Ding-Dong-Ditchers Invade Castle Street

Ding-Dong-Ditchers Invade Castle Street

The elderly strike back!

Knock-knock. Who’s there? No, it’s not your Uber Eats or your sneaky link: it’s two old men who have engaged in the slightly pathetic art of ding-dong-ditching your flat!

No, your eyes do not deceive you; a pair of older gentlemen have been spotted roaming the streets of Castle and Leith knocking on people’s doors and windows before abruptly fleeing the premises. Why? We haven’t a clue, but what we do know is that the Ding Dong Duo have been all over North Dunedin’s two hottest party streets. Their rampage started approximately two months ago according to a student report, when they tapped on the sliding door of Leith St complex, leaving before anyone could answer. This wasn’t thought much of by residents until the two gentlemen were spotted again on Castle St after knocking hopefully on the door of Big Red.

One resident of the flat, Jamie*, told Critic Te Ārohi it was “so weird.” Expecting it to be a disgruntled landlord or a beady-eyed fresher, the boys had opened their door to catch sight of the retreating barely-there backsides of the two older men in the distance. “Like, what the fuck were they up to?” Fair point, Jamie. Inciting fear into the student populace, one student, Sam - who hadn’t heard of the two troublemakers before Critic Te Ārohi informed him - said, “It’ll keep me on my toes.” Going one step further in his pursuit of justice, Sam mused, “I’ll make a citizen's arrest to stop these troublemakers.”

Another Castle St resident, Terry*, commented, “I’ve seen them knocking around a bit, but honestly they’re just one of the many creatures that turn up around these parts.” However blunt Terry’s comments may be, they do allude to a growing population of elderly who appear to be taking over the once-sacred area of student inhabitants. Hyde St resident Sally* spoke to us about a similar experience concerning “an old lady who sits on student couches which are left outside.” Sally* said that fear had kept her from reaching out to the curious character, but her flatmate had allegedly spoken to her and said that “she seems pretty nice.” Further down the rabbit hole sits Ben who mused that, “There was this old guy taking pictures of our flat for ages and we had no idea who he was.”

Though some cited the rest home in North East Valley as a possible source for these characters, none of the people Critic Te Ārohi chatted to had any theories on what the motivations could be behind these strange infringements. Nonetheless, they prove that alongside the student populace there exists an elderly population lurking in the shadows of all-youthful chicanery. The Ding Dong Duo - oft seen, but never caught - allude to this hidden underbelly of innocent elderly mischief that appears to be striking the student community.

With the mystery of motivation still intact, the case continues in search of what the purpose of these ding-dong-ditching acts may be. If you have any recorded sightings of these figures or any details to share about ding-dong action in your area, please email us at news@critic.co.nz. But beware, the Ding Dong Duo remain at large: guard your Uber Eats, sneak your beezy through the window, and for God’s sake, close your doors! It’s cold out.

*Names changed.

This article first appeared in Issue 12, 2023.
Posted 3:59pm Sunday 21st May 2023 by Hugh Askerud.