July 28, 2011


Mr. Louderstill


I am trying to be a better person/less judgmental asshole.

Mr. Louderstill has lived in the house next door since before I became his neighbor. He is younger and that makes me wonder if I am sometimes being a stick-in-the-mud old fart when I get severely annoyed by his penchant for activities of advanced decibellàge. I may be a curmudgeon, but you’ve got to know the man is a menace to peace and quiet.

Think of any noisy mechanical apparatus and chances are he owns one. Monster truck with glass-pack exhaust – check. Four-wheelers (several, none street legal, including a two-seater that he was letting his eight-year-old drive) – check. Chainsaw, pressure washer, power blower – triple check. He also has jet skis, which of course don’t affect my household, but I bet if it snowed here more often he’d have a snowmobile that he could race up and down our road. He owns an auto body shop and so occasionally has side projects going in his garage, complete with an air compressor and several vwip-vwip-vweeeeeearr tools that it runs. Then there are the fireworks. New Year’s Eve and July 4th without fail, and usually at annoying intervals into the post-midnight hours instead of just doing as the pros do and lighting them all off in quick succession (they’re illegal in our state but available in startling abundance in two adjacent ones, split between roadside kiosks and ballpark-lighted supermarkets of sparkly danger nicknamed with the premise of some certifiable proprietor).

There is some relief in our son having overcome most of his problematic sensory overload from the noise, and now that the dogs are gone we don’t have to worry about puddles of pee caused by abject fright.

But that’s not all we get. Mr. Louderstill recently installed a widescreen television and surround stereo speakers out on his deck to add to the fun of his redneck friends (a.k.a. the Smokersons) watching NASCAR races or some CMT tripe. They’re pointed in our direction and even that’s not usually too bad if we stay indoors, but when they get the subwoofers cranking, boy, I’ve felt my kitchen wall vibrating. He has a pool and his guests’ young children can often be heard screaming with aquatic delight until well past any halfway responsible bedtime. Adding to the fun two doors down are the Methicks, from whence Mr. & Mrs.’s drug and alcohol-fueled disagreements come. They’re hard enough to tune out, becoming intolerable when their yappy dogs get worked up with either them or any random breeze.

Essentially, Mr. Louderstill has little and often no regard for his neighbors. Not long after we moved in he told us that he didn’t plan on staying in his house forever. It was Mrs. Louderstill #1 that got to move out (said she couldn’t take the degradation anymore), and she was pretty nice and sometimes even sheepish about her boorish then-spouse.

We have some pity for him because we’ve suspected his work and party ethic are fueled by a hyper-recreational use of drugs. For several reasons we would prefer to simply (or even complexly) just not be his neighbor anymore. That’s the easiest way.

How do you reach out to people that make your skin crawl?

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You totally need to go over there with a case of beer and hang out!
Ugh. I sympathize. Hate noise myself. People here (apartment complex) don't have a lot of machinery type stuff, but they love to drink and be very, very vocal. Outside. Because it's hot, I guess. So you stand around, outdoors, drinkin' and yappin'. Seems that the more you drink, the louder you need to talk to get your Very Very Important Opinions across to your friends. And we don't have A/C, so my windows need to be open too. It's a conundrum. Luckily there are earplugs. And Valiums. :)
In the past, I've reached out to such neighbors by showing them what my Citation 22 amplifier and Bose towers can do with King Crimson's "THRAK" CD. It seems to work.
Arg. I feel your pain. I have learned, too, that in the case of a neighborhood feud, it is always the person/group with the lowest standards that will win out.
This is a variation on the old Bible parable. With some people, if you turn the other cheek, they will slap you silly.
I am trying to be a better person/less judgmental asshole.

I dunno, I think there's a time and a place to be a judgmental asshole, and this is one of them. I'm certainly being a judgmental asshole while reading about this guy, and I can't even hear him.

Sad that this isn't an easy time to move.
Younger people are increasingly causing their own deafness. Invest in hearing aid stock.
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