Hate Is a Very Strong Word

But it doesn't quite cover what I felt when I was pulled out of sleep at 3 a.m. this morning by the idiots in the building diagonally behind my house playing Rock Band.

In those first hideous moments of consciousness, when I was trying to suss out what the hell was going on, I assumed they were just (ha--just) playing music really loudly, with no consciousness of or care for the insane hour. But then the song, with its annoying bass line, repeated over and over and over.

I assumed someone in the motley crew would gaze at a clock at some point and think, Hey, it's 3 o'clock on a Monday morning, and the few shreds of decency to which we cling suggest that perhaps we could, say, not have every single window and door in our flat open while we amplify our video game. But no.

Also incorrect was my assumption that, when I went out into our backyard and called up--politely, I might add--to a boy hanging out one of the windows and chatting on his phone, he would respond. No.

So I called the police. They may have shown up, as the din died down for a while somewhere around 4.20. But then, miraculously, I looked at my clock and managed to surmise that it was 4.49, and sound was flowing anew. Redial. Loopy plea to the police dispatcher to do something, anything, to make it stop, as I was losing my mind. She sweetly promised she'd send someone out.

At 5.30, it got quiet, and I tried to calm my racing heart by thinking about Gandhi (what would he do if the Raj blared Rock Band at him mid-sleep, hmmmm?) and Rachmaninoff's Vespers and an eye for an eye leaving the whole world blind. Sooner or later I fell asleep, half contemplating blaring "Morning Edition" out in the yard when I woke up to officially face the day.

Last night I did the responsible thing. But tonight, crapwad neighbors, if I so much hear one thump of bass leaking out your windows, I will not be above scrawling a polite request to keep it down onto an egg and tossing it your way.