At 8 o’clock yesterday morning, I was awakened by the sound of a truck parking noisily outside my window. This was followed by some metallic clanking, some random hammering and banging around, and much loud talking. All of this seemed to point to a truth too terrible to be borne at 8 in the morning: scaffolding was being erected on our building.
I did my best to convince myself that I was still asleep, and after some indeterminate amount of time, the clanking and talking stopped and I managed to fall back to sleep for real. When I finally schlepped myself out of bed a few hours later and timidly peeked through the curtains to see what had been going on earlier, I saw with some relief that there was no scaffolding, only a freshly painted streetlamp and a sidewalk covered with the words “wet paint” written in chalk. Relief washed over me, because I realized I had been spared from weeks of early-morning construction and noisy builders.
Fate had one up her sleeve, though: a few hours later, another massive truck came along and deposited a few men who proceeded to make a major show of putting up scaffolding all over the building right across the street from us.
I could have cried. Not a month goes by here without some sort of work being done on some building or other on this street (and every other street in Brighton). The noise of the actual building work I could probably deal with. It’s certainly not pleasant to have to put up with drilling and hammering in the early hours of the morning and all day long, but I could grin and bear it. What I cannot abide, however, is the builders themselves.
That sounds really bad, but let me explain: I have a real problem with people being loud just for the sake of being loud. I have a keen ear for people in restaurants and elsewhere who talk, laugh and carry on at deafening decibels just to make a spectacle of themselves. I am allergic to people walking down the street at one in the morning, bellowing and singing at the top of their lungs because they’ve spent all night in the pub and they’re pissed and they want the rest of the world to know it. And I cannot stand the shouting, yelping, whistling, yelling, caterwauling and general pointless clamor that accompanies builders working on scaffolding.
In the process of writing this, I’ve had to put up with random whistling, bits of off-key singing, barking noises, chicken noises, squealing, whoops and hollers, shouted conversations and various other unidentifiable sound effects and sudden cries. Now, I understand that if one person is standing on scaffolding at the top of a building and another person is standing on the street, you have to yell at each other to be heard. But you don’t have to whoop for no reason. And you certainly don’t have to bark like a dog or rhythmically bang aluminum pipes together just to make some noise.
It is all so bloody irritating and utterly obnoxious that I am fighting the urge to lean out my window and either throw rocks at these clowns or just scream “SHUT THE HELL UP!” as loud as I possibly can - repeatedly. At this point, if I had a BB gun, I would consider making use of it - and the builders have only been around for one day. Another week or two of this, and I will be well and truly over the edge.
Why oh why is peace and quiet so sorely underrated?