You would think that the countryside would be quiet and peaceful – full of the beautiful sounds of nature – a bird singing, the wind moving quietly through the pine branches, a trilling cicada, perhaps the unhappy moo of a far-off cow separated from her herd.
But I’m afraid that pastoral noise has become quite modern in our parts. While the subtle natural sounds still abound, they are often drowned out by the sounds of paranoid neighbors who hate the government shooting their illegal automatic weapons at what you hope is a decent backstop, or the incessant roar of a very loud diesel engine in the direction of a neighbor who must mow his tiny lawn for hours with an elaborate tractor set-up. Lately there’s been an even worse noise – something we have dubbed “Ear Tourniquet.”
It’s hard to say exactly what Ear Tourniquet is, because it mostly comes across as incredibly loud twangings of electric guitars, vague vocals screeching incomprehensibly into a microphone, and the world’s lamest drum solos. Occasionally there will be rifts from a recognizable rock song, which makes it even worse. Sometimes it sounds like the country version of This is Spinal Tap, sometimes like a pumped up garage band. Today it sounded like someone with palsy and no sense of rhythm practicing their drum set to rock music so loud everyone for miles around could hear how bad they were at it. I’m sure they think they’re super awesome.
The first time Ear Tourniquet ruined our weekend workday, they played for hours. We were wishing for a major power outage when suddenly the music stopped and was replaced by bursts of gunshots and the sound of dirt bikes driving away. We listened intently, hoping that the paranoid second-amendment neighbors had decided rock was too socialist and liberal or something and had mobbed them and shot their speakers out, escaping back into the planted pines on their ATV’s afterwards.
But no. They were back the next weekend, as loud and shamelessly awful as ever. Ahhh….the sounds of the countryside.