This reminded me of the Troglodytes, Constanza's and my landlords on Flatbush Avenue: a family of pasty, mean, dangerously lumpish, low-browed creatures that made life a misery. Through the brick walls separating our houses we could hear them screaming and raging at each other. One summer the children, indistinguishable from one another in late teenhood, fixed a terrace for mom's birthday. It consisted chiefly of astroturf and later, dog turds. It was like looking out into the backwoods of a skeeter-infested bayou. Without the redeeming crawdads or birdlife.
Life has improved immeasurably.