back to article Brawling neighbours challenge 'quiet' cul-de-sac myth

A decidedly unneighbourly dispute over cat crap which ended in flying feline faeces and court appears to challenge the myth of the traditional "quiet" cul-de-sac. The unholy rumpus in Chippenham, Wiltshire, inspired a Daily Mail headline containing "Neighbours in quiet suburban cul-de-sac brawl over CAT POO", which in turn …

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  1. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Tip toe through the cat crap

    > news writers find it extremely difficult to write the term without adding the epithetic "quiet"

    They're quiet because they have no through traffic.

    None, that is, apart from the poxy cats - hordes of lazy, over-fed moggies, which most of the residents (except yours truly) seem to have. All of which appear to be bred specifically to deposit their "output" only on the lawns and paths of non-cat owners and the nearby pavements. Some sort of feline revenge?

    As for being dangerous places? Dam' right. Do you *know* how slippery that stuff is?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

      I see your cat crap and raise you enabling council chavs.

      I've never lived anywhere that the residents change behaviour at the sight of a Police car before, ducking in bushes, instantly changing direction, standing in the shadow silently listening. Here we have also the multi flat screen, sports car driving young unemployed bloke who doesn't like fences (the wooden kind) so is letting them fall down with only slight assistance so that the neighbours can wander and cats can now crap on my garden without having to muster enough energy to scale the fence. Cul -de-sac gives the impression of being out of view so we have the peepers and creepers, dealers and wheelers, all off the radar (in their own minds).

      I would laugh but to be honest I dream of living somewhere where most people contribute positively to society and few flinch at the sight of uniform.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

        "I see your cat crap and raise you enabling council chavs"

        A down vote? Clearly there is one such low life living among us,

        1. Charles Manning

          That downvote

          I doubt it was a chav, or cat for that matter, that down voted.

          I think I'll just go back and downvote for the depressing victim attitude.

          Don't like living in a chav infested cul-de-sac? Well move out! Leave another house open for the chavs to move into.

          It is better to have the chavs all lumped together than spread about the whole city. Rather like cat turds in a way...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Clearly there is one such low life living among us

          low life? What, the sort of person who's prejudice colours their view of their neighbours to the extent that they believe themselves to be surrounded by evil criminal scum without ever actually engaging with them? Reactionary dickhead is the phrase I'd have used.

          1. Elmer Phud

            Re: Clearly there is one such low life living among us

            "be surrounded by evil criminal scum"

            Quite, this isn't Surrey y'know?

            It isn't a nice place filled with bankers and stockbrokers.

            The 'chavs' are a result of the above evil criminal scum.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Mushroom

            Re: Clearly there is one such low life living among us

            "low life? What, the sort of person who's prejudice colours their view of their neighbours to the extent that they believe themselves to be surrounded by evil criminal scum without ever actually engaging with them"

            The sort that lived next do to said scum. You know the ones that have the doors kicked in at 3am by the police, after hurling abuse at them for close on an hour; the sort that had to endure beer cans in the garden; the sort that had to put up with music until 5am every morning; the sort that had to endure piss all over the place because they were to fucking smashed to find their own front door;the sort of person that stank of weed because they smoke so much it came from through the walls; the sort that eventually got these fucking wankers evicted after a year of hell. Oh I proud to announce that I also helped evict the lazy "woman" 2 doors down as well, because she thought gardens were for dumping shitty nappies and waste into. She could of stayed, but was given 2 weeks to clean the garden, but was so fucking lazy, she couldn't be arsed.

            So unless you have had to endure this sort shit, FUCK OFF.

            PS I eventually managed to move out, now live in a village, with a crime rate >1%, unemployment >3%, most people have decent jobs. You know where people smile at each other; where you can go out without fear of being mugged / raped / stabbed. Where people go for a drink and get along, not ripping their shits of at the 1st person that looks at their bird.

            Oh in this village, I run the local charity, keeping kids out of trouble, helping bond the community and so on. The last place? It got closed down when the guy running it got stabbed.

            So DO NOT patronise me!

            1. heyrick Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Clearly there is one such low life living among us

              "with a crime rate >1%, unemployment >3%"

              < != >

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

        I didn't like living in Downing Street much either.

      3. Elmer Phud

        Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

        "I would laugh but to be honest I dream of living somewhere where most people contribute positively to society and few flinch at the sight of uniform."

        I never knew Mr Farage posted here.

