Felix the African grey parrot watching our neighbor through is favorite window. He loves watching everything they do everyday.
Felix, African grey, a professional nosy neighbor since 1993.

Are You a Pro or Amateur Nosy Neighbor?

Kathy LaFollett
3 min readApr 12, 2022


The next door neighbor who chopped the grandfather tree down because it dropped sticks on their roof, sold the house not long after killing the tree. We’ve waited to see who would pay the inflated 2022 price of 267 dollars a square foot with a 2023 tax bill of $9,978. A solid amateur nosy neighbor knows the county appraiser’s database is free for the use of nosing. The new owner showed up. I failed the acid test for Professional Nosy Neighbor status. This cramps my self-deprecating ageism jokes about me being nosy. My failure also revealed just how not dedicated I am at being a nosy neighbor. You just think you’re a nosy or neighbor until you have to talk, or something.

Being a solid nosy neighbor isn’t just looking out the window. Executing pro-level nosy isn’t looking out the window to run to another window for a better view, either. Mediocre nosy is looking out the window to run to another window for a better view to distinctly remember a car parked poorly on the road in front of your neighbor’s driveway. You get extra points for doing all that while imagining hypothetical backstories for the car inappropriately parked but still running such as; “That could be a serial killer in there right now taking out our neighbors. They thought he was a nice uncle, but he’s really a copycat serial killer and the cops are still looking for the original killer not even following THIS guy! Ohmygod, if he succeeds who’s gonna buy that house?”

I failed the ultimate Nosy Neighbor Triple Dog Dare by Your Spouse test.

“Hey, our neighbor is out there walking her dog talking to the new neighbor. You should go take the garbage can down to the street and, you know, say hi.” Spoken while he’s standing in the window being an amateur nosy.

“REALLY?” Me, in the bird room sweeping in futility, drops broom to quick time into the dining room to look out the window like a damn amateur.

“Well, go on!” He’s in the birdroom now after tag-teaming the nosy opportunity to me.

“Oh! Look the new neighbor has a shovel. Felix’s gonna love that! Oh, Pam has her new little dog with her. Oh, man, the new neighbor has a little dog, too. Angus is gonna love him.” Me, staring out the window, inventorying.

“Well, do it. Take the garbage down. Say hi.” I can hear his grin from the window I’m looking out.

“Meh. No. I don’t want to get sucked into a conversation. It’s, like, 5:30.”

“What are you talking about!? You say you’re nosy. Go be nosy. In their face!” I think this is my husband, Cali. Could be our parrot, Felix.

“Ehhhh. I dunno. I mean. What’s the point? I don’t want to actually talk. I’m just, you know, glad it didn’t sell to a VRBO investor. THAT would make me sad.”

“So, you’re not going to go out there?”


“You aren’t as nosy as you think you are.”

This is why I didn’t get into spy craft, either. You actually have to talk to people eventually.