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August 16th, 2006

things that go bump in the night

Last night I woke up at 3:30 am to the sound of loud rap music coming from our new neighbors on the third floor of our apartment building. Why they felt the need to turn their music up that loud when it was inaudible at midnight - when I originally went to sleep - is beyond me, but regardless of their reasoning it was a very unwelcome surprise. The volume was at its highest over my bedroom in the back of our apartment, so I went upstairs to one of the rear bedrooms and knocked on the door to get their attention.

Nobody answered the door, but there was always going to be a good chance that the residents were all hanging out in the front living room instead. I went down, around to the other side of the building, and back upstairs to try my luck a second time. After knocking on the door I could hear a fair amount of shuffling inside and one voice exclaim, "Oh shit, are we in trouble?" Next came a secretive bend in the blinds as someone inside peered out the window; they never answered the door though. After a few moments of waiting I did hear them turn down their music, so at least the trip wasn't a waste.

However, when I got back to my room I could still hear the bassline thumping from two floors above and every once in a while some loud voices filtered down as well. Had they turned down their music enough that I couldn't hear it I would have gone back to sleep. Had they answered the door earlier I would have gone back up with a sheepish look on my face and a request for them to be a little more considerate of the other people living in the complex. But hey, if you're too cool to talk with a guy in his pajamas at a quarter to four in the morning ... well, that doesn't leave me much choice but to find someone who can get your attention.

Nobody answered at the apartment front office, but over the weekend everyone had been given flyers outlining noise violation rules with the contact number of a police officer with a route through our part of town, and I gave him a ring to ask about some help. It's also worth mentioning that being reported for a noise violation results in a $100 fine - which apparently can be reduced for cooperating with the police - and each subsequent violation is a $500 fine and mandatory court appearance. It seems a little harsh, but if you want to be a jerk and not answer the door you're kind of asking for something like that to happen.