Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thumper Takes the Hint

It's been a week of rough nights, so when my body refused to cooperate this morning, I called in sick to work. I'm taking a $70 "wellness day." (Lately I've taken to evaluating my need for time off according to the cash payout said time would bring if I was able to quit the City tomorrow.) I slept on and off until noon and poured myself a steaming vat of Starbucks Sidamo and read some overdue Kipling. Maybe I'll get it to the library tomorrow, along with the $4 I owe for the DVDs I took back a day late two weeks ago.

Apparently it's spring break in Evanston, and it's brought about an unfortunate hiatus in my house mates' collective transition to adulthood. None of them is working this week, as far as I can tell, nor is any of them sleeping, apparently. Shaggy -- whose new name is Thumper -- has been remodeling/jumping rope/harvesting hay in the rooms above me until the wee hours of the morning. I've tried to be tolerant, thinking maybe I just need to learn to live with a certain amount of noise, but last night he commenced some intermittent activity that produced a grinding noise directly above my head. It was almost 1 a.m. and I had been asleep for about an hour.

So far this week I've refrained from actually knocking on his door, but I've pounded on the ceiling with the broom handle and whacked the walls with unloved books (Annie Proulx, are you reading this?), and that's been pretty effective. But last night on my way to get the broom I had an epiphany. I grabbed my keys instead.

Puck is all demon. Puck doesn't beep politely like small cars should. When I hit the 'lock' button on the fob, Puck lets out an aggressive, low-pitched blast that makes passersby jump and hurry. I've been parking him right behind the slumbering Cadillac since his arrival here, so he's pretty much directly below Thumper's bedroom window, right on the other side of my bedroom wall. I waited until I heard the noise again and I hit the button twice, with a deliberate and measured pause between. Puck barked two angry tones like an irritated pit bull and brought about instant silence. I must assume that Thumper got the message, because I heard nothing out of him until about 10:00 this morning.

So I've called into being my very own robotic Robin Goodfellow, a little bit jester, a little bit thug, a lot finesse. I don't know what I expected when I ordered the car, but I got more than I bargained for. The only drawback to a sick day is that I can't go for a drive.

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