Vandal grannies

This story describes a couple of grandmothers in Russia who took the law into their own hands and vandalized a children’s playground.

Two women in Russia’s Leningrad region have been filmed destroying a children’s seesaw after complaining about the noise.

Brandishing a saw, the two women took turns cutting the playground equipment into pieces.

On social media, critics condemned the behaviour of the two women.

These “vandal grannies will now need to either set up a new seesaw at their own expense or fix this one,” one social media user declared.

“They should have brought some oil to stop the seesaw from screeching,” another commented. “But they took a saw and now they are all over the news like some vandals.”

It reminded me of this Monty Python sketch


  1. says

    I live in a quite large apartment building. A couple of years ago two boys used to play in my backyard. They made lots of noise, screamed all the time, played with a ball with it routinely hitting the house’s walls and cars parked nearby. One of my neighbors politely asked the children’s father to talk with his kids and ask them to stop screaming so loudly and abstain from hitting a ball against walls and parked cars. Father’s answer was extremely rude. Kids will be kids, they have a right to play anywhere. He insulted the neighbor who had made a complaint, he claimed that this neighbor must be having too much free time if what he does all day long is listening to kids playing and making video recordings of said activities.

    At that point the annoyed neighbor changed tactics. Whenever kids started playing next to his window, he would open his window and yell at the children, he also threw some water at the kids with the expectation that they will stop playing and go home once their clothes are wet. The point was to intimidate the children themselves, because politely talking with the father hadn’t worked. The intimidation tactics worked—kids stopped playing in my backyard, because they were afraid of the grumpy neighbor.

    At that point father tried to verbally attack said neighbor once again. The idea was that anybody who is disturbed by children playing must hate kids, therefore he must be an evil person. After the father vented and verbally abused his neighbor for a couple of days, the whole drama died down with kids going to play somewhere else. The grumpy neighbor hadn’t done anything that would warrant calling the police, so the angry father couldn’t really do anything.

    The problem is that some people have low tolerance for noise and sensory overload. They get irritated by children making lots of noise. The society tends to vilify these people calling them evil and what not. Kids must be allowed to do anything anywhere and if you don’t like them, then you are a bad person.

    Of course, demolishing a playground or throwing water at children is very wrong. But the problem is that often enough people who do these things act like this only because they have already tried to solve the problem peacefully and they have become desperate.

    When people politely complain about being disturbed by children, parents shouldn’t ignore the complaints and vilify the person who complained. Instead people should try to calmly look for some compromise how to make sure that children can keep on playing in public places without disturbing some person who lives nearby.

    I don’t know the details about this case. Thus I cannot tell whether prior to resorting to vandalism these elderly women had beforehand tried to politely solve their problem by talking with parents or trying to do something less extreme and non harmful. But how the Internet vilifies these women isn’t helpful either. Vandalism is extremely common, it happens on a daily basis. The Internet isn’t paying much attention to every single news story where some person destroyed something yet again. This case got so much attention only because people wanted to vilify these women who supposedly were evil. If you dislike noise, you are so much worse than all the regular vandals, because not loving children is taboo. It’s wrong to say that every person who gets irritated by the noise children make and wants to live in peace and quiet instead must be evil.

    By the way, I am one of the people who get irritated by the noise children make. I solved the problem by arranging my life so that I can keep a distance from other people’s kids. For example, my windows have a good enough noise isolation that I cannot even hear any kids who are in my yard or on nearby streets. Back when the whole saga about kids playing in my backyard was unfolding, I didn’t get involved, because I literally couldn’t hear those children from my apartment. Obviously, I also plan to remain childfree. I don’t like it when people call me evil due to my dislike for being in the vicinity of noisy kids.

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