        Well, you learn something everyday.

      4. NogginTheNog

        Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

        "I see your cat crap and raise you enabling council chavs"

        Cul-de-sac, literally translated from the French, means "bottom of the bag". Perhaps it's appropriate in your case?

    2. Natalie Gritpants

      Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

      I'd like to stand up for the hard working cats of this country and object to the word lazy. But I can't because that's what cats are. Calling a cat lazy is like calling a cloud wet, it just shows that you don't know much about them.

      I don't know how slippery it is. I have a cat and it poos next door. If you don't want cat poo, get a cat. Cheap to run and will remove the mice from your house.

    3. Dazed and Confused

      Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

      Our American cousin's insistence on the right to bear arms seem to make sense here.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

        That begs the question... what does the rest of the American side of your family think about guns?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Headmaster

          Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

          That begs the question... what does the rest of the American side of your family think about guns?

          That begs another question, why are you using an ellipsis incorrectly?

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge
              IT Angle

              Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

              No no no no no.

              begging the question....

              That battle's long lost and a good thing too.

              In it's original meaning it was rather wasted. It would have probably faded from use entirely if it hadn't been resurrected. But it meets a very useful need is the way it is actually used.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

                1. Bloakey1

                  Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

                  "@Terry, I agree with you. The point was that a pedantic grammar Nazi would raise a question, not beg it!"

                  I say old fellah me lad, I beg to differ. What, what!!!

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Euripides Pants Silver badge

          Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

          "That begs the question... what does the rest of the American side of your family think about guns?"

          Well, after you've shot the neighbor's cats you really don't need the guns....

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

        >Our American cousin's insistence on the right to bear arms seem to make sense here.

        Surely a bear, especially an armed one, would be worse than cats?

      3. Bloakey1

        Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

        "Our American cousin's insistence on the right to bear arms seem to make sense here."

        The right to arm bears is a despicable and heinous act and results in a huge amount of deaths every year.

        Now why would a Cul de Sac not be full of crap? It is French for arse of the bag and where you get arses you get crap.

        Oops. Already covered by Big_Boomer later on.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

      Cats will normally prefer to bury their poo if open soil / sand exists in the vicinity. Crapping in the open is very unusual and is more likely to be from foxes, etc.

      One good thing about owning cats is that they generally crap on someone else's garden and discourage other cats from vitising theirs. If you happen to be the only person on the street without a cat, your garden will automatically become a cat crapping magnet as the cats will see it as no other cat's territory and therefore ideal as a loo....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

        If you happen to be the only person on the street without a cat, your garden will automatically become a cat crapping magnet...

        Or, like me, you get a dog, in my case a border collie. He definitely keeps the cats away.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A dog to keep cats away

          In my case, 2 lab cross-breeds (ex-Dogs' Trust). They help the cat defend against incomers. They also clear the garden of foxes, which really are the scourge of urban and suburban neighbourhoods.

          Unfortunately for the neighbours, they do this by barking as they're let out of the back door. At any time of the day or night.

          We have succeeded using treats to train the worse offender not to.

          So now, if the back door's open, when fancying a snack, he trots outside, doesn't bark, trots back in and sits down expecting a treat. The law of unintended consequences is particularly strong with dogs.

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

          "Or, like me, you get a dog, in my case a border collie. He definitely keeps the cats away."

          But then you have to deal with dog crap, which is a far worse problem.

          1. JurassicPark
            Joke

            Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

            "But then you have to deal with dog crap, which is a far worse problem."

            I find that unless the border collie has really bad squits, a quick flick over the hedge and the shit is gone, it's literally shit off a shovel (or in my case, trowel).

            I am of course joking, although this did actually happen once when one was frozen to the ground and using quite a bit of force to free it, it did literally fly over the hedge.

        3. cyrus

          Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

          Have you ever seen them keep cats away? It has been my observation that most dogs love to eat cat shit. If you have dogs and never see cat shit in your yard, it is because your dogs are eating it.

          1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

            We don't have any cats left in our neighbourhood. We do however have a happy and well fed eagle living nearby.

    5. Old Handle

      Re: Tip toe through the cat crap

      So obviously you need to get yourself a cat of your own to protect your yard.

  2. jake Silver badge

    Uh ...

    "Cul-de-sacs are legendarily considered peaceful havens of tranquility"

    Only if you are a real estate agent.

    Reality is that humans aren't built to live shoulder to shoulder ...

