Since the pandemic hit us in January of 2020, a curious situation has arisen in our lives. More cars seem to be speeding on the roads than I ever remember. Muffler-less cars or cars that have had their mufflers amplified are zooming loudly along the parkways. They are even zooming loudly, even drag racing on the streets—side streets, my street!
The parkway is about a mile from my house and you rarely heard the traffic from there in the pre-pandemic days. Now? From morning until, well, the next morning—24 hours a day to be exact—those modified cars are speeding, racing, making a roar. I have actually had racing dreams where I have incorporated the cars’ sounds into my REM sleep.
“Where are the cops?” my wife, the Beautiful AP asks.
“Probably taking care of the riots,” I’d say. In fact, New York City has and is experiencing not only riots but an upsurge in crime that is beginning to make the City look like the pre-Bloomberg and pre-Giuliani days. People are getting battered, sexually assaulted, and shot in broad daylight.
But who are the sods making such a racket on the parkways and roads in my once-upon-a-time sleepy suburban community? I’ve met some of them during my teaching career and my post-teaching career when I toured America and Canada giving talks and lessons to thousands of adults.
My first reaction is to label them losers who need loudness to certify that they exist. You could see this propensity in certain high school students; they were loud, often obnoxiously so. Their voices would echo through the hallways and in some teachers’ classrooms (not mine thankfully). Their loudness called true attention to themselves. Their grades? Generally, crummy. Their vocal cords? Generally high-performing.
I posit that as they aged, school hallways gave way to streets and highways. The great outdoors meant that entire communities could hear now them.
There were a handful of adult students in my post-teaching career who were as loud as their teenaged counterparts. Still, “I roar therefore I am” is an apt description for the roaring ones both young and old.
Are these muffler-less drivers new? No. Are they many?” Definitely. Far more than I ever heard pre-shutdown. I ask you: What the hell is wrong with them?
Bing, Bang, Boom
I have two reasons why I hate fireworks on July 4th or on any day or night of the year. The first reason is personal and the second reason, well, that’s personal too.
The first is noise. Day and night on July 3rd and 4th and in recent years, on random days and nights throughout the entire year, we hear boom, boom, boom on our block somewhere. I actually don’t know who the firework’s king or queen is but I wish he or she would be deposed. Every firework that goes off sounds as if it’s on our doorstep, even if it isn’t.
My second personal reason is the fact that some 40 years ago my house caught fire from some idiot’s Roman candle landing on the roof and bingo! up came the flames. It wasn’t the house I live in now and it wasn’t with the person I am married to now. Still, I didn’t want my first wife to die; I just wanted a divorce.
The younger me climbed up a ladder, got on the roof, and watered everything down. I stayed there in case any more Roman candles landed, wondering if it had been a Roman candle that caused Rome to burn.
I don’t cause a racket blowing stuff up, probably for the same reason I don’t remove the muffler from my car and then drag race: I get enough attention elsewhere.
Most likely many of the bing, bang, boom sods are often the same losers who speed along in muffler-less cars. Please, would somebody give them some attention?
Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.