I get it. Pickleball ruined your neighborhood. Tennis courts are completely booked, people you once called friends now go “dinking,” and that incessant popping sound from a plastic ball echoes off suburban walls like circling birds of prey waiting to close in on your sanity. But look, pal, you’ve got it easy. You think pickleball is bad? Try living next to an eighteenth-century warship.

It was like it happened overnight. One day, we’re all living in a regular neighborhood, participating in usual landlocked recreational hobbies, and then, boom—a massive wooden barge is anchored outside our cul-de-sac. Now, all anyone wants to do on the weekends is sail the high seas and join a press gang. Can’t we just stick to charcuterie and Bunco?

I’m not one to typically tell people what they can or can’t do. You want to man the oars during doldrums while chanting along to rhythmic sea shanties? Be my guest. But when your newfound nautical interest resuscitates a modern scurvy epidemic, now we’ve got a problem—a vitamin-deficient, gums-bleeding-out problem.

You see, this warship fad affects the whole neighborhood, not just the sailors selling their souls to Davy Jones’s locker. For starters, there’s the noise. If you thought a pathetic little wiffle ball was bothersome, might I introduce you to Saturday morning cannonfire? A chorus of gunpowder and steel right over your backyard, ringing out at an ear-shattering and thought-crushing 150 decibels. I would swab the poop deck for a fortnight to exchange this homicidal barrage for the sounds of a Gearbox Power Paddle. My smart watch can send me only so many “loud environment” warnings before either it short circuits or I turn it off because I have, in fact, already gone deaf. Not to mention, the noise level is way beyond the approved city sound ordinance.

If the cannons aren’t loud enough for you, don’t worry; that’s what the crew is for. Did you know that a full-rigged frigate can house up to 450 sailors at once? Because you’re about to hear each and every one of them. Forget being bothered by a dad past his prime arguing if the ball was in or out—these barrel-chested misfits have done their vocal warmups to make sure they’re heard over the roar of Neptune’s fury and your 2 p.m. Zoom call. Get ready for bellowed commands to ruin every fleeting moment of peace. Your weekly rewatch of Parks & Rec interrupted by “HOIST THE SAILS!” A Sarah J. Maas audiobook drowned out by “HELM TO STARBOARD!” If my kid gets woken up by a “MAN OVERBOARD!” one more time, that sailor won’t be the only thing going overboard.

You’re afraid of your tennis courts being pillaged by octogenarians in knee braces. We’re over here afraid of being actually pillaged. This warship is a harbinger of residential destruction. Riled up on the evanescent freedom of disembarkment, off-duty seamen storm the streets in pursuit of landlubber indulgences. Imagine a fleet of pre-drunk, sex-depraved mariners stumbling into a Buffalo Wild Wings on BOGO Tuesdays and tell me you’re not witnessing the collapse of society. Then, somehow drunker than before, they stumble back to the warship, making sure to puke on every TruGreen lawn along the way. And don’t think they spare our tennis courts either. Apparently, they’re the perfect space for a remote flogging square. At least we can still expect to hear grunts and shrieks.

At this point, I would beg to hear someone explain the “kitchen” rules to me for the twelve thousandth time or be victim to a courtside argument about whether the first serve is called 0-0-2 or 0-0-start. Instead, I’m stuck listening to some sunken-eyed, leather-skinned mate with a dead albatross around his neck mumble on about an eternity of death and regret.

I bet you’re saying, “If it’s that bad, why not take this up with the HOA?” I would, except we don’t have one anymore. The crew already mutinied against them. They threw the secretary into the brig, keelhauled the treasurer, and made the president walk the plank. Okay, sure, so it’s not all terrible.

You’d think this would be the perfect opportunity for the neighbors to unite against a common enemy, besides Ms. Fletcher’s unspayed cats. But no. Despite the obvious problems of a weapon-wielding barge docking next to a Little Library, people are actually getting into it. Eighteenth-century warships are now the fastest-growing sport in the country. What part of it qualifies as a sport is beyond me, but the stats don’t lie.

Ships are popping up everywhere you look, spreading throughout the neighborhood quicker than a rat-borne typhoid fever in the berth deck. The McCormicks went and bought their own barque. Jenkins is building a dreadnaught in his garage. The rec center tore out every gym and replaced them with a four-masted schooner. Where am I supposed to play squash now?

We used to be a proper community. We’d host backyard barbecues, plan end-of-year pool parties, and yell at underpaid teens poorly refereeing kindergartners playing soccer. But thanks to the boat, potluck dinners have been replaced with hardtack rations. Kids have given up summer jobs for being lured to sea by siren songs. And the public pool is now home to the Kraken, releasing unholy terror on enemy ships and anyone on the high dive.

At the end of the day, I guess a three-hundred-year-old vessel of conquest isn’t the worst thing in the world. Maybe sailing the unforgivable ocean with a hirsute crew of flea-infested brutes likely to go mad on seawater is a fun way to let off some steam. But next time you’re looking for a nonsensical hobby to make your new personality, for the sake of everyone and everything, just try pickleball.