I have not been a happy curtain twitcher, if you could see my face you would offer to help pack the enormous bags under my eyes. If you were to offer a wayward comment you may be shocked to see that my inner lioness has indeed reared its ugly head in time for International Day of the Lion. I am tired and ratty, if there is someone who needs taking out, give me a call, I am up for that task.
The reason for such a nasty mood from an otherwise calm (albeit inquisitive) person? Music! Loud thumping music, travelling through the air in the dead of night, assaulting my ears and waking me from my slumber. I am fuming.
The culprits do not even live in the street, they are Ian’s niece and nephews, house sitting whilst the pair take a trip to Portugal, topping up their fake tans with real ones and sipping exotic cocktails under tented canopies on the golden beach. I know this because the description has been repeated many times to Mand, Catherine and even Margaret, who having had the same two weeks in Bognor every year since she married Reg almost turned green with envy.
I hope Ian and Raphe have a lovely time, I honestly do, but turning over their house to three party age people is thoroughly irresponsible, and, if peace is not restored at night in the street, a riot could ensue.
Reg was all for calling the police, but was calmed by Jacinta, who likes to approach any problem in a more positive manner.
'They are just being young people, all we’ve got to do is put some boundaries in place.’
‘Boundaries, I’ll show them boundaries, let me box their ears, we’ll see how they like listening to music then.’
‘Hmm, that could cause them to increase the volume.’ I didn’t consider this to be particularly helpful from Tom, especially as Reg started to turn a spectacular hue of red.
‘It is only for two weeks’, Suzy had rarely slept since the baby was born and actually looked like the nightly party vibe was a welcome break from the relentless crying that she usually suffered, again the red in Reg’s cheeks darkened.
The small group eventually appointed Jacinta as the spokesperson and she agreed to talk to the three people in question.
That evening I looked forward to a decent night’s sleep, the term getting my beauty sleep could not have been more relevant, the lack of rest had my jowls heading towards my feet, by the end of the week I would be resembling the aged lion in looks as well as personality.
Sadly the softly, softly positive approach failed spectacularly and at two o’clock in the morning the road turned into one of the night clubs that the press have us believing are in sharp decline. The street looked like a scene from the Pyjama Game with Reg, Margaret, Tom and Catherine standing outside the offending house in various types of nightwear and slippers. I know I digress slightly but I would never have taken Margaret for a high heeled slippers type of person, although Catherine’s silky negligee was no surprise, or Tom’s balding towelling robe, which had clearly seen better days.
After a lot of banging and much shouting the music was duly stopped and everyone returned to their own house. The anti-music appreciation society had grown in size the next day and was in full flow when Ken sauntered over to see the cause of the gathering, a man who believed music could cure all ills he did however see the reason for our anger.
‘I can sort this out in two words,’ he said, we looked at him in awe of his confidence, desperate to believe this claim to be true, apart from Reg who snorted in derision.
Agreeing to leave the problem to Ken the group disbanded, hoping that a meeting the next day would not be required. Wasting no time he disappeared to the flat above the shop and reappeared again quickly with a tape recorder and a set of tapes, he then enlisted the help of Tom who he equipped with some head phones. Tom was given a seat outside number where he sat reading the paper and playing the tape recorder at full pelt.
After a night of partying the guests of the house were sleeping soundly, until the strains of the music filtered to their brains. One by one they came out of the front door, demanding to know what was going on.
‘Just listening to some sounds’, came Tom’s reply, ‘Barry Manilow, one of my favourites’.
The music played until 7pm that evening and Tom was there again from 7 the next morning. There had been no disturbance in the night.
The next day there was a meeting but this time to praise Ken’s ingenuity, he was unusually humble, ‘I stole the idea from the BBC’, he said, ‘no worries’.
I had to google it and sure enough the following story appeared on the BBC in 2006,
‘Barry Manilow has been enlisted to fight anti-social behaviour in Sydney, where his music will be piped into a car park to disperse youths.’
Ken was right, just two words - Barry Manilow.