Oh, what’s that noise?…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s lost plectrum is the one finally discovered on the glass shelf in Donald Trump’s bathroom.

Reading my stuff on these pages, you might have noticed that I might be a little bit, shall we say, over sensitive to extraneous noise. (‘Extraneous’ is a great word, isn’t it?) I do get a bit arsey in the presence of inconsiderate noisy folk bawling down their phones or chatting loudly in cafes and on buses, but being a typical English chap I fume away in silence, and never challenge these annoying buggers.
When at home, life is reasonably quiet, I’m happy to say. There are I think a couple of lads, young men, living next door to me; actually I don’t think I have ever seen them, so I don’t know what they even look like. Apart their predilection for slamming doors, the sound of which is best described as a resounding deep window-rattling thud, and a bit of shouting and yelping when they are drunk, I have had few auditory problems with them.
Aha! But one evening a couple of weeks ago they suddenly started playing bang, bang, bang, bang, dance music very loud – it came through louder than my TV. Oh dear, I thought, I hope it’s not going to like this from now on! Perhaps they have bought a big powerful Hi-Fi?
Just as I was thinking that, it abruptly stopped…
The quiet was nice, but as you can imagine I was anxiously waiting for it to kick off again… It didn’t, but from then on I was a little bit on edge every day expecting it to start up again – it was like ‘waiting for the other boot to drop’.
The next weekend it dropped, and it went on for two or three hours, then, as before, it abruptly stopped…
In a situation like this one starts mulling over what could be done. Move house? Go and ring their doorbell (if they have one) and say, ‘Excuse me, I’m the chap who lives next door, would you mind not playing your music so loudly? I’m a bit on the sensitive side when it comes to extraneous noise…’ But then this isn’t the sort of neighbourhood where people say things like that. And I thought I really didn’t want to engage with them at all, or become ‘pals’ with them; I didn’t know what they were like anyway – I did however notice a few days earlier, that they had a visit from four police officers…
Hm, so, what could I do?
The traditional thing to do, when one has noisy neighbours, is to knock on the wall, ceiling, or floor (depending on the direction of the culprits) and perhaps shout, ‘Hoy! You! Keep the bloody noise down, you inconsiderate buggers!’ I’ve seen that done in films…
Ah, but suppose that didn’t work, and they completely ignored it? I could be making a couple of lifelong enemies! Tricky…
The next time the bang, bang, bang, bang, music started again (I think they must have just got some drugs in from those two chaps who arrived in the car outside – they seem to like bang, bang, bang, music in their car too.)
I decided to do something. Yes! I would bang on the wall!
But if you decide to do something, you should go for it, and do it efficiently and positively. Instead of tap tapping on the wall with my knuckles, which I’m sure they wouldn’t hear over their music anyway, I devised a different approach. I popped into my little workshop and selected a nice thick piece of MDF (medium density fibreboard) about 9 inches by 7 inches (as a protection for the wall plaster when I banged), and from my toolbox a nice heavy ‘lump’ hammer. I also put a large screw eye into the board to act as a ‘handle’ to hold the thing against the wall more easily as I did the banging.
So, I returned to my living room where the music was thudding the loudest, placed my board on the wall and started whacking it really hard with my hammer – I was enjoying putting some emotion in my hammering too! I didn’t want to just do a couple of rat-a-tat-tats, which the folks on other side might interpret as me just hanging a picture or something – my message had to be clear and unmistakable!
Being a musician, I decided on banging in groups of eight, in fact three groups of eight, twenty-four good penetrating hard bangs, about one every second. When I finished my short percussion piece, all was quiet…
On the other side of the wall, all this must have been not only unexpected, but pretty impressive, oh, and scary – it would have been easily heard, and probably physically felt, over their music. I picture them jumping up, switching the music off and, in the sudden deathly silence, staring open-mouthed at the wall, wondering what invisible, mysterious powerful hell had been awakened, and was lurking there, at the other side…
That was two or three weeks ago, I haven’t heard much from them since – I hope my intervention has done the trick!
By the way, I was thinking that I might name my piece of MDF ‘Harvey’ after the famous cocktail – Harvey Wallbanger. I really hope I don’t have to use him again – but he’s there – if I need him…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in brain, creation, design, drama, Dulltown, existentialism, Grumpiness, humour, information, music, overheard, science, style, thinking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Oh, what’s that noise?…

  1. Jheron Bash says:

    Splendid result. Well done, Harvey. You deserve a long rest.

  2. Sharon Mann says:

    Well done, Dave! many years ago, my husband was tired of the loud noise (music) coming from below us. So, he took a large guitar amp and placed it face down on the floor and played music through the amp turned up full blast. The folks down stairs ran up begging for us to turn it off. No more loud music from them.

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