Monday, March 13, 2006

yes I am (a macho asshole)

Several months ago, to my chagrin, my pretty-nice neighbour Lise moved out. I was sad to see her go. We lived next to her for a couple of years with no major incidents, and at the moment, no minor ones that I can remember. I took her packages for her, she brought my laundry up--you know, neighbour stuff.
We have not been so fortunate in our new neighbours. They were so weird on day one that I gave up ever having a relationship of any kind with them right away--if only that had been all. It turns out that I regularly walk in the front door of our building and know that their music, on the third floor, is 'way too loud.
The truly great thing about my building is that while the sound insulation between the apartments and the hallway sucks, the wall between the apartments is virtually soundproof. What's deafening in the hall is mostly inaudible once I get inside. Usually. Yesterday, though, I walked into my apartment and the vibration from their bass speakers made me instantly nauseated. Eeeeeee. Like any reasonable person, I went next door to ask them to turn it down.

I knocked four or five times on their door, waiting a couple of minutes in between. Standing in the hallway, listening to "SHAKE THAT ASS FOR ME, SHAKE THAT ASS FOR ME" over and over again, I got...pissed off. Little monkey, big temper. When they didn't answer, I took up pounding on the door with my closed fist. Uh, a lot. Just as spook was sticking his head out our door to say "For god's sake, just call the super!" the door opened.
"Your bass is really loud. Could you please turn it down?"
This may not have come out quite as civilly as I had intended, but compared to my truly foul mood, it seemed pretty good. Bonehead turned it down.

Today, hey, extra fun, they've taped this note to their door:

WARNING:
I SAY IT POLITELY,
PLEASE KNOCK IF YOU
ARE HUMAN. DO NOT
POUND OR WRECK THE
DOOR. IF NOT, I WILL
FUCKING KICK YOUR
ASS OR KICK YOUR
FUCKING DOOR.
THANK YOU.

I live next to people who are not only inconsiderate, but entirely misguided about the meaning of the word "polite." I removed it and stuck it in a file--hey, nothing like written evidence for when I file those assault charges. (Mom, calm down. It's going to be fine.)

This is the letter I composed in response:

March 13, 2006

Neighbour,

Since you seem upset about our interaction yesterday, I want to write to clarify a couple of things.

1) It was completely rude of me to bang on your door. I apologize for my rudeness. I want you to know that before I started banging, I knocked several times, and waited a few minutes. I assumed you couldn’t hear me.

2) Your music is often loud enough to disturb me. I have never complained to you or to the superintendent, because I figure that there are compromises to be made when we share space. Yesterday, though, the vibration from the bass in your music was making my cats hide under the bed. It was giving me a headache and making me feel sick to my stomach. Please be more considerate in the future.

Threats never make anything better. I want you to know that I will try and treat you in a way that is considerate, polite and human, and I expect the same thing in return.

Thank you.


Now is the part where you all congratulate me for not going over and telling them that I'm fucking calling the cops on their fucking ignorant asses and that they clearly have no idea about what it fucking means to be fucking human. Fuck.
ahem.

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

Oh YUCK! What a bad scene. We have a neighbour who favours loud hip hop which is only audible if you are standing in our bathroom at which point it is VERY audible. So mostly, if I'm not trying to have a nice relaxing bath, it's livable. My one gripe is that I have a little radio in the bathroom so that I can nerd out and listen to CBC while I shower in the morning. So many times I will turn that on and then he will turn his music on right away, as though we're having some kind of aural turf war. Dude! Take it easy. It's just the CBC.

J.

ShanghaiCowgirl said...

Kick the m-f door in sista.
KICK.IT.IN!
You have very large boots and they're made for stompin.
The only time I actually act my age is when it comes to loud music in residential areas. My ears hurt just READING that story!

Also, I'm available for egging windows and smoke bombs under doors on Friday evenings and Thursday afternoons.

Meredith said...

Yay for you! You show those awful awful people!

What I want to know is, was there any response?

Kendra said...

Cat poo on their door handle is also fun!

But then the battle really begins...

K

Miss Julia said...

I think you did the right thing, darlin'. Good for you! I've got a very short fuse, but taking the high ground can occasionally be more satisfying than freaking out. Well, almost.
I occasionally get to use this tactic in my new job and it's amazing how angry rude people tend not to e-mail you back after they receive something like "The tone of your e-mail indicates to me that you are very upset. It was not my intention to offend. Let me help you to resolve this issue through the proper channels."
I'm so pleased that you filed their note away.
You rock.

'col said...

this whole thing makes me think of something Adam once said to me when I was ranting.

"You're losing sight of the important thing, here--the moral high ground."

Julia, I'm borrowing your text for future reference. That's genius.