The basic definition of noise is unwanted sound. Life in a large urban center is a constant barrage of unwanted sound. Some streets may be quieter than others, but unless you are an eccentric recluse, when you venture forth into the urban landscape, you will, at some point be subjected to a barrage of noise.
Most city-dwellers are used to this constant cacophony and due to the complexity of the human brain, are able to block it out.
Some noises, however, are so irritating that they are impossible to ignore. Living in the greasy microcosm that is the rockabilly world, I have become overly sensitive to non-greasy sounds.
In my universe, loud rockabilly bands with furiously slapped upright basses, lakepipes screaming out of V-8 flatheads, the distinctive pop of a beer can being opened and the satisfying clang of tools hitting the shop floor are all familiar and soothing sounds to me and my ilk.
We live for the twang of a vintage guitar. Burn-out contests amuse us. When we see a band, the louder the better. We like everything loud.
There are sounds out there that are so dissonant, so offensive that it makes our teeth grit. Adrenaline courses through our veins and the involuntary desire to punch the offending noise-maker right in the face arises.
I speak for myself, and can safely say, for my greasy brethren everywhere. Here are some sounds that we find absolutely intolerable.
1. Hopped-up 4 cylinder cars.
I think everyone is familiar with these ridiculous contraptions. Tarted up with bolt-on fiberglass body parts and adorned with meaningless racing decals, the owners will install some nausea inducing muffler system with these large protruding paint can sized exhaust pipes.
About as far as cool as you can get, these deluded wannabes aimlessly cruise up and the down the strip while revving these mutated chainsaws to maximum rpm's.
A more blood-curdling sound could not be produced in hell itself, yet loud Harley riders keep getting ticketed, while these rice-rockets drive around with impunity.
When I hear those things, I can feel my blood pressure rising. An involuntary " Faaa-aaak!" is screamed out loud and I get a burning desire to throw rocks or pieces of dog shit at the butt-ugly plastic-mobiles.
The annoyance factor multiplies exponentially when the cars are right hand drive. Unless your James Bond, what the hell do you need a right hand drive for?
2. Hugga-Bugga mobiles.
In the same category as the rice-burners are the 8000 Watt gangsta wannabe pimp mobiles. You can feel them coming a mile away. All bass and no highs, these rolling woofers produce noise and no music.
The even have contests where they play 20 second bursts of one frequency to see how many body panels they can crack.
They only play hip hop it seems. That guarantees them they attention they crave so much, as they look around under their crooked ball caps amidst all the fake gold draped around their neck. It makes them feel bad-ass but they are just assholes.
That is not say that I disapprove of loud car stereos. Back in the dark ages of car audio, I had frankensteined 22 speakers into a car and it sounded great. A newspaper article called it the city's loudest car stereo and named it " Serge's insanity-mobile".
I blared rockabilly and country, and after numerous excessive noise tickets, I started to wonder if it was too loud ( it was) or if the cops just hated country music.
3. Drum circles.
I have ranted about the bane of my existence in many previous posts, therefore there is no need to elaborate. My disdain of this annoying urban phenomenon is well documented.
The monotonous drone, the random rhythm pumped out by the truly talentless, and the pretentious connotations make me nuts-o.
In a more barbaric world, a stick of dynamite would result in dirt, dreadlocks, pieces of birkenstocks and little shards of bongos flying in every direction.
I just keep walking until I can't hear them. A shot of whiskey and some Hank usually eradicates the "bad vibes, man".
4. Gaggles of retards.
When I was a kid, I would occasionally visit farms. I would go into the barn or chicken coop and agitate all the critters. The resulting mayhem would amuse me to no end. I just thought that scaring a bunch of cows or chickens into an absolute frenzy was hilarious.
A couple of hundred chickens, squawking and shrieking while trying to fly in vain and whacking in to each other was pure chaos. The resulting flurry of chicken shit and feathers just added to it.
Now picture yourself downtown on a Saturday night.
The mindless shrieks emanating from gaggles of suburban skanks in skimpy clothes, drunk from a few shots of Fireball, is just as riotous.
The Old Stock and testosterone fueled "woo-hoos" from the male counterparts, just add to the madness.
Judging from what I have heard, I don't think they are speaking any type of language. The random screeches, yelps and whoops are loud enough and annoying enough to make Mother Teresa take a swing at 'em.
The only clue that they might be speaking English are the numerous "ohmygawd" that intersperse the shrieking.
Ohmygawd are they ever gonna have a hangover.
5. Here's a few more random noises that elicit various reactions ranging from shut-the-fuck-up to the desire to stick an ice pick in your ear.
Wind chimes: Stupid hippies. How can that tinkly fucking noise relax you? After hearing 8 hours of that torturous shit, I would end up in a rubber room.
Jake Brakes. I know you're a big macho truck driver, but that truck has got regular brakes, don't it?
Cel phone yakkers: I'm glad the doctor told you those festering pustules aren't conatgious, but I did not need to know that.
Street rappers; Shut up. Shut up right now! You suck and you're from the 'burbs. Don't call me dog and straighten that hat you fucking idiot.
Mini-vans with broken mufflers: Hey Cletus, get some duct tape and bailing wire and fix that damn thing.
Loud whistles; How come all crackheads can whistle really loud and I can't? Shut up crackhead. Do your crack-shuffle and go downtown to get more crack.
Movie talkers; I rarely go to movies anymore because it sometimes ends in a fist fight. Shut up right now, fools!
49cc scooters: Sounds like a chainsaw on steroids. Don't you know how ridiculous you look?
Barking dogs: Fuck, train your dogs. Nice doggie, here's a nice drink of anti-freeze.
I-pods. Dude I can hear it from way over here. Even though you're busting a move you still suck. That's cool though, you'll be deaf in 20 years. Payback's a bitch.
Band yakkers: You come here to talk or listen to music? I 'm talkin' to you. Shut the fuck up!
Cans and bottles. Hey crackhead, get out of my dumpster.
Bad buskers: How come you still suck after ten years. No, I ain't got a quarter.
People that hum in public: Possibly a serial killer.
Crackheads screaming into broken pay phones: Now that's funny.
That's about it, here's hoping you have a nice quiet Saturday afternoon.