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Uh ...

      "humans aren't built to live shoulder to shoulder ..."

      Which is where cats come in. Humans can then be induced to get face to face over feline feces.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Uh ...

      "Cul-de-sacs are legendarily considered peaceful havens of tranquility"

      ...until you try to dare to park in one...

      curtain twitching begins...

    3. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Uh ...

      It's not a real cul-de-sac unless there's a body under the patio, incestuous kids, hostages, a few more murders, rape, and ...

      ... Sinbad.

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Uh ...

      Well let's see: one way in and out which is normally a trap. Even the most secure castles had a postern gate. Cul-de-sacs are meant to trap whatever comes in.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Uh ...

      My driveway is 400 feet long and has a circular end. It resembles a Cul-de-sac. But it's just a driveway.

      Neighbours? I can just about see them through the trees.

  3. Christine Hedley

    Argh

    The one in the picture looks disturbingly like Tranquility Lane in Fallout 3. I'm going to have rousing '50s music stuck in my head all day now. Thanks, El Reg.

    1. dogged

      Re: Argh

      It's certainly not in Chippenham.

  4. Big_Boomer

    Perhaps the headline should have been,...

    "Cat Crap Fever!"

    Did you know that Cul-de-Sac actually means Ar$e-of-Bag. Sounds like an ideal place to store cat crap. Personally I am a considerate cat owner as my two have a covered area in the back garden that is regularly refilled with fresh compost. If any of the neighbours cats go anywhere near it, the fur flies.

    1. JurassicPark

      Re: Perhaps the headline should have been,...

      According to Wiki, the definition is

      A cul-de-sac (literally "bottom of the bag" in French), dead end (British English..

      Dead possibly being the operative word!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Perhaps the headline should have been,...

        It is indeed the wrong type of bottom in French. Just ask Google Translate to translate Cul from French to English. It will give you an American slang term for it.

      2. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: bottom of the bag

        That might be the translation but personally I think it's top drawer, apart from the cats. I have plans to install some motion activated Super Soakers (other liquid projecting apparatus is available) as a means of discouraging them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    My neighbours

    garden is positively enhanced by the addition of my felines excrement. Makes it smell better and unlike the useless dirty bastards living there, my cats bury their shit...

    In fact, i ought to charge him for the pest control they provide...

  6. Chris Miller

    I like Mike (The Rochdale Cowboy) Harding's description of Barrow-in-Furness as "a town at the end of a 40 mile cul-de-sac".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I like Mike (The Rochdale Cowboy) Harding's description

      So do I - not living in Barrow, but sat here in an office in Barrow

      But some of my colleagues and friends take some offence for some strange reason. I think it's because there are still Barrovians who still think the rest of the country is the end of a 40 mile cul de sac.

      The old joke about needing a passport to get past the old stone trough is lost on a lot of people now that the old main road is no longer the main route out of town.

      Anon as I'm not partial to a lynching !

  7. Otto is a bear.

    My last cat

    Was kind and considerate, only ever using its litter tray. It was also IT literate and spent many a happy hour helping me type, voicing its opinions at my documentation prowess, and acting as a screen saver when I left my desk.

    Does anybody know how to get cat hair out of a keyboard.

  8. taxman

    Trouble with cul-de-sacs

    is once you're in them there is no-where else to go really.

  9. Frankee Llonnygog

    Punters think 'cul de sac' sounds upmarket

    Whereas the French know it really means arse of a scrotum

  10. Elmer Phud

    Kitty litter

    I tend not to get any issues with the local cats.

    I won't throw bricks at them.

    Any gifts from new cats in the area are cleared up and binned - then, later on, I mark the spot with my own wee. They get the message that there is a bigger animal that owns the territory.

    The local cats only use the back of the garden as a highway now, I don't have to shout or throw things - just look out of the window and they bugger off.

    (I've never had to use the ultimate deterrent - a Super-Soaker filled with wee)

    1. Darryl

      Re: Kitty litter

      I might be alone here, but I'll take looking out the window and seeing a cat peeing on the lawn over seeing you doing it...

  11. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Funny timing ..

    MrsPage and I have started to think of moving, and noticed - certainly on Rightmove - that one of the selectors for a search is *not* "type of road". Meaning you can't actually search for properties only in cul-de-sacs.

    Having worked in estate agency software for a few years, I don't recall it ever being suggested as a feature, so it's probably still not being captured at the point of entry.

