The StirrerThe Stirrer

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

KEEP THE FLAMIN' NOISE DOWN!

09-04-2007

So what's the Easter bunny brought Lynn Hawthorne? An earache, that's what.

So Easter has finally arrived: the first really useable Bank Holiday of the year (a privilege hard-won by our industrious ancestors) and the weather is excellent, making those of us who couldn't afford/couldn't be bothered to go abroad feel rather smug.

The roads, as usual, will be horrendous and we always wonder why, but I think I've found the answer: it's just too blasted noisy to stay at home!

On Saturday, for example, I was determined to attack the garden while attempting to listen to the beautiful birdsong.

I say ‘attempted', because in this cheek-by-jowl suburban couldn't-give-a-toss-about-anyone-else world we inhabit, I was subjected to the din of my neighbourhood. I've now come up with three questions I hope you'll be able to help me answer.

1. Why do certain drivers feel the need to have their ‘sound systems' on full blast?

The sunshine brings open-top cabriolets with windows rolled down and the desperate desire to check out the decibel readings of in-car entertainments systems.

The booming thud is reminiscent of the sound effects in the film Jurassic Park, sounding for all the world like old tyrannosaurus rex is learning to hip hop.

Surely that perpetual racket is detrimental to driving ability?

2. Why do some grandparents think toddlers and small children are hard-of-hearing?

Our near neighbours are a lovely young couple with two adorable children aged 4 and 2. One set of grandparents has been in attendance today and Gran has decided to conduct all communication at high volume.

Now these children are neither deaf nor stupid, just a little dazed as their delicate hearing balance has been assaulted by an outbreak of ‘babby chatter'. At times, one or other child has had a screaming fit and I've been inclined to join them. I think I'm going slightly mad.

3. Why do those who use their garden as an ‘outdoor room' think we all share their taste in music?

Down the street, a household has ‘treated' me to a trawl through their complete CD collection. At extremely high volume. This, in turn, has set the dogs off yapping and barking and caused the children to shriek at each other every time they want to speak.

So, it's tea-time and what's the current state of play? Can I finally relax and watch the sun go down? Well, the cruisers have gone home for a siesta before hogging the bathroom making themselves beautiful ready for a night of hedonistic clubbing.

The grandparents have taken away the kids for a sleep-over in anticipation of the Easter bunny, and the party people have retreated indoors in preparation for the inevitable barbeque and karaoke.

All's quiet on the western front, right? Wrong! The brat over the road has now emerged to pelt his wretched football against next-door's rickety wooden fence, which wasn't rickety before he moved in.

Ok, so playing in his own back garden is infinitely preferable to running riot in the middle of the road or legging it over front lawns, as is his usual wont, but when there's a perfectly good park with a huge green space not ten minutes away, I'll never understand why it isn't used more. Aargh!

So next Bank Holiday, you'll find me happily joining the multitude on the chaotic roads, as it'll be a damned sight quieter at the market/car boot sale/antiques fair/fun fair than in my back garden.

And just think, it's only 28 days until the next national day of R'n'R! Enjoy!

Leave a comment or raise new issues on The Stirrer message board.

©2006 The Stirrer