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Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I tell my neighbours to cut their axe-throwing out?

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My neanderthal neighbours—three 20-something roommates—have caught on to the recreational axe-throwing phenomenon and have begun doing target practice in the backyard. There’s a six-foot fence between us, but that’s small comfort for my wife, toddler and me. An indoor league exists for this kind of thing. Surely there’s a law against doing it alfresco. They won’t take kindly to my cease and desist request. Any advice on how to go about it?

—Axe to Grind, Crescent Town

You can’t raise chickens or blare music in your backyard, but you can—go ­figure—hurl razor-sharp metal willy-nilly. And I can see how the fear of an airborne axe would make sunbathing/gardening/child-rearing a fraught experience, no matter how high the fence. That’s just got to stop. I suggest you bake a banana bread, gather up your vitamin D–deprived cherub and knock on their door. Be friendly, and say that while you don’t doubt their marksmanship, you’re scared that a slippery handle might end in disaster. Inform them of the new indoor league that just opened at Lake Shore and Cherry. If they balk, ask that they keep their axe-related activities to the evening hours and to give you a heads-up first. Your trump card is to say you’ll call the cops about “threats to ­public safety.” Axe-throwing isn’t specifically covered by a law, but your neighbours probably don’t know that.

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