Are you keeping track of my apartment annoyances?
Well, I’ve got yet *another* item for this list.
Last month, a girl moved into an apartment at the far end of the courtyard. I’ve seen her a few times: About 22 or so. Dark, shoulder-length hair. Short, stocky, frumpy. And she’s sweet. Like short, stocky, frumpy girls tend to be.
We’ve smiled at each other and have said hello on occasion; as good neighbors do. Three weeks ago she strolled past my patio as I was grilling a week’s worth of chicken parts. We chatted briefly about how delicious my marinade smelled. She said she didn’t cook so I offered her a piece of chicken to take home. Not flirtatious. Just neighborly. There was no: “Show me your breast and I’ll show mine”. No double-entendres. No obvious comparisons or references to chicken or female anatomy. Just nice, neighborly conversation. If she wasn’t so frumpy, I might have made an attempt at wit or charm. But her frumpiness allowed me to be my witless, charm-less self.
Overall, I liked my new neighbor.
But a metamorphosis has taken place.
I saw her two weeks ago sporting a new haircut. (Or hair-do, or coiffure, or whatever the hell you ladies call it.) Now her hair is crew cut short on one side, and long and spiked on the other side. With patches of blue and pink.
This didn’t make sense to me.
But then I heard it.
AWFUL, LOUD DRUMMING.
My frumpy friend got a goddamn drum set! A DRUM SET, PEOPLE. Apparently this new look is her “Rock Star Look” or maybe her “I Came To Hollywood To Be In A Band” look. Great.
Oh, by the way: she is not a drummer. She plays poorly, loudly and all-the-time.
Hey, I dig the drums. I play a little bit myself. If John Bonham were next door, I’d be stoked. Last month I had a violin student two apartments down who played beautifully. Sitting in front of the TV, eating carnitas from Poquito Mas in my boxers feels classy when Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D wafts through the courtyard.
But my neighbor is no John Bonham. Nor is she an Asian prodigy. Hell, she’s not even as good as John Stamos was in that Beach Boys song. Her drumming is what it would sound like if you took a dumpster full of bass drums, snares and cymbals and rolled it down a very irregularly shaped hill. And, oh yeah, the dumpster is also irregularly shaped.
She’s been drumming for HOURS a day for TWO WEEKS with NO DISCERNABLE PATTERN.
That’s right, folks, she is the percussion portrayal of pi.
Yeah, yeah. “She’s just learning”, you say. “Give her a chance”, you plead. “Practice makes perfect”, you cliché.
No. It’s impossible. Everybody knows that short, stocky, frumpy chicks have *no* natural rhythm. Maybe their lumpish legs are too unwieldy and thusly can’t manipulate the high-hat? Perhaps their Vienna Sausage fingers have difficulty grasping the sticks? And maybe the cymbal is just too damn high?
Short, stocky, frumpy girls should be playing euphonium in a polka band. Or the accordion at Oktoberfest. Not the drums.
Even when she’s not drumming, I still hear it. I hear that dumpster tumbling down the hill in my BRAIN. Walking out of Trader Joe’s this morning, a box truck bounced through a pot hole and I was instantly awash in panic.
Something’s got to give. I’m at my wit’s end with this girl.
Starting now, she has to take up euphonium, accordion or Pilates.