Warring Queens homeowners have taken a neighborly feud to inspiring heights of pettiness. Truly, this spat has everything: Pointedly wielded Halloween decorations, passive-aggressive notes (well, signs), an unending string of 311 calls, and the cops. Please, pull up a chair and stay awhile, because this is the kind of mannequin drama you need and deserve.
According to the NY Post, Jennifer Feldman and Shlomo Klopfer first faced off last August, over a "Dead End" sign Klopfer hung on the fence of his Kew Gardens property. Feldman told Klopfer the sign "creeped" out her 6-year-old daughter, and according to NY 1, Klopfer responded with: "'F you. Not only will I not take it down, I'll add more signs,'" which he did. The gate separating the two houses now boast a reported 20-plus placards.
"I love signs, man," Klopfer shrugged to the Post, separately vowing to NY 1 that he planned to keep growing his collection. Feldman, meanwhile, alleges that a new sign popped up for every 311 call she made—complaints Klopfer conservatively (???) estimates numbered around 3,000, and that NY 1 ballparks at somewhere closer to 14. Still, it may have been the fact that Feldman reportedly spoke with some NYPD community affairs officers that pushed Klopfer over the edge.
"You see a sign: Why won't you come over and talk to your neighbor like a human being?" his wife, Ilana, wondered rhetorically to the Post, in a statement at odds with Feldman's account. "You knock on the door. You ask nicely. 'Is it possible to take the sign down?' She never has."
In any case, the signs are mere child's play compared to what came next: A freakish mannequin with a gruesome zombie face and a screaming, sinewy grin. The stringy-haired ghoul has been positioned such that its bulging, lidless eyes stare straight through one of Feldman's windows. It wears a blood-spattered shirt and sits with its hand poised over a rotary phone, on which someone—who, do you think?—spray-painted "311" in an ominous red.
"It's gotten to the part [sic] where I can't sleep," Feldman told the Post. "My daughter has nightmares about the mannequin." Actually, she added, "The whole thing is a nightmare."
Feldman suspects the animosity may have something to do with her interfaith marriage: She is Jewish, her husband is Christian, and the couple live in a predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. Speaking to NY1, Klopfer batted down that insinuation, insisting: "No, no, no. I love people. I'm chaplain. I visit Christians, Muslims, whatever."
Others on the block contend that Klopfer does not appear to "love people," spending much of his time sparring with his neighbors.
How one could possibly one-up such a wildly out-of-context, totally deranged display is, for now, a mystery. If we have learned anything in 2019, though, it's that weaponized mannequins always find a way. Stay tuned...