I used to have a group of very burned-out neighbors who would get together almost every summer night for drum circles. And they’d sing–or try to, anyway-- while they were at it. The overall effect, on good nights, was that of shrieking baboons randomly throwing the furniture at cows. Over and over and over and over…
I went to their place and asked them to keep it down a little. Here’s more or less how that conversation went:
Me: (walks up to screen door, through which shrieking baboons banging on things are clearly visible.) Hey, guys. (pause, no response.) Guys!
(pause, gradual turning of heads.)
Them: Heeey…what’s up?
Me: Well, it sounds like you’re having a lot of fun, but could you keep it down a little? I’m trying to study.
Them: Oh…riiiight…so, like, what do you study?
Me: The biology of insects. And I have to read a bunch of stuff for tomorrow’s lecture.
Them: Yeah, yeah…insects…wow…wanna drum with us?
Me: Uh, well…thanks, guys, but I have to go study.
Me: Yeah. So, if you’d be willing to keep it down a little, I’d really appreciate it.
Them: Insects…yeah…cool…you wanna see some insects? We got moths and stuff here… on the window…yeah…here…and here…here…and over here, yeah…well, I dunno…dunno if that’s a bug…could be some…some thing…some thing there, yeah.
Me: Well, look. I have to get going. Back to the books, you know?
Them: Yeah…(pause) Wanna beer?
Me: Look, I have to go study. Could you play the drums a little softer so I can study?
Them: Study…you need a break, man. We can see that. Yeah…totally…we can see that.
Me: Well, I’m not getting a lot done with you guys drumming and wailing.
Them: You’re totally harshing our mellow, you know? Like, why?
Me: Well, I’m sick and tired of hearing a herd of spasmodic water buffalo falling down the stairs every night! Could you knock it off until I’ve passed my exams next week?
Them: Wow…you need to relax. (pause) Hey…wanna drum with us?
Me: See you later, guys.