    Anyway, we *like* cul de sacs, and it's a prime requirement for our next move. The main two reasons are peace (no whizz of cars passing by) and security - people who shouldn't be here stand out a mile.

  12. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Out of sight out of mind

    Mine is a cul-de-sac of sorts ( it used to be a proper one until the council decided to play silly buggers and join us on to a "close" that was adjacent.)

    We are the ones whose bins get forgotten sometimes, and whose road isn't swept, etc.We are the place where the low life types park their untaxed cars and so on.

    Because they know the authorities can't be arsed to come down to our end of the road.

  13. Colin_Welwyn

    Lazy Picture Sourcing

    I know the picture accompanying this article is from a picture library but there are no palm tree's like those shown Chippenham Wiltshire and certainly no fire hydrants like that.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Lazy Picture Sourcing

      It's not supposed to be Wiltshire. What on God's Green Earth are you talking about?

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Lazy Picture Sourcing

        Damn you, Mr Haines!

        I had to go to the Daily Mail to see what the Chippenham cul-de-sac really looked like. Now I feel dirty.

    2. dogged

      Re: Lazy Picture Sourcing

      To be fair, it's much nicer to look at than Chippenham. Nothing about that picture indicates "banal", "soul destroying" or "not as bad as Trowbridge".

  14. Alfie
    IT Angle

    Quiet?

    Mine isnt. As there is no through traffic the kids in our street actually play in it. There are three basketball hoops (you think they would share one or maybe even two) and the kids make for excellent target practice and unplanned ABS testing for everyone that speeds into the cul de sac at high speed safe in the knowledge that there is no other traffic.

    Is there a correlation between cul de sacs and cat ownership? There are ten cats in our cul de sac of twelve houses (and a stray old tomcat that wanders the neighbourhood), and yes the only way to stop them crapping on your patch is to have some of your own.

    And dont even get me started on parking at the weekend!

    Oh yeah, and the council dont grit the road in the winter, which hasnt been a problem this year, but no one in our street owns a BMW or Merc anymore.

    1. kraut

      Re: Quiet?

      Is there a correlation between cul de sacs and cat ownership?

      There's almost certainly a positive correlation between living in a street without fast traffic and cat survival.

  15. apjanes

    Cat Crap.... grrr.

    It really is the bane of urban existence. This has been recognised in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada (and probably other enlightened cities I don't know about) and so, in the city by-laws the following exists:

    5. (1) When a Dog or Cat defecates on any public or private property other than the property of its Owner, the Owner shall cause such faeces to be removed immediately.

    (4) The running at large of Dogs or Cats is prohibited unless otherwise exempted by law.

    (from: http://www.stjohns.ca/bylaws.nsf/nwByLawNum/1514)

    This means that, if you have a cat and put it outside, you have to make sure it stays on your property or else it could be impounded. We could do with some laws like that around where I live!

    1. Rattus Rattus

      Re: Cat Crap.... grrr.

      Could do with similar laws where I live. In fact, given all the native wildlife that cats mercilessly destroy, it should be a criminal offence to allow your cat out of the house without being on a leash. Cats in Australia are nothing more than an invasive pest species.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me point out that the proper plural is «culs-de-sac».

    You're welcome.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Headmaster

      er ....

      surely "culs-de-sacs" ?

  17. bill 36
    Coat

    its got to be

    A new El Reg unit of measurement surely?

    where 1 cul-de-sac is whisper quiet and 120 will burst your ear drums.

  18. Wardy01

    Really?

    The reg writers have nothing better to do than this ...

    I'm seriously considering leaving this "crap" behind for good unless the reg does something about the poor quality of its s***t writers.

    1. Creamy-G00dness

      Re: Really?

      Agreed, 5 lines of text explaining that some neighbours had an argument about cat poo and then a chunk of what can only be described as rambling dross about how a hack cannot use cul-de-sac without putting the word quiet in front of it.

      Really El Reg, really? at what point did any of this qualify as an interesting read...................yawnarama.

    2. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Really?

      Bye.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really?

        Don't forget to cancel your subscription before you leave!

  19. George 8

    Is Lester bored?

    ...raises chaka demus with cat poo. They say things like this always come in 3's. The mind boggles what will be next...

  20. Colin Millar
    Pirate

    Cul-de-sacs - Dangerous places

    You can have a full scale anarchist war kick off in a cul-de-sac.

