Category Archives: Rants

Conversations Not Meant To Be Heard — And Yet They Are

My WordPress brother, Will Bailey, of NailsBails, inspired me to rant a bit on the subject of human noise pollution. Now, I won’t even get into leaf blowers, that’s a whole universe unto itself. Oh, that reminds me, there’s an awesome movie starring Tim Robbins who plays a guy at war with all the car alarms that go off near his apartment in New York City. It is oh so aptly entitled, “Noise.” He moves to the suburbs and then has to deal with leaf blowers. Needless to say, he doesn’t handle any of it well. I’m not saying I’m on the verge of becoming unhinged over my pet peeve but a peeve is a peeve and so here goes.

I live in a vibrant neighborhood, I suppose. Lots of stuff going on and that leads to a number of random human interaction about this and about that. Why, I ask, can’t these conversations be held at a normal speaking volume. No, these conversations, the ones my ears helplessly pick up while I’m trying to engage in something I consider significant (blogging!) or just passively doing something marginal (blogging?), are quite distracting and annoying.

Here’s a classic pet peeve: The endless farewells. My neighbors are like caught in midstep, immobilized by supposedly interesting conversation. It seems like they’re just about to go but they’re not going anywhere. They won’t budge. This is always true about any group that has just finished meeting. It’s the meeting after the meeting and it occurs just as everyone appears to have said their final goodbyes. Why do this? Could it get any worse? Well, sure, anything can get worse. What is worse are the unwanted conversations blasting into one’s home coming from just down the street. There are two main types. One is the party people roaming around after last call. Sure, they’re very happy and life is grand but do I have to hear about it when, instead, I’d much rather be…sleeping?

The other one on my mind: Contractors involved in some project of great significance…to them! The lead contractor usually is quite proud of himself and feels compelled to describe the project in all its glorious details repeatedly ad nauseam. Again, I ask, why do this? I don’t care if something is really going to be a devil to complete and it will require certain attributes and resources to get the job not only done but done right. It’s painful to hear. It doesn’t require listening. It just streams right into my poor innocent bystander ears. Maybe it would be tolerable if it lasted for only a little while but, no, this is marathon blathering.

Alright, I feel better, at least for now. It’s only temporary. I will still cringe at the sound of unexpected laughter. You’d think anyone would welcome unexpected laughter. But, no, it’s not always welcome, especially coming from an overzealous contractor, with unlimited energy, all set to explain to anyone within earshot what he’s about to do, what he’s already done, what he had for lunch, what he plans to have for lunch, and so on.

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