Saturday, June 07, 2008

Musings from a Wonderfully Diverse Neighborhood - Let Your Engine do the Talking --- Peter Frampton Comes Alive in my Alley

Life on my street, Cedar Bough, is very peaceful the majority of the time. You might say it’s perfectly charming. However, a recent stint on the front porch was interrupted several times by a motorcycle passing nearby at a high rate of speed with the engine wide open. That thing had to be turning about a million rpm’s.

I’ll not pretend to understand this act, especially the need to try to blow up an engine. Is it an attempt to impress? Is there a hormone imbalance involved? Is it a way to channel rage?

Regardless, this event combined with seeing Peter Frampton in a GIECO commercial triggered the memory of another event from spring 2007. I’d written the below back then and never posted it. Here it is:

I live in close proximity to an apartment complex. It’s right behind my home, across the alley. 99.9% of the time it’s fine by me. Folks back there are typically downright friendly. But, as is inevitable in any neighborhood anywhere, you get the occasional bad apples.

A recent Saturday night on the Bough was a good example. Sometimes the bliss that we all typically enjoy in our personal relationships can suddenly turn ugly. If it’s a really bad turn you may even end up in my alley at 11pm screaming at the top of your lungs at your partner.

This is exactly what happened to some of the residents behind my home – their domestic discourse just could not be contained by the walls of their apartment. Out to the alley they rolled. I won’t bore you with the chatter they exchanged but suffice to say it was a rather uninspired expletive laden exchange.

If you’ve been in my position you can probably identify with my thought process. The phone is in the hand. The numbers 9-1-1 are about to be pushed. But deep down, I’m thinking that the last f-bomb may signify they’ve run out of steam and will call it a night.

And it appeared my wish had come true. There was silence for a while. But then there was a new sound. Was that a car door? Then I heard the engine. Oh dear God, was it the guy who drives the heavily modified late 80’s Trans Am who had been doing the arguing?

I believe that every time this guys fires up that monster, the temperature rises ever so slightly in my alley and across the planet and pieces of the artic ice shelf crash into the ocean.

It was him. This guy was mad and yelling just wasn’t good enough to get his point across. So he decided to let his V8 do the yelling for him. And he had a lot say. I’d never imagined the use of an engine as a communication tool. But here he was, sitting idle but shoving his foot on the accelerator time after time. He was yelling at his mate with his engine. Was this guy a Peter Frampton* fan?

There were a couple of spins around the block for him. At least that’s what I remember. It wasn’t long after this episode that the lovely couple moved out.

Life on the Bough went back to being perfectly charming.

*Reference is to his album “Peter Frampton Comes Alive” and the use of a talk box in several songs. It’s hard to imagine why the talk box didn’t gain more popularity and wide use.

1 comment:

john said...


I like your approach and your motto:

"Holes be there. Holes be gone."

Ha, that's great!

We're doing the same thing back here in Portland, Maine. You can see some video here:

Reports from the Field:

John Leeke
by hammer and hand great works do stand