Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sonic Youth

Old Age & Treachery Beats Youth & Skill Every Time!

I really, really dislike my neighbor's kid.

It's not the goth/emo attire, the perpetually disdainful attitude towards everything, or even the late-night hanging out in his front yard with his stoner buddies. Shit, that's just being a teenager, and I'm guilty of the same thing 25 years back.

Well, not the goth/emo stuff, though we did dress up for The Rocky Horror Picture Show on more than one occasion...

No, what bugs me about him is his stereo system. Specifically, his subwoofer.

Since our respective bedrooms are separated by about 10 feet of yard, and I've only got a thin layer of paint, wallboard, insulation, some two by fours and a bunch of bricks to muffle the noise emanating from his Pit of Doom, we (meaning his parents and I) have already worked out the Quiet/Loud schedule. Up until 9 pm, he can rattle the walls, and I won't say a word. After 9, I don't want to hear a thing inside my bedroom, else I turn into Crotchety Old Curmudgeon with a chainsaw.

So far, he's followed the letter of the law. Standing or sitting in my bedroom after 9 pm, I can't hear a thing.

When I get ready to go to sleep, though, the problem suddenly becomes apparent. As soon as my head hits the pillow, the annoyance begins...


You're not hearing it so much as feeling it. The low frequency sound waves coming out of the woofer speaker are getting picked up by the springs in my mattress, which vibrate in a sympathetic reaction. With your head pressed down on the pillow, the miniscule vibrations are just strong enough to get your tiny ear bones to wiggling, and transmit sound impulses to your brain.

I'm in a bit of a bind, really. The agreement on the 9pm Quiet Time wasn't completely free of drama and hard-fought negotiation, and I'm certainly not going back next door with hat in hand to ask to adjust Junior's equalizer. Even with Houston's noise ordinance, I doubt Johnny Law will agree to put their sound meter inside my mattress.

No, I need another solution. I need a Mosquito...

The Mosquito is that electronic device that puts out a continuous high-frequency shriek that's only audible to young people. When you age past the 20-22 year old stage, your ears are just no longer capable of hearing sounds at that frequency. It drives kids nuts, though. It was invented in the U.K. as a way to keep teenagers from hanging out in front of stores and causing trouble.

So, I'm thinking that if I was to mount one of these gizmos under the soffet pointing towards his bedroom, and flick the "On" switch whenever he's playing something with heavy bass, he'll go nuts trying to figure out what's up. He'll turn down his stereo to try and figure out where the shriek is coming from, and I'll kill the power as soon as the bass dies down so he doesn't pinpoint the source.

Eventually, I'll have him as well trained as one of Pavlov's hounds. Or he'll leave for college. Either way, I win...