Tuesday, September 29, 2009

*Beep* *Beep* *Beep*

The usual cliche is, "They must lay awake at night dreaming up new ways to irritate...", but that's not the case here. My Trinity From Hell *initates* its assaults as the day wanes so I can lay awake all night. Here is their latest:

I am awakened on Sunday night at 11:30 p.m. to a *beep* (2 secs) *beep* (2 secs) *beep* . . .

It is a sound familiar to everyone with a microwave oven, except these are not the closely spaced beep, beep, beep's. No, this audible warning seemed to be more that of an electonic gadget that has run out of storage media or was emitting its low-battery tone. Either way, it appeared to be coming from the neighbors' back porch, so I got up and placed a sound recorder to capture its duration.

The Monday morning recording picked up Theresa's 12:30 a.m. entrance onto the floodlit outdoor staging area, her multiple midnight meanderings around the gravel-covered yard to gather foodstuffs from various compressor-cooled appliances, and the metallic tap, tap, tap of her spatula on the catering truck's grill as she fried up some egg-sausage concoction to stuff into breakfast burritos.

The *beep* (2 secs) *beep* (2 secs) *beep* continued, even though Tight-Lipped Theresa traveled through the back porch several times over a couple hours.

Finally, at 2:00 a.m. Monday morning, . . . *beep (2 secs) *beep* (door banging) *beep* (2 secs) *bee/ (silence) . . .

Of course, the recorder continued and picked up the predawn Ice Bucket Brigade by Corky from 3:00 to 4:00 a.m., and the grand departure of the rumbling Monster Kitchen captained by the Alpha herself. Because this was a Monday morning, it also recorded the diesel truck deliveries by Crystal Dairy and Oroweat to TLCC's illegal commissary. Corky's 6:15 a.m. commute is also on it.

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Most people hearing noise define it as "unwanted" sound. On the flip side, those creating the noise claim it is music (or money) to their ears. Everything is terribly subjective and the endless argument ensues with each side claiming superior interest.

Those who run the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse (NPC) wrestled with that problem for years before going back to the earlier definition of noise as sound that was out-of-place or inharmonious (see the article, The Nature of Noise, found on page 4 of The Quiet Zone, Fall 2006, a newsletter published by the NPC.) Icemakers grinding away, plastic pails and bumping wheelbarrows, yard radios, and electronic thingies beeping are certainly out-of-place at night; certainly out-of-place next to your neighbors window; completely out of harmony with the quiet that should prevail in a residential neighborhood. In other words, precisely the reason zoning laws came about in the early 1900's and the reason Manteca has such an ordinance today.

But for some reason the simian officers of the City of Manteca stand by - blind, deaf, dumb, and stupid.

- - - - - - -

An intriguing follow-on to the *beeps* from Monday morning occurred twenty-four hours later on Tuesday morning. Well after T, L, and C doused their house lights and retired, their back porch light came on briefly, indicating someone was up and about. Three hours later, at Theresa's 12:00 midnight cue, the house lights came on. Five minutes later, a large passenger truck (Bronco, Suburban, or somesuch) backed out of the driveway at 810 Fishback and swept its headlights across my house windows as the driver turned northward and drove away.

So what? you ask. In this cat-and-mouse game, they try to keep me guessing, too, so here are my two speculations:

A. One - or more - of the Mobile Meal Mavens had a lover for the evening, but he had to leave when cooking duties called... or he couldn't perform when the lights went on. (After all, we're only brain-storming here...)

B. The Ice Queens had a friend babysit their precious Icemaker Baby for a few hours of darkness while they slept. The changing of the guard took place at midnight upon one fair maiden's arousal. (Really makes you wonder what kind of Frog Prince - or Princess - would accept such a kiss!)

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