December 22, 2007

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: No. Seriously. Anyone?
by docsmartypants

This is the story of the time I almost killed a man with my bare hands. That time? Was at about 6:20 on a Sunday morning about a week ago.

Larry and I, having stayed up late watching Black Books and working on Christmas stuff, decided to call it a night at about 3:15 am. Once our TV was off and there was nothing to distract us, we couldn’t help but notice the very loud party going on in the apartment across the hall. This is the apartment formerly occupied by the suspicious German super spy, who one neighbor once thought had died in there. But that’s another story. Recently the apartment was taken over by some new guy.

As Larry brushed his teeth I pondered how it was that anyone could fail to notice they were being so loud. I pitied the poor schlubs who live above and below this guy. As I flipped off the bedroom light and crawled into bed I noticed I could hear his party more clearly due to my position near the window—open slightly to keep us from broiling in our stuffy home. As I lay there in the dark listening to the goings on I commented to Larry, already on his way to Slumberland, that I was caught halfway between not caring and being baffled that anyone could be so clueless or inconsiderate. I listened to people come and go for a while, drunkenly stumbling up and down the stairs, grabbing taxis outside. I tried to identify exactly what the bad music was they were listening to but finally gave up.

By a little after 4 things had started to wind down. It was finally quiet enough for me to fall asleep and my last thoughts were: Oh well, perhaps it was his birthday.

At 6:20 am I woke to the sounds of a loud Italian wedding reception in full swing outside my window. How the hell, I wondered blearily, did they fit so many people into that little alleyway? ‘S just not possible. Besides, who holds an Italian wedding at 6 on a Sunday? It’s just silly. But sure enough, now fully awake, I could hear music and talking bouncing loudly and clearly off of the walls outside and echoing back into my room.

Oh. Right. The neighbor.

Apparently opening a bar across the hall wasn’t enough. Now he had opened a movie theater with THX surround sound.

And he was watching The Godfather.

As an aside, let me just say that I have never actually seen The Godfather, but that the movie was playing so loudly that I could still identify it. My assumption would later be confirmed, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Now I was mad. “I’m going to kill this guy,” I said as I struggled to close the window. “With my bare hands.” Larry, who could sleep in the middle of a rock concert…on stage…woke just enough to help me with the window and then started to fall back asleep. But I couldn’t sleep because I could still hear this movie. I walked into the living room to see if sleeping on the couch would help, but there was no place in my apartment where I could escape The Godfather. Dialog and yelling and music all filtered through as clearly as if it was on in one of my own rooms.

I asked Larry if I should go ask the guy to turn it down. He said no, just put on a CD and go back to bed. But I couldn’t find a relaxing bedtime CD because I have trouble sleeping with music on so I don’t own any CD of consistently mellow tunes. I tried putting cotton in my ears, but I could still hear The Godfather. I started to feel like I might weep with tiredness and frustration. I looked through every CD, finally grabbing Moby, rummaged around to plug in the old alarm clock, then stared in dismay when I realized it only plays off of an MP3 player (mine needed to be charged). Larry told me to put it in the DVD player but I couldn’t figure out the system in the bedroom, which is a rarely used mess of old scavenged electronics. Larry couldn’t even get it to work and I finally said, “Forget it! I will put it on in the living room and sleep there.” So at 7 am, having determined Moby to be too energetic, I burrowed down in my blanket on the world’s most uncomfortable couch, with a blues radio station playing something about “Nobody loves me” and tried to ignore that I could still hear The Godfather under it all. At some point, I thought, I’ll just pass out.

Five minutes later I heard people coming up the stairs. At last, outraged fellow tenants! I ran to the door to look out the peephole.

Holy bajolies, someone called two of Boston’s finest!

I have never been so happy to see an officer of the law in my entire life. They banged on the door for a while and finally one went back downstairs to ring the guy’s door buzzer, which was loud enough for everyone in the building except this guy to hear. Of course, with how loud the film must have been in his apartment I’m surprised his ear drums didn’t just burst. The cops continued pounding on the door and I heard one of them comment “The Godfather” with a sort of appreciative tone in his voice. Finally, Noisy Boy says through his door, “It’s OK, I’m going to bed. Sorry.” The cops found this amusing and after assuring Noisy Boy that no, he really did need to open his door, the fellow finally opened up. He was somehow blissfully unaware that, as one officer put it, “you could hear the TV all the way down the block.”

I won’t bore you with the details of the conversation, except to say that my new neighbor is clearly a tool (and possibly an Amish guy on Rumspringa), but eventually the cops left and I had some peace and quiet. Of course I was now completely awake, but at least I didn’t have to listen to The Godfather anymore.

I really miss the suspicious German super spy. The worst thing he ever did was make us think he was dead. The new neighbor I just wish was dead.

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5 Comments to

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: No. Seriously. Anyone?”

  1. On December 23rd, 2007 at 2:20 am Kenneth Says:

    Hmm. Was that the day I called to see if you wanted to go to the Swedish Yule Festival and woke you up?

  2. On December 23rd, 2007 at 7:28 am Sheri Says:

    I know how frustrating that can be. It has happened a few times to us in hotels, and one time, the hotel staff actually called in the police and kicked the nosy people out of the hotel at 3 in the morning.

    But at least in a hotel, you know you won’t have to put up with them again!

  3. On December 23rd, 2007 at 11:46 pm docsmartypants Says:

    Yes, that may have been the day of the Yule Festival.

    And also, yes, knowing that this person is now living here and is bound to have another party at some point is like waiting for the aftershock of an earthquake.

  4. On December 27th, 2007 at 10:09 am EGT (because I prefer to be all pseudonymous) Says:

    Maybe the new neighbor is the guy who killed the German super spy, and he’s trying to send signals to fellow spies by playing “The Godfather” really loud. Or else he’s playing “The Godfather” really loud to cover up more nefarious goings-on. Or else TSB IS BEHIND ALL OF IT. I’m surprised this didn’t occur to you! I’m not sure exactly *why* they thought playing “The Godfather” really loudly was a good idea, but I’m sure John Barrowman was behind it.

  5. On December 29th, 2007 at 1:57 am docsmartypants Says:

    Ah, EGT, you always know how to come up with an explanation that makes it all better! By which I mean the TSB explanation, not the Noisy Boy killed German Super Spy explanation, of course.

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