    The Hounsditch muders and the anarchists battling with police called the Battle of Stepney kicked off and took place largely in the cul-de-sac behind Sidney Street called Exchange Buildings. Sidney Street got the credit because of the alliterative possibilities for the hacks of the day.

  21. Jim 59

    Re: Really ?

    ...this "crap".. s***t writers... etc. etc.

    Yeah, I would to cut back on that. Otherwise you may be doing an "Eadon". And when you go, all your comment history goes too. Chilling.

  22. Jim 59

    Up north we call them dead ends

    This article is well written, short, and the subject matter is fluffy. Basically it is high quality. The only matter of debate is whether or not the highly attractive picture is actually a proper cul-de-sac.

  23. Hans 1 Silver badge

    cul-de-sac is French for "bottom of a bag", or, "arse of a bag", literally.

    As for cats, I have chosen not to own one, as I often fly off to other parts of the world. I have, in the past, had to endure this situation and must say it is a nightmare. If you have pets, make sure they do not wander onto other people's property, if you cannot, you should not be owning a cat ... I ended up laying a trap ... and had the council come around, cat had no collar. I did see the advert for missing cat after that and informed the owner of what had happened.

    My sister has this problem as well, in fact, worse ... the cat attacked a pre-teen in the garden, biting her hand so badly she needed stitches. We are not sure, of course, what exactly happened and do not know the owner of the cat; my sister is unwilling to lay a trap.

    All that because neighbors have pets that they cannot control in urban areas ...

    Yes, I am the bloke who opens the front door when I see ppl letting their dog do their business on the pavement in front of my house, I have bags available for the forgetful. Some ppl left their dog's feces in front of my door, that was enough ...

  24. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    So hang on - "Cul De Sac is *not French for "cup my balls"?

    Well that's one mystery solved.

  25. Fiddler on the roof

    I live in a cul-de-sac and it is quite quiet, the annoynig thing is people parking there, Im one of the few who dont beleive that I own the space outside my house, what annoys me is people who park across my drive where my car is nearly always parked. If challenged the often say I wont be long, to which I respond I dont care how long you are you cant park there in case I wont to go out. People actually get really angry and huffily move their car.

  26. MeRp

    I can tell you, from first hand experience, that cul-de-sacs in the US and Canada (and presumably other first world countries) are indeed very very quiet. Even extremely busy main highways are quiet. Of course quiet is always relative; I'm using "typical filipino small city street" for comparison. Nothing in the first world apart from heavy construction or rock concert is "loud" by comparison.

  27. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Pint

    Well done Lester

    I've read your muse on pliers and now cul-de-sacs. I suspect that all that time spent in the shed with LOHAN has lead to philosophical musings?

    Good man. Good musings. Have a tall one ---------->

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Well done Lester

      Thanks. Time in the shed does indeed lead one to ponder profound truths.

  28. GBE

    That's Chippenham in March?

    It's just not fair.

    That's 6 degrees further north than where I live (Minneapolis). It was well below 0F (-20C) only a couple weeks ago, and there's still several feet of snow on the ground. But Chippenham has green grass and fracking _palm_ trees?

    Or did I just get trolled?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      UK Climate

      is quite a surprise for many ... technically we should be much colder than we are (we're the same latitude as Moscow) but are kept warm by the gulf stream. Additionally, being a small island, we are very much at the mercy of various wind systems, which is why the *weather* here can turn on a sixpence - especially at higher altitudes.

  29. trydk
    Joke

    No Catapoolt

    At least nobody was using a catapoolt to sling the feline faeces

  30. Thaumaturge

    Compulsory

    I think the use of "quiet" in conjunction with "cul-de-sac" is very similar to the rule requiring the use of "estranged" for a previous male spouse rather than "Ex-husband". "Estranged" sounds so much more cinematic!

  31. I am replete.

    Gosh, it's so exciting today!

    Today, so far has been hectic. The dustbin men passed by sometime before dawn, we didn't hear them but the bin was empty. Not many people steal dustbin contents, so we figure it must be the dustbin men.

    A (small) car passed by about half-an-hour ago, going to the left, (that's leaving). There's a good chance it'll be back sometime later, neighbours for the bread perhaps. If it's going to the right (that's returning) we'll know it's them.

    If not, oh, oh, should we be getting worried?

    Gosh it's so exciting today.

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