Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A mortal enemy identified

Faithful readers, I have identified a mortal enemy. This is a person I cannot stand to be near, but somehow, tracks me down no matter where I've been in the Army, no matter what my living conditions have been.

This enemy is tenacious and tireless. He will not be dissuaded from his mission, which is to bug the shit out of me. He will not cease, surely, until either I or he is dead -- and defeating him is like cutting off one of the mythical hydra's heads: where one was, two more spring up to take its place.

This enemy is the private with the huge sound system.

I'm not sure where these guys get the money to buy speakers as huge as they do. But it never fails: a new guy moves into the barracks, straight out of training, and he pulls in with a pickup truck full of gigantic speaker cabinets.

I would completely understand if he was, say, a member of Rage Against the Machine or something. Then it would make sense. But it's not as if these dudes even have any musical taste to pump through their gigantic speakers. It's always genuine, certifiable shit they're blasting; usually Li'l John or Nickelback or Linkin Park or 50 Cent.

And they play it so loud that my walls shake (yes, they always live next door). In Korea, I could swear some days I lived next door to the practice studio for Run DMC and Stomp. This kid could shake the coins off the wooden sham that ran around the wall of my room.

Here, at least for a while, I lived in peace. But they're standing up a new battalion here, and the influx of brand new privates has brought with it an influx of brand-new Kenwood and Bose speaker systems, as well as multiple copies of the new Staind album, 50 Cent's latest offering, and, perhaps worst of all, more Linkin Park. They come into the barracks with the new arrivals like rats off a ship that's just reached the new world, ready to spread pestilence and disease across the virgin population.

Some Saturdays, I'll be lying in my bed, hungover from the night before, trying to hide from the light outside. But nothing I can do can protect me from the barrage of thumping bass beats that starts up when my next-door neighbor decides the community hasn't heard Li'l John scream "YEAH" for too long.

Look, all joking aside guys, it doesn't have to be that loud. It really doesn't. I love music -- loud bands like the Who and AC/DC and Rage Against the Machine and the Misfits and NOFX. But I don't need to make YOUR eardrums bleed in order to fully appreciate the experience of hearing "Stickin' In My Eye," okay? Turn it the hell down, you'll still be able to hear it, I promise.

Either that, or transfer to an artillery unit, where no one can hear a damn thing.