Sunday, August 31, 2008

Why I want to cut my ears off.

Or alternatively I could cut the lad next door's hands off.

Does that sound like an extreme reaction? A *tad* curmudgeonly? A bit *overly* violent? After all it’s only a bit of drumming. O, ok, it’s incessant arrhythmic drumming at all hours of day and night. Yeh, that’s pretty much what it is. If he was gettin any better I might feel better; if he was attempting to play music of some description that might help. But no, as I whine and whinge to myself via the medium of fast typing – I will tell you (the potentially non-existent) reader the dull tale. I’ll tell it quick...

It goes like this. I think the lad – he’s 16, 17 – he’s certainly off college and bored this summer – got given a big drum a couple of months ago. Someone must have brought it round and forgotten to take it home. Or else he’s practising to join a band: a band of FUCKIN IDIOTS

I’ve seen him banging it in the back yard – quite proud of himself, wanting to be noticed, wanting – have no doubt – someone to complain – it would give him a smirking sense of self-worth. A confirmation of his noisy existence. Ah, the life of the talentless egotastic artist – please notice me, please. I can empathise – well, I will be able to once I’ve hacked off my lugholes and stuffed the holes full of Superglue.

Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him
Pa rum pum pum
I played my best for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum
[Little Drummer Boy]

But oh yes, it is a big big BIG fuckin drum. A big – bang it at both ends - drum. Strap it to your chest, take out your aggression – then take it out, slash it to bits and put it in the nearest fuckin bin – sorta drum.

Rat, tat, rat, tat, smack, smack (pause) smack, bang. Standing there in the back yard pausing to look around and see if anyone is looking out of their windows at him. Givin him a bit of attention. Except round here, no one says boo to a goose. In fact if I had 10 geese in my back yard no one would be bothered. Someone might nick over the wall n rob em, cook it for tea, but no one would be that bothered about the noise. I think I am going to get a dozen geese actually; set them to quacking, see how that goes down. Just as an experiment. Either that or a moose. Or a nuclear storage plant – but that would be too quiet. A quarry. Yeah, but the explosions would just sound too much like fireworks or gunshots, how would that annoy anyone? Too everyday, compadre. Sounds of the city, eh? Wild animals, that’s the way to go. Or evil spirits. A gaggle of wailing banshees would up the stakes; get em to spring into psychedelic satanic song just as idiot drummer boy lays down his gentle head to sleep.

Except. The sort of people that are idiotish enough to make that kind of Neanderthal noise are not exactly gonna be the sensitive sort of – upset by car alarms, street fights and randomly screaming neighbours – kinda sleepers. It’d be me that ended up gettin annoyed by my own user generated noise attack. Grrr. How I hate myself.

Bah and humbuggery. Pshaw…

Drummer boy – still at it - I have the feeling he bangs it when he’s annoyed, or when there are adverts on the telly, or while he’s waiting to download something. Because that’s how it sounds. 15 minutes of random banging. Then he stops. I stop my occasional screaming at the wall. And I sigh and relax. Breathe out. Then 30 minutes later he’s starting again. Just random banging in the room adjacent to mine. It’s a kind of Guantanamo torture, really. The sorta thing the US military tried to do when they were trying to flush General Noriega out of the Vatican Embassy in Panama.

So what am I supposed to do? Phone the council? Go round and have a word – cos oh, we are big mates. Big friendly mates. Especially after the dog thing (don’t ask). Explain to Drummy that it would be quite nice if he could just play at a set time for an hour a day. So that I could arrange to leave the house. Sounds effin reasonable, right?

No, it’s dull. It’s crap. I can’t make writing about it seem funny or interesting. Really, having no ears will be the best solution, because ear-plugs + big orange ear defenders don’t work. State of the art B&Q ear defenders only seem to highlight the drumming.

All other sounds are minimised (just don’t eat while wearing them, the crunch of an apple is terrifyingly loud). O dear. I am at a loss. I am still live blogging this now to the sound of that shitty drum. How long has it been 20 minutes? What do I look like sitting here typing in the headgear of a man who works on a construction site? Odd, that's what.

O, the thing is, I hate myself for caring. It seems so fogeyish – complaining about noise seems like complaining about someone kicking a football in your garden. Oi, mind my daffodils yer little ficker!

