Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Will You Please Shut Up!

Working from home, I have the pleasure of listening to the environmental sounds of my neighborhood. For most of my life, I hadn't realized that the most obscure sounds could be so irritating to me. But recently, I find myself screaming out "Will you shut the f**k up already!"  Every day, every single f**king day, seven f**king days a week, the street cleaner arrives without fail, at 620 in the f**king morning. At least on weekdays, I am already up working at my desk by that time. But I will be sitting there and realize something is really unnerving me. I look out my window and there it is. That damn ugly looking street cleaning machine. It's that steady sound of the vacuum engine that drives me crazy. I always loved watching the Zamboni clean the ice...but this...this irritates the shit out of me. And on Saturday and Sunday? Are you f**king kidding me? At least they could start cleaning the streets at eight or nine AM on the weekends, not 6:20AM. You'd think we lived in the middle of some war torn country...I much crap can accumulate on the street in 24 hours. They can't possibly be picking up enough trash to warrant this annoyance 7 days a week.

I think there is a bird in cahoots with the street cleaners to drive me nuts. I have a bird outside my window that has the most irritating chirp I've ever heard. And God forbid it chirps when I'm awake. decides to give me a wakeup call at five in the morning. Most birds have a sweet, melodious sound, but this one gives a crow a run for its money. Fran Drescher and Janice from 'Friends' sound like Simon and Garfunkel compared to this bird. I'm almost ready to take a rubber band and sling it at that winged hyena, but I'm not a violent person. (And I know it would backfire and hit me in the face instead.) Unfortunately, living in southern California...flying further south isn't much of an option, therefore, it never leaves.

I was sitting at my desk, concentrating on work, and I kept hearing these rustling sounds in my back yard. I looked out the window for several days and couldn't figure out where they were coming from, but the sound was driving me nuts. When I walked outside, I noticed the wood chips from around the perimeter of the yard were scattered all over the patio. I didn't see anyone or anything lurking (happy to report), so I kept sweeping the chips back into their flower beds. I would go out a little later after hearing the sounds again, and the same thing. This kept happening over about a month's time. I finally saw two birds pecking at the ground and making the mess. They kept coming back and doing this over and over all day long for weeks. I would run downstairs and out the door, chasing them and shooing them away, but they always returned when I wasn't looking. And I would continue to sweep the patio over and over and over. It was becoming really annoying and I have the blisters on my hands from sweeping so much, to prove it. I obviously didn't frighten them away; instead, I think it became a game to them. Eventually they stopped their pecking and scattering...probably after I put that electric shock sensor in the chips. (Just kidding)

I have yet to understand why they can't come up with a muffler for the leaf blower. They can muffle the sound of a car engine (I'm assuming that's what a muffler does?), they can muffle the sound of a gunshot, but they can't muffle a leaf blower? I have to imagine that gardeners will eventually go deaf at some point in their life, or they will be shot dead first by those of us who morph into psycho neurotic assassins while listening to them. I'm thinking of cutting down every single tree that surrounds my house within a mile radius, but I'm afraid I would probably be arrested.

What is it about boys and their cars? Why do they believe that the louder the car, the more appealing it is? Seriously? I can tell you, without a doubt, that the louder the car, the further away I want to get from that person. How do they handle the noise? Especially on a motorcycle? Maybe they are all gardeners and are already deaf from the leaf blowers. I can barely stand the noise from my hair dryer while I’m drying my hair. I tried putting ear muffs on, but the band across the top of my head kinda got in the way of the styling process. I’m almost ready to leave my hair in one big frizz ball just to avoid the hair dryer noise.

I have never met a smoke alarm that I didn’t want to beat the shit out of. After moving into the house I am currently living in, there was a mass conspiracy amongst the smoke alarms to not only scare the crap out of me, but to drive me straight out of bed almost jumping out the window in the middle of the night. Every once in a while they would give me that lovely little chirping warning that something was amiss, but most of the time, they would go off suddenly…all at once, with that deafening shrill never ending siren sound . I have spent so much money on replacing batteries only to find out that the battery has nothing to do with their incessant screeching. I have literally pulled most of them out of the ceiling and still they insist on beeping. And the description of ‘beeping’ is being quite kind. I cannot understand what it is that keeps them going and going even after they’ve been disconnected.  I have taken hammers to them and beaten them to death and they still keep going. I have thrown them in the trash outside and the neighbors have complained about the high pitched noise coming from my side yard. I waited for the trash men to come and personally handed them all the alarms and told them to take them away as far as they could. I was able to track their garbage route for the next 20 minutes by the screaming of my smoke alarms. In fact…I think I still hear them calling out to me…’help meeeee’…..I just hope I never have a fire in my house because I will now have nothing to warn me. Except the heat and flames, of course, but I think I’ll take my chances.

Why is it that I can hear all the noises I have no interest in hearing, yet I can’t hear my own kids when they talk to me? “What? What did you say? Can you speak up and stop mumbling. Slow down. I can’t understand a word you’re saying.” I mean…who talks that fast? And why is it they can all understand each other but parents can’t? That’s why I like texting. I can understand them when they talk. And the silence of it…well…that speaks for itself.


  1. Once again loved the blog. The noises you hear are the same ones I hear but not to the extent that I must curse like you. But I do understand your dilemma----it's hard to concentrate. So keep writing and keep on cursing. I'll be reading all of them..

  2. Glad your back to cursing however you got away from the word F- - - way to early in the blog. Other then telling you I loved every word and understand because I too work from home, I just need to say take 2 klonopin around 9:00 am to make the noises go away or at the very least not disturb you...
    DR. RT

  3. hyyyyysssssterical!!!!! and try living in manhattan. fresh direct has a refrigeratored truck that screams; the oil truck which takes an hour to pump oil into buildings not only roars but wreaks of oil throughout my apt; and then the infamous garbage trucks. street cleaning at 6:20? try midnight, 3am, 5am, and 10am pickups everyday...why so many... it's the save your environment, separate trucks...paper, glass, regular garbage, etc. ugh!!!!!
    oh yeah...i forgot the most annoying sound of all.....PEOPLE TALKING!!!!!!!!

  4. kinda expect that in a city of a few in a city of 65,000, suburbs is supposed to = cockadoodledoos.

  5. suburbs = cockadoodledoos? Not out here in the land of the highly entitled and extraordinarily privileged! From April to November we have lawn service workers out and about on a daily basis. I've worked from home long enough to know not to schedule any calls at certain times on pretty much every single day.

    And the school busses, and the street sweeper and the road construction, and the ambulance service (which means the big fire truck has to go with them too because those boys need something to do each day).....

  6. sure we don't live in the same area? in fact...are you sure we aren't sitting at the same desk in my house? (altho we do have cockadoodledoos here, too, along with everything else you just described!) (who are you??? reveal!)

  7. JAIME - @ BOSTON VISITORSeptember 1, 2011 at 1:33 PM


  8. Do you want to know what drives me batshit insane? American cars that make that honking noise when someone locks the doors remotely. Especially if I happen to be getting out of mine and suddenly jolted by that horn sound! What is the point of this? Did all the folks in the automotive design field get in cahoots and agree that cars must honk when the doors are locked?

    Anyway, I am not ignoring you and certain didn't forget about you. I've been so incredibly busy and absorbed with work and spending a few hours a week reading a book to detach myself from reality that I just don't make the rounds like I used to, blogs or FB friends either.

  9. guilt trip worked! hope work is good busy...but we do miss you! thanks for coming back...however brief it may be :)

  10. Feels so good when it stops ...

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