For two years, a friend of mine has been living in a used-to-be-quiet Chicago suburb. During the same period, he’s also been living in a nightmare.
A couple of summers ago, a middle aged man purchased the house next door to Louis. The guy never moved in. Instead, his two teenage sons set up house in the property – alone. The father lived two miles away in another house, presumably a home where he didn’t have to listen to his sons, hear their bang-up collection of musical instruments, or lay eyes and ears on the gang of would-be rock stars who hung out there.
Louis was not so lucky. Day and night, for 24 months, the teenagers played their… okay, let’s just say they made an ear-splitting racket.
What did Louis do about it? What didn’t he do?
• Louis appealed by letter and in person to the father, who simply denied the noise, shrugged, and went silent.
• He appealed to the community association, which wrote to the father. Though he rented another property nearby where he actually lived, the father denied his boys lived in the house next door to Louis alone. Other neighbors in the cul-de-sac complained too. The community association sympathized, but told Louis they could do nothing. “Call the police,” they said.
• Louis did call the police — several times. He complained about minors living in the house alone. He reported the loud music. He detailed the license numbers of the many cars that came and went at all hours. Nada.
• So Louis investigated noise ordinances and other “nuisance” statutes. He learned that, without a lawyer and a lawsuit, he stood little chance of stopping the noise invasion.
Did the kids eventually give up their musical careers? No. The noise and clamor went on 10 feet from Louis’ bedroom for two years. He never got used to it. But finally, he got lucky. One day the kids moved out.
“The cul-de-sac has come back a bit since these thugs have moved,” Louis reports. “People are out working in their yards, taking walks, and talking to one another. It’s very subtle, but, I think, noticeable. It is interesting how bad energy like this impacts not just peace and quiet, but also the general mood.”
This tale of tunes may be over for now, but who knows what other home invasion will visit my friend … or what similar noise nuisance is plaguing you right now.
Really, folks, what can we do when neighbors don’t care about our quality of life? This is serious.
Finally, if you think loud music is no big deal, listen to this YouTube video (below) detailing how some musicians have joined Reprieve, a legal organization that is calling for the dissolution of music being used as a torture device. That’s right, some people claim that incessant loud music has been used to torture detainees. “It is torture,” says Donald Vance, a detainee in Iraq, who claims the music he was forced to listen to while a prisoner nearly drove him to suicide.
Okay, so maybe your neighbors aren’t that loud. But incessant music and noise is a big deal. Just ask Louis… and please do stay with us at Home Invasion News as we search for the solutions some irate neighbors and community associations have devised to drown out the music that drives us crazy.