Posted by: Rob | April 8, 2008

Renters – An update

Sunday evening, we had retired for the night. Monday morning was back to work for me and a back to school day for Katy. We were in bed by a little after 10:30 pm, each doing a bit of reading. Just before 11 we turned off the lights. As is usual these days, our bedroom window was open a bit to get a bit of fresh air and keep the room cool for sleeping.

And then it started. Deep, throbbing bass lines and a percussion track invaded our sleeping space. After a time, I got up and closed the window. That did little to keep the insidious racket out of our ears, out of our heads. After a while, there was a curious repetition of a few bars from a Bon Jovi tune – Dead or Alive. Over and over and over: Duh duh dum dum da da dum (Dead or alive). It hit me then that the noise was really some one or ones jamming. That would explain the quality of the equipment and its ability to transcend bricks and mortar barriers between the source and us.

This has gone on before, but it seems like most nights it ends relatively “early”. Sunday night seemed to be an exception. WIth the start of a busy week for all looming, we could not afford to kick it off with a sleep debt. Something had to be done. Normally, one would go over personally, knock on the door and ask for the noise to be throttled down. But it was late, I was already undressed and disinterested in a late night confrontation. So instead, I looked up the county’s noise complaint number and called in a complaint.

The conversation with the RCMP dispatcher certainly highlighted many aspects of the state of today’s suburban relationships:

Dispatcher: “Do you know them?”

Me: “No, it’s a rental property and they just moved in a little while ago.”

Dispatcher: “How many live there?”

Me: “I don’t know. I think it’s a young couple with a baby, but I’m not sure.”

Dispatcher: “Are they having a party?”

Me: “No, I don’t think so. It actually sounds more like people playing instruments.”

Dispatcher: “What kind of instruments? Flutes?”

Me: “No. More like bass guitar and drums.”

Dispatcher: “Oh, so like a rock band?”

Me: “Well I did hear some Bon Jovi a bit ago.”

Dispatcher: “(laughs) Well maybe you could go over and sing for them?”

Anyway, it seems that in most suburban settings, we’ve become islands unto ourselves. Around here, it’s maybe a little more true since they are so many rental properties and the transient nature of tenants these days. It’s a far cry from our “good” neighbours to the south; when we moved in their little one was still a baby/toddler given to loud temper tantrums. They often worried that the yelling and screaming was disturbing us. (We never heard it, really, even with the crappy old wood frame windows.) They would apologize if they had a late night gathering in the back yard on a Saturday, complete with karaoke. We never heard that much either and sometimes they even invited us over.

I don’t know yet if the northern neighbour’s late night visit from an RCMP constable will make things better, worse or stay the same vis-à-vis the late night strains of yet another wanna-be rock star. I guess time will tell.

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Responses

  1. Man, I want to live in Canada, just so I can call the Mounties on noisy neighbors! The Mounties!

    I am easily amused.

  2. […] came to tame our noisy low-rent neighbors last weekend. My husband wrote about the incident in more detail on his blog, but the short version is that our next door neighbor is a Guitar Hero junkie who likes to fire up […]


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