Neighbors can be as annoying as cheapskates who sneak into churches to do laundry rather than go to a laundromat. I thought I'd escaped the worst when I moved out of the dorms — excuse me, "residence halls" — and into my apartment, but little did I know the horrors of off-campus neighbors.
Upon moving in, I had my eardrums handed to me. Next door lived a guy who bumped the Jersey Shore soundtrack from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Above me lived a rambunctious Latina step team.
At first, I tried not to worry. "Loud music guy will stop bumping club tunes once the semester starts," I said to myself, "and just because their wireless network is named ‘Mujerrrrrrr!' doesn't mean they'll make bad neighbors." Then I realized I was talking to myself and promptly told myself to shut up.
As fall approached and the air chilled, so too did my attitude. The club music continued, starting precisely when the clock struck 10 a.m. The step routine practices became louder and more elaborate. Then one of the chicas began having loud sex. I hated the noise — all that noise, noise, noise! Then I got an idea. An awful idea. A wonderful, awful idea!
What I present to you now is that idea, which is now my proven three-step method for dealing with annoying neighbors. I call it Fierce Aural Punishment, or "FAP" for short.
Step one: diplomacy. Approach your neighbors when they're making too much noise and ask them to stop. They may just be oblivious. During one evening practice of the Chonga line, my roommate Patrick went upstairs and confronted them. Turns out they didn't speak much English, so Patrick, who is from Miami, used his limited Spanish to say, "Please silence your feet." Since that time, no issues.
The Jersey Boar and the loud sex, however, still remained.
Step two: aural alerts. Use opportune music to manipulate neighbors into shutting up. No one wants to tell a couple their sex is too loud. That's why — after one of the loud boinking sessions — I blasted Lonely Island's "I Just Had Sex" to send a clear message.
The club guy took a little more creativity. His club tunes were all in 4/4 time, so I found some awful dubstep on Soundcloud in 6/8 time, because that would jam his bass line and make a pile of awful sound. (Added plus: It sampled some Yoko Ono vocals.) I waited one morning for 10 a.m. to arrive, then blasted the dubstep the second his music started. He stopped. I stopped. He started again. I started again. I've yet to hear a club tune since.
Step three: collective action. If the first two steps fail, host a BYOB party - bring your own broom. I have not had to do this, but I heard about it from my friend Darien. To throw one, call your friends and tell them to bring brooms over to your place. Acquire a Costco-sized pack of earplugs. Once your friends arrive, pass out the earplugs, blast Lil Mama's "Lip Gloss" on loop, and smack the ceiling with your brooms along to the beat.
Disclaimer: Before proceeding with my plan (FAP-ing), make sure that all your neighbors' annoying behavior is legal. If they're making enough noise to be heard from the street, then report them to the police. Properly FAP-ing a neighbor who's making an illegal amount of noise requires making the same amount, opening you up to fines.
When dealing with crazy, don't feel obligated to stay sane and rational. You cannot reason with crazy. You can only manipulate crazy by confronting it with similar crazy. Don't be tempted to care about your neighbors because you already know they don't care about you. FAP-ing works. Just do it.
Chip Skambis is an English and telecommunication junior at UF. His column appears on Mondays.