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It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad Neighborhood
Alfred, Lord Tennyson said it best: “In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”
Well, it is spring and if you listen you can hear the sounds of fancies being turned, and not all that lightly if you ask me, at the residence on my block that I have taken to calling The Primate House.
It is a duplex occupied by anywhere between 8 and 16 college-age men. I can’t give you an accurate count because they’re coming and going at all hours and I never have been able to figure out who really lives there and who is just staying until the hangover wears off.
Anyway, the natives, who are usually restless, have been even more so since the snow melted, bringing with it the possibility of interacting with women who were not cocooned in three layers of outerwear. By this I mean they have turned up the volume and extended the hours of the whooping and whistling, the honking car horns and screeching tires, the slamming doors and bellowing conversation.
Well, it’s “conversation” of a sort. He is an example of two of the young gentlemen greeting one another:
Obviously, we’re not talking about George S. Kaufman and Robert Benchley trading bon mots at the Algonquin Round Table.
If I seem a bit cranky about the bacchanal down the street, it’s only because it seems to go on all night, every night, including those hours when normal people, and also people like me, are trying to sleep. I might be able to snooze right through it, but my ever-vigilant dog can’t, and the dog believes that if she’s awake in the middle of the night I should be too. You can see the problem.
On the other hand, I must confess a grudging admiration for their indefatigable constitutions. I’ve known some party monsters in my day and these guys are as good as it gets. Just the amount of beer can and pizza box recycling they do is enough to get them nominated for the Hall of Fame.
The problems – and yes, up and down the street they are largely perceived as problems, are two:
A. Every one of those knotheads has an SUV, which means a street that used to have plentiful parking is now experiencing its own form of gridlock. Basically, if you get home after 5 you’re parking two blocks over.
B. A nice, quiet residential neighborhood has been, shall we say, somewhat transformed.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Mike, you’re just jealous because they’re having all the fun and reminding you of your own lost youth, those bygone days when you, too, were 21 and bulletproof.” Of course I am.
But I’m also tired. Really tired. Not tired enough to show up at their doorstep in my bathrobe with a Louisville Slugger in my hands and their skulls in my sights, but I could get there.
And now it’s spring and they’re young men with turning fancies. If it’s loud now, imagine how it’s going to be if the party goes co-ed. But am I concerned? Nope. There’s even a saying that comes to mind: What – me worry? That’s not Alfred, Lord Tennyson, though.
Think “Mad” magazine.
Alfred, E. Neuman.
© 2011 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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