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Flattering or Rude?

  • Flattering

    Votes: 44 49.4%
  • Rude

    Votes: 45 50.6%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some opinions here. Walking home from work yesterday, I noticed that one of my neighbors on an intersecting street is building what appears to be a very large pirate shipwreck in his driveway. It's unpainted, but impressive in scale. Last year he had some static props and gravestones lighting and fog. There was no apparent theme, however. I was thinking to myself, that's great! Here's another haunter that recently moved into the 'hood. I even introduced myself and invited him down to see our display last year.

This will be our fourth season doing the pirate theme (ninth season haunting in total), and I'm building large a shipwreck this year too. We're well known as the Pirate House amongst the entire community, and close our road down for the 31st. We take a certain pride in what we do each year for the kids here.

Should I be flattered that this guy is building a ship? My wife feels that someone nearby should do something original. I tend to agree.

Maybe it's a gift to us? :)
Could ship's bow represent anything else besides a pirate haunt?
Should he have asked us?
Flattering or Rude?

let me know what you think. Thanks!

-dgm
 

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Funeral Crasher
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I think the neighbor should have at least talked to you before copying the pirate theme himself.
I don't know what else a ship's bow would be, unless he's making a "Sinking of the Titanic" Haunt. :)
I agree with your wife--he should have done something original.
That's why I would never sell any of my home-made props to neighbors. I wouldn't want to hear a TOT say "Look, he's got the same skeleton as the guy down the street!"
 

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CANNIBAL
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Imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery but darn if that just wouldn't make me mad. I would ask him what he was planning for Halloween because it looks like there will be 2 pirate themes. Everyone in the neighborhood knows you're the original so hopefully they'll see it for what it is...a copycat pirate theme. Maybe he was really impressed with yours and wanted to just keep the theme going. You really won't know until you talk to him.
 

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AKA - S.M. Barrett
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If you are the well-known pirate guy, he will be seen as either a poor imitation and or a creepy "single white female haircut scene, omigod!" kinda guy.

Comparisons will be drawn. If you are the better established, let it go. Don't approach him. Let him approach you.
 

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Hauntless
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I think it's rude as well.

I've got a weirdo idea though. Perhaps you swing by and have a friendly talk and if he is indeed doing a pirate theme too, perhaps you could join up in a way. His ship becomes the enemy's ship and your cannons are aimed at each other, different colors, taunting signs and so forth. So his haunt becomes a compliment to your haunt. The kiddies can pick sides and such. Could turn out for the better.
 

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I gotta 2nd Terra and say work together, imagine everyone who does a graveyard, how many people do you think have another graveyard pop-up next door. I live on a st of bahhumbugs, and am the only one who really does more than throw out a pumpkin or an inflatable, but I do have house for rent next door so maybe it could happen to me too.
 

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AKA - S.M. Barrett
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Terra,

that's good thinkin' but with a caveat - I'd be concerned that this guy, who no doubt saw our guy's pirate ship last year, is a little off-kilter to be going off with his own galleon prow and crow's nest.

I'd be worried if I made him feel welcome, he'd readily agree, hang around a lot, call at weird hours, show up on the back porch at three in the morning wearing a tricorn hat and a speedo singing "Yo-ho, yo-ho" while asking why I didn't return his emails within fifteen minutes, the emails where he photoshopped his face and my wife's face onto images of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann getting married in the middle of the battle and the rain, and my face is on a corpse nearby, which is when I notice he has a real cutlass lashed to his speedo and he smells like rum.
 

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Flattering or rude is all how you take it. So, I'll stay out of that arguement. However, I am torn on this situation. While no one has claim to a theme...afterall...they've mostly all been done by now. I do find it odd that this person has chosen pirates. Unless s/he had pirates at the old place and just didn't have time to get it all set up. Or maybe, they are trying to continue the theme into the whole neighborhood....I don't know.

However, I'd say let them have their fun this year and talk to them about it. If they've already started work, they've obviously invested some funds into it and will most likely not appreciate being told it's "your" theme. One should never discourage Halloween being celebrated. I'm actually hoping someone will copy me and maybe get the neighborhood to join in the fun instead of locking their doors and turning the lights out.

If they do want to do pirates as a permanent thing, are they close enough where you could have "battles" with each other? Canons firing down the street to hit the other's ship maybe? If you have actors, you could have your pirates storm his ship every once in a while when traffic is low. Make it fun. Don't get bent out of shape because someone enjoys what you're doing and wants to do it him/herself. We all started out copying someone. Just make yours better :).
 

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I have known a few streets to do the same theme and multiple peope decorate and it looks pretty good. Maybe he is trying to go with the same theme so more people in the neighbor hood will begin to decorate and eventually, people will think of your neighbor hood as the pirate neighbor hood, and not just the pirate guy. I don't know, maybe you could be the captain.
 

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AntiChrist Superstar
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I agree with Terra, from what I read of her comment, she is implying you get a real cannon, shoot his ship and blast his Haunt to Kingdom Come, right Terra?
 

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Haha Spats you crack me up. But on a side note just go by say hi and see if he mentions it to you when he's working on it next time. If not just casually mention something about it. Does it look like a ship wreck in general or a ship? Does he have small kids? Perhaps he's actually building a pirate ship playground piece. I know they sell those here. You never know the true story til you ask.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I like Terra's suggestion.

