After work, the people who live below me just want to chill. They do this by eating pizza, and (it would appear) enjoying quite a lot of drugs, while playing thumping music. Only one of these is of any concern to me.
I didn’t want a war, but they’ve asked for one. Oh, they’ve asked for one. Playing music is hardly a crime, but I don’t mean ethereal whispers of pleasant sound wafting upwards on a summer’s day. I mean remorseless, unremitting thumpage. What’s worse, they’ve been playing the same track everyday between 7-9pm.
Due to complaints by fellow residents, a letter has been sent to them by the management company, worded in that eerily calm, reasonable, polite and yet intensely threatening manner used only by gangsters and the council. The sound diminished for a while, but gradually the level snakes up slowly until it’s at earbleeding full blast again.
Perhaps I should just shoot them. They deserve it. Or should I remind them that if I can hear the music, I can hear everything else, because they do everything loudly, with the door open. I could record them, and slip a tape under their door, hoping that embarrassment might shut them up.
Or maybe I could get medieval on their arse, and pour boiling water, or oil through the gaps in the decking on the balcony. Or build a badly constructed wormery outside, and then fail to recapture escapees.
I could report them to the council. The Environmental Health dept are badasses; they’ve got noise meters, and they can confiscate a stereo, or fine miscreants up to £1000 for polluting the silence. When they are cautioned, my neighbours briefly turn the volume down, but then friends visit, they want to stand in another room and enjoy the tunage.
Or could play my own music really loud; I have some very shit music that I could blast out at antisocial hours. But that could earn me a similar fine, so probably best not. I could time when they are asleep and press their buzzer. I could – when some confused visitor of theirs mistakenly presses my buzzer at 4am claiming to be a ‘pizza delivery’ - tell the drugs squad. The thing is, I sort of believe in karma, or rather the ancient Northern philosophy of what goes around comes around again to bite you on the arse. So best not.
In another block, close by, some renegades were given forty eight hours notice to quit by their landlord, after a tide of complaints about similar behaviour. I wish I was that lucky.
I could move out, but it's likely that another block would share the same problem: loud modern stereos too powerful for the thin newbuild walls, and used by inconsiderate neighbours.
I could reason with them. I could explain the distress they are causing me. But I would do so in the sure and certain knowledge that they don’t give right royal flying fuck what I think, as they will move out, and they’ll get a reference, or lie, and inflict themselves on someone else. They’d also know who I am, and I’d know who they are; an incendiary situation. Anonymity is desirable, and so I sit simmering, waiting for them to go, out so that peace, and my own music choices can prevail in my own home. But I just wish it would stop. How can I make it stop?