09 September 2008

How Reggaeton Made my Neighbor snap.

There he was, standing with an aluminum bat banging pots and pans on Sunday evening.

I believe that he was protesting the music of his neighbors across the street, the ones who play Reggaeton from 10am in the morning until 10pm without a break. I do believe that the music must have blared directly into his living room or into his bedroom, all day, every day, for months on end...

He must not have been able to take it anymore. So he found his answer, a protest of sorts.

Bang. Bang. Bang. [aluminum bat on stainless steel pots and pans]

"How do you like me now, motherfuckers? What about now? You call the police! Policia! Policia!" the little wiry man called to his neighbors as he beat his stainless steel cookware with the metal bat.

At first I thought that this was a commentary, a demonstration of sorts to allow his neighbors to know some of the discomfort that he had experienced in the past. While I have found the music annoying at times, I would certainly never protest in such a manner. However, in the spirit of democracy, I let him have his say! Then the protest went on for far, far too long.

After thirty minutes had passed, I was at my wits' end. I didn't want to call the police on the angry little man, but I had to. It was time. And it turns out that several other of my neighbors had also called the police. The gentlemen and gentlewomen in blue didn't want to come to our relatively quiet street, but after being pestered by so many people, they finally came. And so, the angry little man settled down and went back into his house--until this morning.

Right before I was scheduled to leave for work at 8:00am, I heard the same voice yelling again, but this time he was not accompanied by a bat and pots and pans. This time, he just yelled at the Reggaeton house solo, cussin' and fussin' up a storm.

A neighbor asked him firmly to be quiet--she "didn't have time for none of his crap!" The angry little man in turn moved toward her menacingly and threatened her with a knife. (I heard about the knife part later from the dude who sits on the porch all day. Porch dude lives across the street from me. I wonder if he has a job?). The woman, of course, promptly called the police. And this time, they saw that it was fit to arrive on our street at a moment's notice.

Another neighbor said, "He[the angry little man] has been here for years and liked most of the changes in the neighborhood; however, I think that this music and other things going on in his life finally caused him to snap. Man. He finally snapped!"

Neighbor disputes are as old as time, but I wonder how much loud music is a catalyst for these disputes and eventual incidents?


cuff said...

In college we used music as a weapon against our dorm neighbor who had left his room for the evening with Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" on repeat and high volume...a few weekends later, my roommate and I turned our speakers to his wall, cranked up the Beatles's "Her Majesty" and left town for the weekend...

Dexter Colt said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that neighbor noise is the number one cause for spats between neighbors. I've seen more people flip out about noise than anything else.

I think a lot of it stems from the fact that we spend most of our time in quiet indifference to our neighbors. If my neighbors were loud on a regular basis I would kindly walk over and ask them if they could tone it down.

Then I'd reserve the right to flip out if they just blew me off.