But here is my day in a cotton pickin nutshell – let’s take a Saturday or a Sunday par example…

I wake at 6.30-7am to my neighbour on the other (non-drummy) side making her breakfast while she listens to Talk FM at deaf person decibel levels. I can actually hear the shitty opinions of the drones that idiot in to tell their small listening world (and me) about how everything is wrong and even at 6.30 on a Sunday morning they’re so fuckin unhappy about the whole fuckin thing. Fuck them. My neighbour on that side must be 60 and must be completely fuckin deaf. Clattering around her kitchen throwing pans and shouting at her yappy little dog. You know how you hear a noise though a wall and try and work out – WTF are they doing in there? She must be making pancakes but throwing them against the wall. Making cement pancakes. Perhaps she’s part of an industrial metal band – it sounds like an Einst├╝rzende Neubauten song called, ‘Full Ingerlizh Breakfast: part 112’. It’s an effin joke.

Lying in bed in the morning I can tell the time by who is making the noise.

During school time, the mum at drummer boy’s house comes into the bedroom next to mine (where drummer does his fuckin drumming) around 7.30am and screams at the kids to get up. No, really. She does. She probably comes in at twenty past and whispers and they do nothing, that has to be the only reason why she is so angry so early in the morning. Unless maybe she has been phoning up Radio Local to complain about the state of the world. How else would she get so psyched up so early? What a way to start your day, geez, Louise...

I try & be up by this time. I tend to run out of the house screaming, I tend to want to just run screaming into oncoming traffic just to get the blessed peace afforded by being thrown over the bonnet of a car and smacked into a coma. Ahh, silent bliss. A nice quiet 6 months in a coma, what a luxury it would be…

Cos if you don’t go out right then, then you get stompy lady upstairs sounding like she’s square dancing and weirdly moving furniture around on a daily, hourly basis. Why are you moving your furniture now? Didn’t you move it all yesterday morning? Can the bed not stay where it is? How about that scrapey bangy chest of drawers – come on, it’s alright where it is. Leave it! Jeez.

How odd it is to try and make up reasons for the noises that people make? It’s almost funny…

Still, prior to this house I used to live in a room next to a boiler/bathroom. Awake until the last beery club returning person in the house had finished their farty late night ablutions and awake again at 6.30am when the office worker got up to have her early morning wake up shower. It was a case of take drugs, get drunk or sleep on a bench in the park, wake up with a squirrel chewing on your nuts…

But yeh, I guess I’m not the only person in the world to have the gift of hearing. I shouldn’t complain. There’s always someone worse off than yourself. War zones can’t be that great to live in.

But this must be why people want to get rich and live in the countryside, or at least move into a semi-detached house. Then you would only have one neighbour to really worry about. Instead, living at the bottom of the property pile in a shared house dump, you get - let’s see – assuming you have a window out front onto the oooh so quiet road – you’re surrounded, boxed in, people on top of you, people underneath you, people behind you, to the left of you, to the right of you. People and noises and lives you don’t want coming at you from all angles:

Well I don't know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain't right,
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you
[Stuck in the Middle With You]

I’m tempted to ask if the kids in the street really need to scream and shout all day long but then, clearly, I will have ruined my specific point and become the grumpy (old) man I know I am. What a dick. But the point is really. I’ve now typed 500 (?) words and drummer boy is still doing his shitty noise making – if I was younger – I’d just go round there and lamp him one. But of course I’m older and aware of the law, aware that his dad and his dad’s mates would come back round and batter me. Or the lad might just beat me up himself, and when where would I be? Blogging about the terrible queues at the A&E; trying to type with broken fingers.

Peace on Earth, can it be
Years from now, perhaps we'll see
See the day of glory
See the day, when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again

Peace on Earth, can it be

Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care
Care enough for his fellow man
To give all the love that he can
[Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy]

So there’s really no other option, I am going to have to get a pair of scissors and chop off my ears. And then buy some contact lenses, or else what am I gonna do with my glasses? O, I swear, one problem just LEADS to another…


  1. brilliant, Britney Spears (sponsored by William Hill bookmakers has left me a comment). Wow. That's smashing. Thanks, Brit, I loves ya!!!