On loud music at 6AM on a Sunday when I was planning to lie in

Sometimes I wish it were legal to whack people on the head with a hammer, like this morning when was woken at 6AM by loud techno music playing, apparently, in my bedroom.

This led to some momentary confusion. To start with, I don’t have a radio in my bedroom. On top of that, I don’t own any techno music and I never listen to it; in fact, it’s one of the very few music styles that I openly detest in its entirety.

Upon investigation it turned out the music was coming from the car of some early-morning fishermen. They weren’t actually parked right in front of our building, but a little way down the road at one of the favourite fishing spots. But through a neat trick of acoustics I can often sit in my fourth floor bedroom on the far side of the building and eavesdrop on conversations in that spot, so techno music blaring at full volume from customised car speakers quite thoroughly ruins any attempt at a Sunday morning lie-in.

If I were the confrontational type I could have gone down there and given the fishermen a piece of my mind, but I’m not the confrontational type (mostly cause I’m not big and intimidating and if it should come to fisticuffs I’m likely to wind up in the ER or floating face-down in the river) and while I do judge them to be younger than me, the age difference is not big enough that I can pull off a crotchety old man routine. Besides, if they don’t have the good manners not to play their music full-volume in front of someone else’s home at six in the morning they’re probably also not the type who respects their elders.

Cause this really is a case of manners. It’s about considering others. When it comes to something like music I strongly believe one should not inflict one’s own music on others. If we’re watching movies at home I sometimes even step outside the apartment if I think it’s a bit loud to make sure my neighbours can’t hear it. And if I’m in the mood for loud music? That’s why God gave us earphones. So when someone does something like this it really ticks me off.

But it also confuses me. The stretch of waterfront along which we live is the only park in our town. As long as you ignore the hobos, rubbish, people hooking up in their cars (well, most of the time they stay in their cars) and the occasional flood (though I like the floods – they wash away the sewage), it’s actually quite pleasant. It’s peaceful and it’s quiet and for just a moment you can forget you’re in the middle of a town.

Vals River
Why would you ruin such a tranquil scene with loud music?

So it confuses me if someone stops their car here and then listens to their music full-volume, destroying the tranquillity which draws most people here in the first place.

And most fishermen I know also do it more for the solitude than anything else – actually catching a fish is a bonus – and they tend to frown on people making noise and scaring the fish away (I’ve no idea if noise actually does scare the fish away, but that’s what my grandfather always said).

Anyway, now I’m up and wishing I had a very big hammer, or possibly a death ray. Occurrences like this might actually drive me to invent an EMP cannon I can use to fry any over-enthusiastic car sound system that ventures too close. Except I don’t know how to do that. The brother-in-law is an electronic engineer. I think I’ll ask him…

UPDATE: At 7AM the music abruptly stopped. If anything that only ticks me off more as it now feels their only intention was to wake up everyone in the building before buggering off. At least I now have the prospect of a peaceful afternoon nap (or possibly mid-morning nap – I’m flexible that way), unless some other idiot with an over-compensating sound system shows up.

15 thoughts on “On loud music at 6AM on a Sunday when I was planning to lie in

  1. I think a lot about noise, living by a busy road that is thankfully quiet at night (and on Sunday mornings!). I can’t complain about the road as the Romans first built it but I recently met an old man who remembers staying in our cottage as a boy in the Second World War and watching German Prisoners of War being marched down the road as he sat on the wall by the cottage. As well as the haunting image of the prisoners what struck me was the absence of traffic in his story, an absence in living memory. In other words our world has become so much noisier in just one lifetime. Between 1978 and 1984 I taught at a boys boarding school in Zambia on the banks of the Kafue River. I had no phone, no TV, no PC or such gadgets and I read books, wrote letters and enjoyed long conversations. I had no car either and had to walk a couple of miles to the nearest road and wait for a pick up giving lifts for a few coins to take me into town. I look back on that time as a wonderful gift. I wonder if those who live and teach there now enjoy the quiet that I did, although the only quiet that exists in the African bush is in the heat of the day, of course!

    1. That was probably my biggest problem with teaching – the school was too noisy. I forgot there how to be quiet and two years after leaving I still haven’t quite remembered the skill.

      I live in a flat overlooking the river running through town with a resort on the opposite bank. For most of the time it is quiet, but a couple times a year we are invaded by a motorcycle rally and a few more times a year the resort plays host to loud parties that once again thanks to the wonder of acoustics feel like they’re taking place in my bedroom.

      But even when it’s quiet it’s not really, as the main road passes just behind our building. I’ve learned to tune out the sounds from the road, along with the hum of the fridge’s compressor, my neighbour’s loud voice when she’s on the phone, and my other neighbour telling her three-year-old to stop it, whatever the kid’s doing now, but it’s been long since I’ve experienced real silence. Too long. It shows.

  2. Get a sound system of at least 2000 watts output, with an oscillator capable of producing a pure sine wave at 6- 8 hz. Their stereo wakes you up. Your stereo makes them – well, switch it on, grab a pair of binoculars, and watch as they run around desperately trying not to “return” their breakfasts… Gotta love the physics of subsonic sound at colossal amplification… Of course, it’ll also do the same to you and everybody else in your building, but at least you’ll be rid of the fishermen and their boom box.

    1. Isn’t DARPA experimenting with devices that can precisely target such a sound wave so it doesn’t affect the wielders? I suppose that would be the next best thing in lieu of an actual death ray.

      1. More of a sort of ‘biff, ralph and chuck’ ray… (ewwww). I think they’re also investigating how to use a ‘wall of sound’ as a fire extinguisher. Sounds surreal but apparently it’s serious.

    1. We actually have fire hoses on each floor of the building, except the one on our floor doesn’t have a tap – hasn’t had one for as long as we’ve lived here so we really hope there isn’t a fire – and I think they’re just out of reach anyway. But I like the way you’re thinking.

    1. No such luck. They tend more toward the frail widowy persuasion. However, it appears the culprits were guests of the young married couple downstairs from us. I kinda wish they lived directly below us – would have made investing in a drumset very tempting…

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