Noise, control

One of the signs of getting older, or perhaps rather maturing is when you call noise control on some rowdy neighbours.

Having attended more than a few parties where noise control was called, including the spectacular Metalfest ’94, where my friend’s sister got a whole bunch of metal bands playing on the deck at the back of her parents’ quiet suburban home, I know how much it sucks and I’ll happily tolerate hearing other people’s stereos. But I have limits.

The first and only time I called noise control was at the tender age of 22. I was living next door to a student village. There were supposedly strict rules for the residents about noise, and indeed there was never usually much noise coming from there. But then one night, I think near the end of a semester, someone was played their stereo really loudly. A massive party was in action. This German guy who lived in my building got out onto his balcony and started yelling at the students, who laughed at him and called him a Nazi. I was caught in the middle of this cul-de-sac melee and I didn’t like it. I picked up the phone and called noise control. Others had also complained and soon enough events at the student village simmered down.

Tonight I did the lite version of calling noise control – I banged on the wall.

My neighbours on one side are this cool married couple. They’re really nice people and possibly the best neighbours I’ve ever had. But tonight something mental was going on. Madonna’s “Immaculate Collection” was being played at a reasonable volume. Yeah, it was loud enough for me to be able to figure out what the music was (and to wonder if perhaps they were going to listen to “Like A Virgin” and recreate the Madonna/Britney/Christina lesbo pash moment from the MTV awards, OMG, how cool was that?), but not loud enough to be at all annoying.

Then it got annoying. Someone was playing with the volume control. Making things go really loud, then really soft, like they were just sitting there twisting it back and forth. Then it just got really loud.

Sometimes cars with loud stereos stop in traffic outside my house and it makes my windows rattle. This was worse than that. Everything in my lounge was rattling to the bass of “Holiday”. It was really, really horrible. Then the volume went down. Then it went right back up. I was getting really pissed off. After it went down again I got up, walked over to their side of the room and banged on the wall. I heard the stereo get turned right down.

Ha, that’ll learn them kids.

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