NEIGHBOUR 1: I’ve decided about going to work. We’ve talked it over in our house and we’ve decided it’ll be better if I stop the car-share thing with you and take my own car.
NEIGHBOUR 2: Well I’m sure myself and the others will be sorry to hear that. There’s nothing we can say that’d make you change your mind? I mean, it’s easier for four of us to split the petrol price between us – and it’s often good craic together as well.
NEIGHBOUR 1: No. We’ve talked it over in our house and we think it’d be better if I take my own car.
NEIGHBOUR 2: But it’ll be more expensive that way.
NEIGHBOUR 1: I don’t agree. Taking my own car means I can drive anywhere I want after work, I can shop in town and save my missus the bother -and I’ll be the one in charge, that’s the thing. It’ll be me in my car, going where I want. I think it’ll pay off.
NEIGHBOUR 2: Well, if you insist. Although as I say we’re all going to miss you.
NEIGHBOUR 1: You mean you’ll miss the money I put in the kitty for petrol.
NEIGHBOUR 2: That’s not really what I meant.
SIX MONTHS LATER…
NEIGHBOUR 1: You can’t go on doing that.
NEIGHBOUR 2: Doing what?
NEIGHBOUR 1: Arriving at work before me. It makes me look bad – as if I wasn’t keen to get in to the office and get my coat off.
NEIGHBOUR 2: I’m sure nobody thinks that.
NEIGHBOUR 1: Easy for you to say. So anyway, from now on I want you to not leave for work until you see me drive off.
NEIGHBOUR 2: But I like getting off early to beat the traffic – you know that.
NEIGHBOUR 1: Well, if you’re going to be a decent neighbour, you’ll stop it. Don’t leave for at least ten minutes after me.
NEIGHBOUR 2: But that wasn’t what we agreed when you said you were quitting the car pool. You said you wanted to be independent, go where you wanted.
NEIGHBOUR 1: Yes, but now you’re arriving before me and I’m looking bad.
NEIGHBOUR 2: But if you’d stayed in the car pool we’d all be arriving at the same time and you’d look fine.
NEIGHBOUR 1: Oh yeah, sure. And I’d be stuck with you driving me into work. I don’t want to feel like some sort of beggar, depending on you.
NEIGHBOUR 2: Ah here, give us a break. Being in a car pool doesn’t make you a beggar – it just makes sense.
NEIGHBOUR 1: No it doesn’t. And I want you to make sense now. I want us to be a good neighbours but you have to play your part.
NEIGHBOUR 2: And not leave for work until ten minutes after I see you leave.
NEIGHBOUR 1: Exactly.
NEIGHBOUR 2: But if you hadn’t left the car pool in the first place none of this would have happened.
NEIGHBOUR 1: But I did, and now I expect you to show some flexibility. If you want this agreement to work, wait ten minutes after I leave before you leave.
NEIGHBOUR 2: Well I’ll check with the others but…
Two days later
NEIGHBOUR 2: Sorry, neighbour, but it’s as I expected. The others say that you were the one insisted on leaving our car pool, and while we’re sorry you’re upset that we arrive at work before you, that’s just part of what you have to live with if you insist on taking your own car.
NEIGHBOUR 1: And to think I thought you were a good neighbour. What about some flexibility in this whole thing, some give?
NEIGHBOUR 2: What about you starting to act like an adult and accept the fact that your decision to leave the carpool has had unhappy consequences for you? At the time we did warn you.
NEIGHOUR 1: So you won’t wait until I leave in the morning?
NEIGHBOUR 2: No.
NEIGHBOUR 1: And you don’t care how bad that makes me look?
NEIGHBOUR 2: Frankly, no. You decided you had to have your own car. It was a bad decision but it was your decision. We accepted you were leaving, so that’s that. End of. Now would you mind getting off my property?
NEIGHBOUR 1: Make me, you un-cooperative bastard!
NEIGHBOUR 2: OK (Whistles loudly and a large Doberman comes bounding from the back. Exit NEIGHBOUR 1 stage left, yelling loudly, pursued by slavering Doberman)