Sound of silence   Leave a comment

Unicron was right.

Sadly, Monday was return-the-car day. As the deposit was only £150 I did consider keeping it – I’ve paid nearly twice that for cars before and they’ve not been nearly as good – but guessed there would probably be other consequences. As I went to drive it back I noticed a thin, straight white line down the side of the car that hadn’t been there before. A moment of mild panic, then I rubbed it… It was a spider’s web. And relax.

Refilling the petrol tank right to the brim cost £20.51*, so no nasty surprises there, and it meant the total cost of driving was nearly £10 less than the train fare would have been. And the park and ride is cheaper than the Londerground.
The car was returned and deposit refunded without any fuss (I found the errant humbug wrapper before them), and a free lift home was given. Five stars to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, then. Huzzah!

In the evening I didn’t get to the gym, because my hand was sore from Sunday’s adventures… Because I was tired after a busy weekend and early morning… Because I had some sanding and things to do… Oh all right, because I wanted to buy computer games and play Frozen Synapse for most of the evening. So I did. Happy now? Good.

Monday’s vexing episode was when a bunch of kids were on the grass outside. For a while they were there with a little fire or disposable barbecue, and that was fine, but then they decided that they’d start playing some music from one of the houses and crank the volume so they could hear it. And so could everybody else within about half a mile, for an hour or two.
I have no tolerance for noise. I accept that some noise is necessary, as you can’t yet buy silent cars or hammer-drills or whatever, and occasionally you need to use them. I can grudgingly put up with that for a while, and you know the person making the noise is suffering even more than you. But unnecessary noise, like loud music**, or cars owned by idiots who think it’s fun to deliberately knacker the exhaust and then rev the guts out of it, or people who think it’s necessary to communicate by screaming and shouting (sadly that seems to be “normal conversation volume” for many people) – well, why should it be put up with at all? They only do it to make others’ lives a misery and show their complete lack of consideration.
There is no excuse for it. Headphones offer better sound quality for less money compared to loudspeakers, and won’t annoy even people in the same building no matter how hard you try to deafen yourself. Loudspeakers are not necessary.

So how do you deal with the obnoxious little shits? You can ask them to shut up, but if they were inclined to care about others they wouldn’t be making a racket in the first place, so what do you do when they ignore you? Violence would seem the obvious solution; corpses are quiet, and it could make others fear copying their behaviour, and fear of the consequences is the only reason anybody behaves decently. Sadly, it’s also quite illegal. So what can you do about them? I considered watering down the last of the cheap paint to chuck over them if they didn’t shut up – it’s not harmful, and even washes out of clothes easily enough – but is that illegal?

And that’s the problem; you’re allowed to make a racket, cause a nuisance, trespass and steal, and nobody gives a damn. Try and impose peace and quiet or protect your property, and you’ll get thrown in jail.

* 15.81 litres over 137 miles means I averaged 39.39 miles per Imperial gallon, fuel efficiency fans!

** How do you know if it’s loud? If I can hear your music, it’s too loud. If you think somebody else could hear it, it’s too loud.


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