Monday, September 6, 2010

Neighbor's Revenge

Yes, it's an awesome title. Yes, I've used it before. No, you can't see on what.

When we first moved into this neighborhood, it was mostly the youthfully challenged... every house was full of old people. Really, there were only two kids in the neighborhood, and I was one of them. We never got along, though; she hated me, I hated her, and life continued.
I really liked that set up.
Now, though, the old people have died.
I really don't like that set up.
Families. They and their little screaming rugrats have popped the quiet bubble that I associate with suburbia, particularly this little slice of it.
Squealing, running, jumping, and other annoying things that children do (if you cannot guess, I don't like children [except my little niece, of course, but she doesn't count, she's family]. Don't look like that, I didn't like children when I was a child, either) now ring through the street, the backyards, and everywhere else their incredibly loud voices can permeate.
When my sister and I were little, if our mother had heard us scream the way these kids do, she'd have come out with the gun, and a keen aim. If it had been a false alarm, we'd have been thoroughly beaten.
Since they've moved in, gone are the Saturday morning lie-ins, the peaceful gardening time, or the evenings out in the back courtyard, just looking at the stars and pine trees.
Now, the neighbor's children are squirting water at each other in their inflatable pool, or jumping on their trampoline (DEATH TRAPS!), or tormenting our dogs by dangling their feet over the rock fence.
I really dislike these new neighbors. Mostly because my bedroom faces the rock fence separating our yard from theirs.
This is the view from my bedroom window.
If you look behind the giant cotton wood tree, you'll see the trampoline.
I really hate that trampoline.

Imagine my surprise a couple of evenings ago when I went to my room to tidy up (laundry is FUN, children! No, really) and hear, not only the screaming neighbor children, but loud, bass-y, unfamiliar music.
I harnessed my Mrs. Kravitz skills, and peered through the blinds to find a boombox (children of the 90's, unite!), and the little heathens bounce-bounce-bouncing on their trampoline, boppering about to the noise.

Oh, Rich Fulcher, you never fail to make me smile.

I stood at the window and listened for a few minutes, trying to decipher the song; soon enough, I had a eureka moment.

I have just experienced something called the "Generation Gap".
I've got no idea what they were listening to, just like, generations before, mothers and dads everywhere wondered who Elvis, Buddy Holly, and Chuck Berry were, who The Beatles were, on and on, until that moment of dawning comprehension, where I stood there, like an idiot, wondering what in hell they were listening to.
I mean, I've never been part of the hip crowd, but I couldn't grasp the concept of their music.
There are two ways of viewing this: either I'm uncool, or their music is uncool. I'm going with the latter.

I contemplated my own musical awakening, examining my age at that time, in comparison to theirs now; I discovered that they were about in the eight-to-ten range, as was I. I also wondered why they didn't have an iPod.
When I was nine years old, I had already worn out two walkmans, and two boomboxes.
By the time I got my first iPod (it was a 512 MB shuffle, bless), I had worn out another boombox, and five portable CD players, not to mention countless sets of headphones. Admittedly, I used them to listen mostly to crooners, and the Harry Potter soundtracks.
Maybe it IS me.

I think theses kids should get iPods for Christmas this year. If they promise to wear them all the time, instead of blasting their radio, I'll chip in.
I am convinced that they were trying to get back at me for keeping the radio up so loud when I'm home alone (last time, I went on a George Harrison/The Who kick, and I don't think they understand). My mother has been trying to convince me that, just short of full volume, you can't hear the radio from their backyard. I'm not so sure of that.
Hell, by the time we're all old, they'll have come up with something to make up for our hearing loss caused by Steve Jobs (or, in my case, Bose), so let's just blast away! Not long ago, I read a saying that went something like "Maturity is knowing that the volume control also turns to the left"... I don't think I want to be mature, then.

So, neighbor kids, this is not the end of it, I guarantee. While you're listening to Justin Bieber, or whatever the hell that was, I'll be here, waiting to educate you. When you hear that awesome guitar solo that sends your little brain cells in fifty different directions coming from my Bose stereo, and I find you glued to the big windows in my office, then, we'll talk.
In the meantime, Pete and I will be waiting.

The whole time I was watching that, I was thinking of Jean and Lionel in their little row boat (it's the first four minutes of the video, but if you'd care to keep watching, it's the bestest television show ever, and you need to see it before you die. Make a note of it)...

In other news, it's Labor Day!
Happy Unofficial End Of Summer!
It may not feel quite like fall yet, but I'm keeping tabs. It's coming, just in its own sweet time.
Maybe I took this picture from my bedroom, too. Why should you ask?

Honestly, I'm more than a little excited about it.
So long, summer!

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