08/14/04 — Those infernal booming vehicles

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Those infernal booming vehicles

You would probably get your head bashed in if you did some of the things that come to mind when you hear those loud car speakers.

You know the ones. A bunch of cars will be knotted up at a stoplight, and the drivers and passengers in all but one car have their index fingers stuck in their ears. In the other car a young man is bouncing around on his seat to the deafening boom-boom-boom of a stentorian bass drum, or bass something. His car windows shake with every boom, and you know this is the car that is broadcasting the bass.

The booms come relentlessly and painfully, like Chinese water torture. They enter both ears and plow through the head and meet in the middle, where they seem to explode. While the fragments are still soaring, the bass sounds again, and in comes another boom and off goes another explosion. Tears flow from the eyes, blood from the nose. Each eruption pushes against the backs of the eyeballs and presses the brain into the skull in all directions. You grab your head to hold it in one piece until you can make your getaway.

Now that is a noise problem.

For several months, the Wayne County commissioners and the Planning Board have considered whether to require people in certain areas to insulate new houses against airplane noise. Limits have been proposed for decibels — decibels being the units in which loudness is measured. The county wants to make sure no one is so aggravated by the decibels from the airplanes that there will be constant complaints about Seymour Johnson Air Force bass.

Forget the airplanes. A possum nesting beside the runway wouldn’t be exposed to half the decibels that you can get at a stoplight from one of those booming cars. When one of them goes by, you can’t even hear the planes.

Someday, someone, driven insane by the amplified booms, is going to tap on the window of one of those cars and try to introduce the driver to the serenity of soft, still silence.

It would be a good idea if our law enforcement officers stepped in first and enforced our noise ordinances, for the sake of both peace and quiet.

Published in Editorials on August 14, 2004 11:25 PM