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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Do You Think I Over-Reacted?

A re-post from Dec. '08, while I make time to clean my dirty house. Enjoy!

People – no, I can’t say who, just people – think that Minnesotans are passive-aggressive.

I don’t think of us that way. I prefer to think of us as conflict–avoidant.

For instance, if you show up at my house wearing, in all sincerity, say, lederhosen, my response would be, “That’s interesting.”

Because it is. That’s interesting. Eventually, of course, I will have to ask you what moved you to make such a fashion choice, but in that respect I am not a typical Minnesotan. Nor, it seems, am I particularly polite.

Actually, to quote a favorite aunt, I am “Miss Tact”. (Implying, of course, that I have none.)

A number of years ago, before marriage put an end to my wild ways, I lived in another part of town, across the street and two down from a man who worked a terribly early shift.

How did I know he worked a terribly early shift?

Because there came a week where he apparently needed a ride, and a car would pull up at 4:25 in the morning, music bursting from its speakers at decibels normally ascribed to pneumatic riveters…

It was summer, my bedroom windows were open, and my heart burst up into my throat as I sat straight up in terror. Tornado! Air raid! Fire! Arrrrrrrgh!

It was none of those things, of course. I soon recognized it as the dulcet tones of AC/DC.

I didn’t fall back to sleep.

And for the first two days that Mr. Rock and Roll arrived to pick up my neighbor, I bit my tongue. Inside, of course, I was feverishly composing outraged letters to him about the loss of civility in the city and how much I hated him. On the outside, however, I remained collected.

I may or may not have muttered colorful threats under my breath. There are, after all, no witnesses to dispute this.

On the third day, however, the moment I heard “Hell’s Bells” being blasted throughout the neighborhood, I lost my cool. Shoving my head violently out of my bedroom window, I screeched at the top of my early-morning lungs, “THIS IS A QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD! SHUT UP!”

O, the irony.

He did not hear me, of course, because not only was the music far too loud for him to have heard me, but I could now see that the driver was not even in the car…


On the fourth day, when the rock-concert on wheels pulled up, I was fully dressed and ready. I watched from my window as he got out of the car and went inside.

The moment my neighbor’s front door closed, I shot out my own door as fast as my short little legs could carry me. Engine running, music blaring, I hopped into his car and tore away…

And I left it, three blocks away. Turned it off, left the keys in the ignition, and took an alternative way home.

I didn’t fall back to sleep on that day, either, but I smiled for the rest of it.

Two questions still bother me, though:
1. Do you think I over-reacted?
2. How long do you suppose it took him to find his car?


The Jules said...

1. No. An over-reaction would've involved acid and a prison sentence.

2. I hope he's still looking for it.

CatLadyLarew said...

Yay, Pearl! As long as you weren't arrested, it was not an over-reaction. As for how long it took him to find it... did you leave the stereo blasting or did you silence it? If you silenced it, I imagine he's still looking for the car.

Sharon Longworth said...

Hi Pearl, I didn't see this first time round, so thanks for re-posting - double bonus - I get it to read it and you get a clean house!
And no, I wouldn't say you over-reacted - more a stroke of genius.

a Broad said...

Stroke of genius is right .. dangerous perhaps? but brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Highly illegal? Yes. Overreaction? No.

SparkleFarkle said...

What a driven woman, woman! And I was glad to read that you chose an alternate route home. It just goes to show that before you stepped on the gas, you had the presence of mind to consider "Would prison stripes become me? I think not?" Impressive!

Sam Liu said...

Ha! Brilliant, Pearl, truly brilliant. It serves the obnoxious motorist right, how dare he disturb your sleep so early in the morning. I don't think you overacted, my opinion - good for you! And yes, I wonder how long it took him to find his car, *if* he found at all that is :D

Herding Cats said...

Did you really do that? Because it's kind of awesome.

Charlotte Ann said...

what Herding Cats said!!! LOL

Fred Miller said...

A clever reaction. I hope that while looking for his car, he had time to think sympathetically about other people.


The Vegetable Assassin said...

Reading this, I felt almost afraid. Because you sound EXACTLY like me. I would absolutely have done this kind of thing and I applaud it. In fact, years ago, I had a male room mate who was loud as holy fuck with his obnoxious music. He had the bottom room in our three story house and I had the room above. He'd play music so loud the walls shook and no matter how many times you'd tell him in no uncertain terms to turn it down (and he'd comply) he'd forget the next time and up it would be again. At 3am when he got in from work at the club and I was trying to sleep.

So I took matters into my own hands. I went downstairs when he was at work one night, removed the fuse from the plug of his stereo and dislodged one of the wires (it's easier to do in UK plugs!) and went back to bed. No more noise. And next day he was perplexed because his "stereo is broken". Awww. He never did figure it out. He never had any electrical knowledge to fix it. He switched to his Discman and headphones. Victory was mine. :)

a Broad said...

The Vegetable Assassin... I bow down to your clever badness. Wonderful!

Symdaddy said...

Well firstly, being English, I thought a Minnesotan was some kind of fancy minestrone, so I apologise for my ignorance.

Secondly,I think what you did was a spot-on-perfect reaction and I would raise my hat to you, if I actually had one.

Alas though, I am one of those poor sinners that have to leave their beds in the wee small hours but my neighbours are safe from my Black Sabbath CD's as my CD player is totally busted.

Holly Jahangiri said...

I don't know you, but I LIKE you. (Found this through Jan Geronimo.) LOL You only did what most of us dream of doing, at one time or another.

Hilary said...

LOL I would have simply turned off the radio to get his attention. You.. you're a gem. I don't think it's an overreaction unless you got caught. But there wouldn't have been a jury who would have convicted you.

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl, dearest!

1. No. In fact, you should have killed them.
2. Who cares?
3. There was no question 3.


Lo said...

I bow down to your genius.

Guillermo de la Varner said...

Sounds passive/aggressive to me....

K A B L O O E Y said...

Um... I don't think you over-reacted, I think you sideways reacted. Or something. As much as I love the image of you jumping behind the wheel and taking off, and am retroactively glad you didn't get shot (hey, I grew up in NYC in the seventies so I never would have thought to do what you did even if terribly drunk), I'm not really sure how this idiot was supposed to get the message that his car-napping was related to his radio-blasting. But still, it makes a strange and wonderful story.

white rabbit said...

Nope. I think that's a reasonable and moderate response.

You fporegot to prop his wheels up with a few nails, though.

Not that I would encourage that sort of thing.

Pearl said...

Love the comments, and yes, this really did happen, Herding Cats. Eight years ago, about this time of year.

I was not on my computer this weekend as my motherboard died/committed suicide for the second time in six weeks. :-( Dell is fixing. Again.

Helena said...

This is something I would be tempted to do- so, so tempted- but I would chicken out last minute. You have my admiration.

Erin said...

This is the kind of shit everyone wants to do but never does. Definitely not an overreaction. A just punishment for blatant rudeness, I'd say. Only thing I would have changed is setting up a camera to watch the whole thing go down after you left. :-)