Saturday, July 26, 2008

Vengeance is Mine

I have a new hobby.

Alannah laughs when I partake in it, seeing how much joy it gives me, but I'm sure she's actually thinking to herself, "Why did I marry this guy?"

Our current (and thankfully temporary) apartment, while in a very nice, prestigious 17th Arrondissement neighborhood is not ideal. Sure, it's one of those rare corner gems that gets a lot of sunlight, particularly because two of the huge windows overlook a wide boulevard. It also has no air conditioning nor fans, so we need to sleep with the windows open (at risk of being eaten by mosquitoes) on these recently hot, very humid nights.

I've lately been awakening to magnificently orange-yellow sunrises with light pouring in the windows in some sort of celestial fashion, often making me wonder if I'm dead... or merely hung over.

I've also been awakened in the middle of the night by the rat bastards who use the major thoroughfare below. Yelling drunkards. Singing drunkards. Driving drunkards - sporting loud stereos or loud exhausts.

I've taken to keeping a big bottle of water next to the bed. First off to stay hydrated on these hot nights. Secondly for my new hobby: Splashing water at the fools who dare interrupt (or prevent) my slumber.

My first successful hit was like crack. I was awakened by the jolt of really, really, really bad hip-hop, being cranked out of a really, really, really bad stereo. I went to the window and looked down, and it was a small convertible with the offending 2:30am noise pollution. With a flick of my wrist, I launched half a litre of water and hit the car squarely in the interior. The stereo was promptly turned off.

Now, I'm positively addicted to doling out the punishment. Just moments ago, a couple of drunks stumbled by, singing "Stand By Me" at the top of their lungs. Badly. I prepped my water, instinctively walked to the window and -- shit, it's pouring rain. There's no point soaking those who are already wet. Mother nature has staged an intervention.

Perhaps I'm a dick, but I figured I'd bring my own brand of Justice to Paris. (Music nerds, give me half a point for that one if you groaned...) People here are ridiculously non-confrontational. There's rarely a tut-tut if someone doesn't pick up after their dog shitting on the sidewalk. God forbid you tell a crazy drunk who's aggressively yelling at people on the Métro to fuck off. Nope, just read your book or text away on your portable and give up your right to have a little peace and quiet.

Just the other night, there was some sort of loud party going on down the street. On a weeknight. Going 'til 4:30am.

If people can do shit like that with impunity, then I'm entitled to throw a bit of H2O out the window.

Anyway, here's a sample of the random noise we get here at Rue Guersant and Boulevard Péreire. Alannah says he shows up on a fairly regular basis. This makes me glad I spend so much time at the office.

What I don't get is this: Half the time he's not even playing anything. It's just the little stereo rigged up on his trolley.

What I really don't get is this: That woman actually gave him money.

I'm starting to think there's such a thing as too much tolerance.

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