As I type these words I’m being serenaded by loud distorted incessant bass sounds.
It’s coming from down the street.
And it tells me an acquaintance of a neighbor has arrived.
If I’m lucky he’ll keep it playing for only 10 minutes or he’ll switch to another genre of music that’s equally loud but doesn’t vibrate glass.
Loud music is tolerable. Loud music with distorted bass or a limited range of three notes repeated over and over again until the end of time is like a fly that keeps buzzing your face.
I’m more susceptible to the impromptu vibrating thumper music concert than most of my neighbors as I have a tendency to have a lot of windows open.
On the scale of 1 to a 100 on things that you should convert from a molehill into a mountain thumper music doesn’t even make the list.
I have not asked the neighbor to have their friend tone it down.
I don’t see the point.
I seriously doubt it would make much difference given you can hear “Thumper Man” when he turns onto the block nine doors down. It’s obviously his thing.
Besides the other loud music genres, they play from rock to traditional Latino music doesn’t bother me.
It’s just the distorted music.
To be honest when other music is played it is often louder than the thumper music.
It’s not so bad that it slips into the ‘”fingernails-scratching-a -chalkboard” zone.
And its not like I’m in the middle of the wilderness seeking solitude.
I’m in “civilization”.
There’s those revving engines as if gas is 50 cents a gallon.
People broadcast their music tastes loud enough to keep Panama strongman General Noriega at bay in case he suddenly comes back from the dead when they are driving down Yosemite Avenue.
And there’s plenty of background noise such as trains passing at 60 mph, lawn services blowing grass clippings into the street, and the occasional dolt who is either celebrating the Fourth of July 40 days too late or longs to create the sounds of a Kabul firefight.
So, I opt not to say anything.
Do not misunderstand.
If it got to the point it was truly uncomfortable and not just a tad bit annoying I would say something.
But it the only “blemish” of any significant consequence when it comes to the neighbor.
And I’m sure there are things I do that they find annoying.
Besides, one should never venture down a road you may not want to travel..
Right now, I can tolerate the thumper music more than just somewhat. Why poke the bear?
There are those that belong to a school of thought there are city rules and they should be followed.
I generally agree.
But I also get that there are so many rules out there that can be applied that if they were all enforced to a tee, we’d be living in a borderline police state or we would have difficulty functioning.
Take basketball as an example. Rules basically forbid contact. But if you called all contact — including what would be considered incidental — they’d be no players left after the first six minutes.
There are municipal noise ordinances based on decibel levels.
I’d venture to say that the thumper music surpasses the upper limits.
That and a quarter won’t buy you a cup of coffee.
The city’s police units don’t have equipment to measure decibel levels of sound.
Neither do they have the manpower to enforce such city laws.
Besides, if they did write a citation, this is San Joaquin County the land of the “get out of jail free” and “no consequences for your actions” cards.
The laws in essence are here for use in the most egregious cases.
What my ears are dealing with are light years away from that tipping point.
So, I will do what most people do which is just complain to myself and try to ignore it or — if I’m particularly irked — mention it in passing to someone else.
This will sometimes trigger a response along the lines, “you shouldn’t have to tolerate such things. The law is the law.”
That is also true of a posted speed limit. But do we really want police if they are around — to write tickets for people going 36 mph?
Just like we shouldn’t pick and chose the laws we follow, we shouldn’t also pick and choose the laws we want others to follow and enforce.
If you have an issue with such a sentiment take a look in a mirror. Is the person looking back at you without fault and devoid of habits others find annoying?
Life is a whirlpool of non-stop pluses and minuses.
Unless you are the Hatfields and Mccoys elevating everything you see as a nuance to a transgression is a waste of energy and time.
That said I do have my limits.
It was reached Jan 1, 1993 at 7:05 a.m.
We were living on North Ripon Road in an old rented farm house.
There was also a mobile home on the other side of the barn the farmer also rented out to a young couple.
The young couple decided to have a New Year’s Eve party complete with live music jam in the mostly empty barn.
They had eight friends over who apparently only knew three notes between them.
Did I mention they had the four guitars all plugged into amplifiers cranked all the way up?
They started just before 9 p.m.
It had lost its charm hours earlier but by 1 a.m. we had enough.
I went over and asked them to turn it down.
They responded by playing even louder.
I returned 30 minutes later and asked again, politely I might add.
I was told, as they were laughing, to “f --- off” and they could do what they wanted.
Sometime around dawn it stopped.
Fifteen minutes later they were pounding on our backdoor complaining bitterly they couldn’t sleep.
It seems they couldn’t take what they had dished out for over 9 hours even for 15 minutes.
I had pulled my Chevy S-10 Blazer around, opened all the doors including the back gate and popped in a Frank Sinatra tape cranked all the way up.
Yes, there is something worse than loud thumper music or tortuous guitar rips magnified to the point they can almost break glass — it’s Old Blue Eyes’ rendition of “New York, New York” at the same decibel level of a 747 taking off.
The next New Year’s Eve it was quiet.
A taste of one’s own medicine can really sour you on acting as if you are the center of the universe.
This column is the opinion of editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Bulletin or 209 Multimedia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org