The Karaoke Neighbors, Episode 1

Last night when I got home close to 7pm, their music was so loud I could hear it as I came through the back gate from my car. I got inside, shut the door, and could still feel the bass vibrating the house. This was the second night in row that I could physically feel their music from clear across my house. The night prior I had to turn my tv volume way up just to drown it out and I could still FEEL it as I sat on my couch. I’m on day five of a nasty head cold, three weeks out from my biggest fundraiser of the year, and a week before my period- it doesn’t take a mathematician to know that adds up to one very cranky, short-fused Sizzle.

I didn’t even take off my jacket but instead feed the cats then walked out the front door, across our lawn, around the side of our house and a massive tree to cross their driveway and knock on their door. I rapped on the screen door a few times with no response. I rang the doorbell but couldn’t hear if it works over the music. I pulled open the screen door to knock louder on their actual door that is adorned with a white wreath with blue ribbon. I knocked again. I must have knocked five different times before someone turned on the porch light and opened the door.

“Hi I am your neighbor!” I somewhat yelled to the short Asian man who answered the door, hoping to be heard over the blaring song.

“Uh. . . which one?” He looks from left to right, suspiciously.

I point to our house on the right. “That one. I just wanted to . . .”

He interrupts me with, “We are just testing our new system! We won’t have it on all night.” No one has turned the music down so we are talking loudly at one another, him inside the house, me on the porch. From my vantage point I can see it’s dimly lit in the living room- most of it from the television and this disco ball-like light that twirls bright green patterns on the ceiling. There are multi-colored holiday lights strung around the front living room window.

“Oh well okay I just wanted to introduce myself. We’re new to the neighborhood too- my husband and I. Did you just buy this house?” I am very friendly, not wanting to come off as rude even though my immediate reaction to anything all week was capital B for Bitchy. Not wanting to get into it with them when Mr. Darcy was working late and wouldn’t be home for hours and I hadn’t thought to text him I was going over there before I arrived at their doorstep.

A petite woman appears in the room and I wave at her and smile. The man, apparently realizing I am not there to yell at them, ushers me in. “Please, come in. My name is John. We rent this place.” He points to the woman, “This is Sandra.” I shake both their hands. Then another woman appears and I wave to her. They introduce her as another roommate who does not speak much English. Sandra asks, “Do you like Vietnamese food?” I shake my head agreeably, saying yes as I look around the room. She smiles and disappears into another room.

“Wow, you’ve really got this place set up! You guys really like to karaoke?” I exclaimed as I took in the room- the massive television where a handsome young Asian man was signing his heart out, the words of his song running along the bottom of the screen in a language I don’t know. I think to myself- we’re so screwed.

“Ohhh yes! We have people over but we try not to have it go too late. Sometimes we go karaoke then come over here to karaoke more.” He talks fast with an accent. He’s compact, shorter than me but I’m wearing heeled boots so I’m probably standing about 5’5″.

“Where do you go karaoke? It’s almost like you could set up your own karaoke bar here.” I smile but am thinking ‘holy crap please don’t set up your own karaoke bar next door to my house anymore than you already have’.

“We go to the International District- lots of places. We try not to be too loud.” I take that as my opening, “Sometimes we can hear your music clear across our house into our living room. It’s not always the volume but more often the bass level. It vibrates. It’s not that it’s often going on too late but rather that it’s so persistent.” I hope that he’s getting what I am saying.

“Oh yes, yes. Do you like to sing? You and your husband should come over, sing with us!” He’s enthusiastic, like us coming over solves any problem there might be with the exceptionally loud volume and vibrating bass. I laugh and say, “Yes I love to sing. My husband, not so much.”

“Do you like to drink?” he asks eagerly. “Well, we are Irish, so YES! Do you guys like to?” thinking we have found our common language in alcohol. “Yes! We do!” All of a sudden I am picturing us two pale Irish folks in that room, towering above the avid karaokers, a lavish spread of Vietnamese food on the table, and the music endlessly blaring as we get sufficiently drunk to stand it.

Sandra reappears with a baggie full of something hot. They shove it into my hands as a peace-offering and I make my way to the door with thanks and promise to drop off some homemade kahlua to them. “It was nice to meet you. It’s good to know your neighbors.” They smile, nod, wave and shut the door.

