven or twelve, just when it starts to liven up. Simon’s girlfriend’s work function was canceled, so she can make it after all, which is good news. She will probably have a few friends with her, so they will take the minivan. Also, I have arranged a piñata.

Regards, David


Reprinted from THE INTERNET IS A PLAYGROUND: Irreverent Correspondences of an Evil Online Genius by David Thorne, with permission of Tarcher Books, a member of the Penguin Group USA. Copyright 2011 by David Thorne. Buy the Book