Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hate Thy Neighbor

The following post, along with profanities galore, will be written in short, to-the-point sentences (well, I'm going to try -- you know how I love long, heavily punctuated ramblings) because I am very tired, and the thought of long, heavily punctuated sentences makes my nostrils flair right now...

Aw, shucks, there I go again.

Let's begin anew, shall we? Excellent. All right, then.

I live behind an old hippie and his Amazonian wife. They have one child, a strapping, lovely sixteen-year-old boy. The wife wears a bright orange bikini that I suspect she's had in her wardrobe since 1972. The wife often grooms her lawn with a pair of scissors, and graces us with a view of her behemoth bikinied backside as she bends straight-legged and snips, snaps, snips stray bits of weed and non-existent imperfections.

She is the Edward Scissorhands of Brighton, New York.

She has the personality of a tree stump.

The husband seems like a nice enough fellow. Always pleasant, always busy in his yard, ostensibly for the express purpose of avoiding contact with his dour-faced, Amazonian, tree-stump of a wife.

Thing is, as pleasant as the man may be, he listens to really bad music. I'm talking bad. Like, ancient Grateful Deadish/Country Joe journeys that lead us nowhere else but to nauseating flashbacks of bad brown acid, even if we're too young to recall Woodstock, even if we hadn't been to Woodstock, even if we hadn't yet been born. This music will take you there, believe you me.

Their son, apparently, has been heavily influenced by his parents' musical tastes.

Following me so far? Spectacular!

So last night, round about nine or so, I flopped onto my bed, fully anticipating a rare night of actual rest and recuperation -- something I desperately need, because honestly, I'm near death -- when lo and behold, instead of my head falling into a soft, inviting pillow, I found myself falling into the pits of Hell.

No sooner had I quick-slipped into fuzzy unconsciousness, there was a terrible crashing, a boom, a torrent of indescribable aural assaults that shook me to my very soul.

There were tomtoms, there were morrocas, there were twangs and tweets and blasts of goat's horn. There was hooting and hollering, shrieks and bellows, cackles that swelled with the rise of bass drum.

My first thought was, "My god, we are being attacked by wild voodoo people from parts unknown."

My second thought was, "Those are actual instruments being thumped and blown in that there backyard. Actual live drums and horns and things of that nature. Things that belong in a basement or garage, things that should not be outside on a lawn, at night, behind my home. At night. When it's sleepy-time. Evening. Behind my home."

My third thought was, "Why, those miserable fuckers. They shall die now."

Being the tolerant shrew that I am, I lay for quite some time, hoping against hope that the cacophony soon would end. Tossed and turned. Poked Lar in the ribs, just because. Fretted and fumed. Became insane.

Ten o'clock, and I couldn't bear one more second. My kids had woken, terrified and confused. Lar continued snoring. I was on the verge of hysterical laughter, which is never a good sign.

I rose like the living dead from my Hellpit, grabbed my smokes, and went outside. I wanted to make my presence known. Wanted the child, that sixteen-year-old, lovely boy, to cease and desist, wanted his friends to shut the fuck up, the drums to go away, the goathorn to stop its bleating.

I walked across my damp, dark, recently pesticided lawn in my bare feet and nightclothes, cigarette ember my only light, and waited by the privacy fence that separates me from them. What to do? What to do now? I can't make my presence known behind the eight foot tall fence, now can I? Should I mosey on over to my next door neighbors' backyard, a backyard sans privacy fence? I could certainly make my presence known then, could pop my head over the short picket fence and say, "Hey, could you please stop being assholes? We're trying to sleep here!"

But that wasn't possible because my neighbors have a motion light, and a frisky little beagle who alerts her masters to intruders, and I had visions of the husband, A.K.A. The Squirrel-Slinging Firefighter, running out into the backyard with his ax and chopping me into bits.

I walked back to my patio and sat there for a long time, just sat and smoked and thought of awesome things to scream at the dingdongs across the way, things like "Did you know that it's extremely difficult to walk with a bass drum up your ass?" and "What the hell's wrong with you people?" (Fine, that last thing wasn't all that awesome, I admit, but I was tired. Very, very tired. Too tired for witty, veiled threats, I suppose.)

I felt better, though, having had my imaginary verbal confrontation, and went on back to bed.

Where I lay restless and insane once again.

Until the break of dawn.

Don't eat the brown acid, man.



At 4:40 PM, Anonymous gerry rosser said...

My next door neighbor is fond of expensive sports cars, as in Ferrari, Lamaborghini, whatever. Occasionally he hosts some like-minded pals. Like motorcycle riders, these cats are fond of revving their little engines, not to make progress to a destination, but apparently just to listen to them (and hang the wasted fuel). Sometimes these revels last until around the midnight hour. So far, I (we) have shown tolerance. We rarely retire before midnight, and designed our house so that our master bedroom is almost surrounded by other rooms (not quite, but the exposed side faces the water, not the street or neighbors.

Now, your neighbors seem to need some work on their social skills, but nobody ever appreciates being told that--no matter how nicely. Perhaps the nighttime cacophony was a one-time event.

P.S. I don't know how anyone can listen to Grateful Dead music (except for "Uncle John's Band"), or forgive them for spawning other "jam" bands which employ instrumental virtuosity in the pursuit of, well, nothing. I also do aimless noodling on my guitar, but I sure don't expect anyone to listen to it.
Country Joe was a miracle in the world of music, making a career (such as it was) on zero talent. This also spawned imitators, like, for example, Janet Jackson (who can neither sing nor dance).

Best wishes on the noise front.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Hmmm, most neighbourhoods have bylaws about how late noise is allowed. If you call the police, they will stop round and ask them o stop. Without saying who called them....

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, please tell me that the phrase "grooming her lawn" in a bikini does not mean what I think it does.

At 6:08 AM, Blogger Granny said...

We have a city noise ordinance that's directed primarily at loud music.

After 10 on weekdays, turn it down or off.

They cut a little more slack on the weekends.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Gerry. You took the brown acid, didn't you?

Carol, I would've, but I didn't know their street address. I do now. ;-)

Kirby, it means exactly that. You may now hurl.

Ann, I don't mind loud music (within reason), but when it's ten thousand pygmies chanting to their goat god, well, I tend to get a bit miffed. ;-)


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