I can see being a bit miffed at the idea of them copying your theme, (stealing your thunder as it were) and it would bother me too, but it really should be seen as both a compliment to your decorations (for them to have gotten the inspiration) AND as a big boost to the Halloween decorating in general... the more the merrier. :)

Do what you do best, and don't worry about the other guy. It's all good. :D
 

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Super Moderator
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If he's anything like me, he may be bowing to the kids.

I had sworn that I would NEVER do a graveyard. Reinforced by the fact there's 4 within spitting distance from the house. Yet, last year, my 7 year old was buggin me to make a graveyard....guess what we did? (though, far from a typical one)

If he's got kids, maybe they've been asking to do Pirates. If last year was their first in the neighborhood, maybe he doesn't realize yours is an annual theme. (Oh, they did pirates last year, they won't do it this...)
 

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I'll bet it all just for International Talk Like a Pirate Day! :D Although he is quite a bit behind..the holiday is this Saturday! :eek:

Not sure if I would be flattered or pissed...but then again, we do a cemetery/swamp/forest theme...not exactly original, but its just what we identified with more...and it gives us an excuse to own a hearse, whereas pirates...well you'd get to own a boat...so now I think i want to do a pirate cemetery theme so I can have both! :rolleyes:
 

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Bête noire
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A guy around the corner from me tried to outdo my display last year, and got a ton of pretty cheesy store-bought props. He just wound up with a rather disjointed display with no real continuity or theme at all. A couple of days before Halloween, I saw his wife setting up some lights, so I stopped to talk to her. She told me that they were going to try to outdo the guy around corner with the dead people in the graveyard. I didn't tell that it was my house. She was a bit embarassed when she came over to check us out on Halloween.

It sounds to me like your neighbor knows a good haunt when he sees one, and wants to get in on the action. Don't be too surprised if he copies sound FX, lighting techinques etc as well.
 

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Flattering or rude is all how you take it. So, I'll stay out of that arguement. However, I am torn on this situation. While no one has claim to a theme...afterall...they've mostly all been done by now. I do find it odd that this person has chosen pirates. Unless s/he had pirates at the old place and just didn't have time to get it all set up. Or maybe, they are trying to continue the theme into the whole neighborhood....I don't know.

However, I'd say let them have their fun this year and talk to them about it. If they've already started work, they've obviously invested some funds into it and will most likely not appreciate being told it's "your" theme. One should never discourage Halloween being celebrated. I'm actually hoping someone will copy me and maybe get the neighborhood to join in the fun instead of locking their doors and turning the lights out.

If they do want to do pirates as a permanent thing, are they close enough where you could have "battles" with each other? Canons firing down the street to hit the other's ship maybe? If you have actors, you could have your pirates storm his ship every once in a while when traffic is low. Make it fun. Don't get bent out of shape because someone enjoys what you're doing and wants to do it him/herself. We all started out copying someone. Just make yours better :).
You took the word out of my mouth ,but the idea of making a simulated battles is a great idea and could be fun to the kids and maybe some would go for it the next year remember it only take one to start and many to follow
Frenchy
 

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A Great Pumpkin
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I'd say it's flattering, if for no other reason then that someone (anyone!) else was putting in the time to have a top-knotch display in my neighborhood. Maybe it'll get the word-of-mouth going. Enjoy the attention that having both going on Halloween will bring!
 

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Nothing like some close competition to keep you on your toes! :)

Now you'll have to keep up with the Jone's. Davey Jones, that is! Aaarrrrrrr! (sorry, couldn't resist)
 

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Undead Handyman
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A little competition never hurt anybody. I built my best stuff when some teenagers on the other side of the block decided they were going to be "the scariest house on the block" about three years ago. Alas, they were outmatched in both creativity and funds and last year they gave up completely. Now I miss the competition. If one of my neighbors decides to copy my pirates (or put up anything that doesn't inflate) I'd be flattered; walk up to him during his build; complement his work and tell him, "Game on man...game on!":)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the great replies.

We're not close enough to have battles back and forth, but that's a great suggestion for someone who's across the street.

Also, let me reiterate that I'd be last person to discourage anyone from decorating for Halloween. We have a family two doors down that has been decorating more and more each year since their kid was intrigued by our display years ago. The more the merrier? I couldn't agree more!

Most of us all probably started with a graveyard, some do it much better than others by taking it to the next level, but I wouldn't consider multiple graveyards copying or imitation. It's a Halloween staple. We still have a graveyard section even with the Pirates.

I guess it would've been nice to be approached and at least told why he wanted to do Pirates also. There are plenty of themes available. I'm not sure if they have kids, but I would find it hard to turn down my own kids' requests for Halloween too. That was a good point, UnOrthodOx.

It's worth noting that the neigborhood association sent out an announcement at the beginning of this month in the newsletter indicating the street will be closed for the annual Pirates of Hollin Hall Halloween event. It shouldn't have been a mystery what we were doing.

My six-year-old daughter asked me, "why is this house stealing what my daddy wanted to do this year? That's not nice!" I suppose that's what compelled me to do this poll.

-dgm
 
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