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Unhinged: The Line Between The Bothered And The Botherer

Unhinged: The Line Between The Bothered And The Botherer

I learned early on that it was best to get along with your neighbors instead of pissing them off. I wasn’t a little a-hole kid…the worst thing I did was usually raid the neighbor’s pluot tree before she got a chance to pick some fruit. If that’s the worst thing I ever did, I’m alright. In my Army days, I simply disappeared to someplace nice and quiet if I was going to do something royally stupid and loud. I didn’t bother anybody and for the most part, nobody bothered me. That’s not saying I didn’t bother somebody, I’m sure I have…I’ve owned a lot of loud, obnoxious, and visually offensive cars in my day. My 1973 Chevelle shook the pictures off of my neighbor’s walls. The Mirada sounded nice and raw once I had headers put on it, and my Diplomat’s 360 breathed through the catalytic converters and that was that. It’d be quiet enough if I babied it, but when I got on it, that car would straight-up BARK. Even the Imperial, once headers got put on, sounded rowdy. I’m sure people in New Jersey are just loving the hell out of that machine.

Here’s the thing, though: part of being good neighbors is being open to communication. What does that mean? Take a normal residential block. Five houses. Four of those houses are any random family of any age. House #5 is a gearhead. They aren’t an ass about it…no burnouts up and down the street, no needless revving, no rips straight from the driveway. But their car has the siren song to our ears going for it. In one of those other four houses, at least one person isn’t going to appreciate that noise. Fair enough. Now, what happens if they approach the gearhead and complain about the noise? There’s two ways to look at it: you can either tell them to suck eggs, or you can find some kind of compromise. If you know you can be a little bit quieter, do so. That’s just being cool about it. If you were already being cool about it, then explain that you’re doing your best and hopefully the other person will at least compromise with you.

Don’t however, be like this guy’s neighbor. Apparently they didn’t like the music of our people and proceeded to leave a note and filled his exhaust with expanding foam. Here’s the note:

If it were me, there’d be a Facebook post offering up a block party after this. Bring your hot rods, your muscle cars, your big diesel truck. Want to bring your nitromethane-breathing dragster? Sure! Want to bring a BBQ and some good food to cook? Bring it on! Invite the neighbors you know aren’t uptight pricks over, have a cold one, share some stories. Have a gearhead blowout until the neighborhood asshole shows up with expanda-foam in hand. With so many people having fun and so many loud, scary engines around, they’ll show up, guaranteed.

Now, what do you do once they magically appear? If it were me, I’d have enough Silly String to re-wrap an Egyptian Mummy at the ready and three teenagers on Facebook Live ready and waiting for things to go down. Arrest me afterwards, I dare you. Assault with Silly String? Please.


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13 thoughts on “Unhinged: The Line Between The Bothered And The Botherer

  1. phitter67

    My brother invited me to “repave” the street in front of his house one time. When his neighbor came out screaming at him about it, he simply reminded her of her son’s lame attempts at doing the same.

    1. Richard endal

      I try to be like animals and not s##t in my own bed so I almost always tread lightly on my own street, however that still leaves LOTS of places to rattle windows or leave your signature on the pavement

  2. Jeff

    In my town it’s the all about morons in their junk loud diesels with trash cans for exhaust tips doing burnouts and everyone that owns a harley only knowing full throttle and first gear. I seriously hate them all. I try to be respectful to others, most people anymore don’t think a second about their actions.

    1. Anthony

      I’d cut the mufflers off a drive around like that for a week. I’d toss the old mufflers through the MF’rs front door with a bag of dog shit too. Scowl at everyone at first. You dont have to be friends with everyone either.

  3. Pizzandoughnuts

    The noise is one thing in our hood, but the speed (because people avoid the light 2 blocks away) we have a bank and a gas station at one end of our street and a T intersection at the other. People have gone full throttle down our narrow street at least at 50+, there’s children all around our neighborhood. All to get there money for lunch or to gas up then fly back up our hill to the hospital? Beit diesel ricers or JDM ricers, or even moms in there sedans.

  4. Henrik

    I seriusly hate people that only Think of Their own needs. In my little neighburhood we have them all. I learned from wery Young not to be an asshole an Think of others around me. But i guess most other people did not learn that as a Child. Its all fun an games til someone hits a kid or gets his ass beat. I dont understand the need to make crazy noise just because you can. World would be a better place if everybody showed just a little consideration for others. O and by the Way if had not just foamed his tailpipes, i would have set it on fire to make a statement.

  5. Brian Cooper

    We have a punk with a straight piped Mustang in my area. He makes a point of going WOT on the 1/4 mile stretch between mee and my neighbor. Well, he did until a good buddy of mine who is a Deputy started doing his paperwork in my driveway in his patrol car. Problem has been solved for months.

  6. Brett

    Having been the butthead with the obnoxious van with nothing more than header and glass packs, now that I’ve grown up, I try not to give the look at me types to much trouble. But I have zero respect for passive aggressive note leavers. Open your damn mouth and have a conversation, it’s not that tough and then you can both learn something new.
    Rant over.

  7. old man

    I dont like some a hole show off around kids they should have their driving rights taken away.But if its to load your too old i love a harley at full song and i dont ride. A muscle car sounds good also by the way i am 70

  8. tw

    I have this exact problem with the two teenagers living across the street . Two Mazda 3 with fart exhausts . It\’s not about the car itself but how you use it . And they use them …a lot . The police here in Quebec is very lax , and don\’t care about this . In fact , they don\’t care about a lot of things … It brings me satisfaction thinking about spraying insulating foam in the exhaust tips , but I\’l never do it .

  9. Clark

    I would cut those mufflers off and leave them on their porch, then proceed to drive without any for a minute. And if it came up I would refer the other neighbors to that guy.

  10. David Sanborn

    For a year I lived five blocks down the street from a motorcycle repair shop in a quiet Austin neighborhood. Quiet except for one of the employees who rode the world’s loudest Harley and who also used our street to test ride the shop bikes. After months of his maximum decibel shenanigans I flagged him down and told him my father was dying from Parkinson’s Disease in the house adjacent to me and that his deafening BS was ruining what little sleep he was capable of getting.
    Made no difference at all.
    Had I not been finalizing a house purchase far away I might’ve used my excellent marksman skills on him. I don’t agree with passive aggressive notes. I do agree with telling people that you’re about to go ballistic on them if they don’t show some manners. Then it’s perfectly ethical to burn their homes down while they’re asleep.


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