The family across the street has two dogs, a middling-big one and a smallish one. They’ve also got a back yard all nicely fenced in where their two dogs apparently never go. The back yard is apparently reserved for bonfires, drinking, and playing country music so loud that the revelers must scream at each other to be heard over it. I figure they should either turn the volume down or shut the hell up, but then I’m old now. When I was younger I was old, too — the music at my parties was usually at a reasonable volume, and it was not country music. I hate country music.
The two dogs mentioned above are left to roam the neighborhood, decorate my lawn, and attract all of the other wandering dogs in town. There are quite a number of them, wandering dogs that is, and town being so small as it is it’s not difficult to attract all of the wanderers. Driving through on the state highway, because the speed limit drops to just 30MPH, you’re in town for only two minute as you pass through. This is a town so small that you can know not only everyone in it, but all of their animals, too. Especially those who wander and decorate your lawn.
The woman who lives next door to the south of the neighbors in question is not fond of them. She yells at them from time to time about their dogs decorating her lawn, the weeds from their back yard going through the fence into her back yard, and the noise they make. Which just increases the noise for us, and just as pointlessly as turning up the music so loud that people have to scream over it to be heard. She has mentioned to us a couple or three times that she’s soon going to be hanging out of her windows with a BB gun, plinking at the neighbors’ dogs who decorate her lawn. She hasn’t done it yet, not that I’ve noticed, but it seems important to her that she be perceived as the sort who would do it. It’s important to me to be the guy who doesn’t get involved in things that don’t really affect me, so I just smile and nod when she gets on about those things.
Last night the two dogs across the street kept the three on the opposite side, across the alley, bark bark barking, incessantly barking, for at least the two hours it took me to find sleep. I couldn’t really hear those across the street because I got slightly smarter than usual and did some soundproofing of the bedroom window. It looks hillbilly as hell, that two inch thick styrofoam building insulation hammed into the window frame, but it’s effective enough. It mutes the outside noises enough that we can sleep, and at this point that’s all that matters. $57 worth of styrofoam… they sure are proud of that stuff. If I’d been willing to sacrifice my pride and own up to the hillbilly in my ancestry, which is to say to do things as my father would, I could have saved forty bucks by hacking up some styrofoam coolers procured at the liquor store. I’d sooner have shot myself in the face.
The guy across the street, in addition to having wandering dogs and a thing for crappy music played entirely too loudly, has a motorsickle. A Harvey Diddleson, I think it’s called. I don’t know that it ever had mufflers on it, but it certainly doesn’t now. The guy is proud of how loud it is, will start it up and just rev it for ten to twenty minutes at a stretch. Every now and then he’ll ride it somewhere, but he’s rarely ever gone for more than ten minutes. I think he just likes the billy bad assness of having the thing and annoying the neighbors with it. He starts it and revs it most nights right around sundown, but I didn’t hear it last night. Could be he didn’t start it, could be that my hillbilly styrofoam works better than I’d expected it would.
The guy next door doesn’t have a Harvey Diddleson, and their dogs don’t bark much at all. That guy has an ATV, and he likes to start it and rev it up for five to ten minutes at a stretch, and drive it up and down the alley for a while. He got after it in that way last night, but it was so muted that it wasn’t at all bothersome. My hillbilly styrofoam window covering helped a lot with that.
I might not like to admit to being white hillbilly trash, and my dear wife likes to tell me that I’m not because she knows I’m sensitive that way, but dammit I gots me some star-o-foam in mah windur so’s ah can sleep at naht. And I guess that’s just how it’s got to be. I guess it’s good that I’ve no girl cousins nearby to ravish while out of my hillbilly mind on moonshine, eh?