And that’s how I came to meet our neighbors with an invitation to karaoke and a bag of mysterious, gelatinous Vietnamese food. But hey, after that they turned their music off.

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24 thoughts on “The Karaoke Neighbors, Episode 1

  1. OMG, it’s hard not to chuckle at this story, Sizzle. I mean, it’s like that scene is straight out of a movie script. I know, it’s not very nice to laugh when this insanity is your life. I’m sorry. heh heh.

    • Rhi- they said they were going to move the whole karaoke system to the basement. I am not sure if that will help? But fingers crossed it does.

    • The Modern Gal- I didn’t taste it. I opened up one of the leaves that was wrapped around whatever it was and saw it was gelatinous and was like, NO. I am not into things with that kind of texture. Ex: JELLO.

  2. I am SO PROUD of you!!
    Especially for handling yourself so kindly in the face of all your physiological unpleasantness.
    You certainly did the right thing and look how it turned out!!!!
    I do hope they live up to their end of the bargain and it stops being so much of a nuisance.

  3. Renters. That’s the word that drove a stake through my heart of fear for you. Good luck. Something tells me you’re going to have to continue to charm them and make many more trips next door to keep things at a reasonable level.

  4. I love your stories – next time please text Mr. Darcy before you head over to an unknown neighbors home armed with only your sweet infectious smile. I won’t even mention that you went inside! Granted, they may have done little harm with a mic and some bass :) ps. Don’t eat the gelatin. LOL

  5. If ya can’t beat em….

    I almost spewed out my soup when I read…

    All of a sudden I am picturing us two pale Irish folks in that room, towering above the avid karaokers, a lavish spread of Vietnamese food on the table, and the music endlessly blaring as we get sufficiently drunk to stand it.

    Hahahaha this is why I love to read you! hilarious lol

  6. OMG this is hilarious. I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t help giggling while reading this even though I know EXACTLY what it’s like to have loud neighbors who play VERY loud music all the time.

    When I had bronchitis a few years back and we were still living in Arlington, my techno neighbors were playing their music super loud in the middle of the day and I just couldn’t take it anymore. In my pjs (oversized sweater, baggy pj pants and huge black circles under my eyes) I knocked on their door and politely said “can you please lower your music? I’m very sick and just can’t take it. Thanks.” They did and then wrote me a note apologizing!

    Anyway, I hope they keep it down. It’s gets to be so annoying. (Also Vietnamese Pho is actually super great for a cold.)

  7. Oh, boy! This is hilarious, but in more of a movie script type of way as Nilsa mentioned. I hope they maybe? took a hint and things will get better after your encounter…but I have a feeling there’s more to this story :-)

  8. You just have all the luck, don’t you? I’ve only met one set of our neighbors and we’ve lived here for over two years. The other neighbors are way up on a hill. We’ve waved a couple times. Living near boring people is ok with me.

  9. I’d just like to step out here and say I am proud of you for going over personally and handling the situation face to face. As you and your neighbors get better acquainted (gelatinous substance sharing optional) it ought to become easier to find ways to peacefully coexist. You two Tall Paleys going over to toss back a drink and sing might be just the right way to begin new lifelong friendship(s). Or not… It can only happen if somebody takes the first step and you DID! Go Sizz!

  10. I can’t wait for the follow-up story when you guys get some Irish stew and Guinness and take it over to them so you can all get drunk and sing duets together. :P

  11. Ugh. Neighbors Fuckery. Have I got stories lately!! At least yours is (kinda) fun but totally annoying & uncalled for & hopefully calms the eff down. Mine involve ER visits &’potential lawsuits, etc. fuck (also, we’re the ones who ended up in the ER & urgent care. Assholey Fuckery, I say. Homeownership. Ugh.

  12. It must be a Vietnamese thing. Googled how to get noisy neighbors to be quiet, ended up here. Well written…but I also have noisy Vietnamese karaoke singers who think nothing of playing their music late into the night on random days of the week. It’s getting so I feel like I am a PTSD Vietnam vet.

  13. Pingback: The Karaoke Neighbors: Episode 2 | Sizzle Says

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