Friday, May 30, 2008

Crash bang boom

Fellow blogger Lena made an excellent point yesterday that everyone’s music sucks when blasted into the general atmosphere, thereby disturbing drivers, pedestrians, homeowners, children, old people and pets.

She’s right. I don’t care if you’re playing my absolute favorite musician or my absolute favorite song. If I can still hear it and feel it from more than 20 feet away, you should be shaved, sterilized and destroyed, after your sound system is shot full of holes and then set on fire.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love music. Been jamming to it since my tenure in the womb. No shit. Mom has this great story about how I was kicking to the beat when Dad put on his Stones records. Been hooked ever since. Was an addict to radio; AM in the 70s, FM in the 80s. I don’t think I got any sleep from 1982 to 1987 because of MTV. That of course was back in the day when they played music videos and not some insipid programs about overly rich 20-somethings or has-been celebrities stuck in a house together.

I’m on my third iPod that’s filled with nearly 9000 songs and over 330 music videos. iTunes, Amazon and ear-X-tacy get a LOT of my money. Plus I’m constantly finding some oddball, out-of-production musical gems scattered around the net. So I have a lot of weird stuff on there.

I listen to it in the car, at home and at work. But I have a rule that if EVER something really awful, disturbing or unpleasant comes outta that thing, all someone has to do is speak up and I will gladly turn it down and/or skip ahead to the next song. I do NOT want to become a nuisance like the punk-ass troglodytes and their boom cars.

Ever since I moved out on my own I’ve had to deal with the stereo morons. Every apartment, every house, I’ve had to complain to someone about their fucking stereo blaring thru the floor, the ceiling, the wall or rattling the building off its foundation.

I was hoping that would stop once the Spouse and I bought our house in a nice, respectable neighborhood. And for the past 3 or so years it’s been peaceful. Until yesterday.

About a year ago some people moved into a house on the corner of our street. All seemed quiet until a few month ago when there seemed to be an increase in traffic and the number of vehicles parked in their driveway and in front of their house. My paranoia kicked in and I’ve been watching the activity down there. And that’s when I noticed to boom cars. Up until now, the cars would turn the boom down as they entered the street. And I can live with that.

But last night about 8 the Spouse and I were parked on the couch, reading our respective books when the booming started: BOOM da da boom. BOOM da da boom. In my head I sighed and trying to relax and stay focused on my reading while taking quick glances outside to see what was going on down there. There were four cars currently parked, one of which is a junker that never leaves. The second was a truck I had never seen before and a teen boy standing on the driver’s side talking to someone inside. The other two cars are in the driveway, one of which has its trunk and doors open.

Fuck. Great. Somebody down there has decided to serenade the entire neighborhood with their personal selection of melodies about bangin’ ho’s and poppin’ bro’s.

It wasn’t that loud. I mean no one is on the street, shaking their fist and yelling. The neighborhood Scooter Brigade of children are playing nonchalantly. The houses aren’t rattling off their foundation. But I can still hear it. And feel it.

Fifteen minutes pass and I’ve barely read a page. I get up and go to the bathroom. Even with the door closed I can still hear it. Fuck. I go to the office and sit in front of the iMac to check email. I can still hear it. Damn. I go back to the living room and try to read again. And I can still hear it. It’s now been going on for 45 minutes when I snap.

“All right. That’s it.” I storm off to the bedroom to grab some shoes and while I’m back there I can still hear it. That just adds fuel to my growing anger inferno. As I charge by the Spouse on my way out the front door I say, “Keep a look out and make sure I don’t get my ass shot while I’m down there.”

I blast across the front yard and onto the street. Two little girls from the Scooter Brigade see me and yell, “Hi! Hey, where are you going?” I didn’t even answer. My radar turns on as I stomp towards the guilty house and quickly deduces that the noise is not coming from the truck with the teenager standing next to it, but instead focuses in on the car with the open trunk and doors. Standing next to the car is an older lady talking to a pair of legs sticking out of the trunk.

I am now rethinking my action as I see the sweet, grandmotherly face of the woman. I’m starting to feel ever so slightly stupid.

“Excuse me, but could yall turn that down just a smidge? We can hear it down the street,” I say in my most pleasant voice with a smile on my face.

She looks at me and then calls to the legs sticking out of the trunk. I’m expecting another teenager, an obnoxious one at that. Instead I get a kindly, older man with a smiling face emerging from the trunk.

As they couple explain that they’re working on the car and are very friendly and polite about turning it down, I now feel like a fool. I’m trying my best to smile and act like it’s nothing major. My anger has cooled to the temp of your average Otter Pop®. We all smile as he agrees to turn it down and I thank him profusely. I quickly walk back to our house, much to the amusement of the two Scooter Brigade girls. One of them shouts, “Wow! You sure do walk fast!” I smile, say ‘thank you’ and dart back in the house.

The Spouse is happy I didn’t get my ass shot off.

I sat on the floor and said, “Well, that’s taken care of.” Then I proceeded to tell him all about the nice older couple who live there, and how friendly and pleasant they were, and how they’ve instructed their kids to turn the music down or off when they come home. And how stupid I feel for blowing up over it when it wasn’t anything like what I thought it was going to be.

But the Spouse was supportive and understanding, even if I have become the ‘crazy lady down the street who hates loud music.’ And at least the neighborhood was quiet for the rest of the night.

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