Monday, May 21, 2007

The Big Lebowski Redux

I slide the Big Lebowski VHS cassette into the player, which accepts and draws the tape into itself politely. I take pleasure at this perfect insert-tab-A-into-slot-B policy. I smile.

Earlier in the day, a great commotion took place in the field next to my home. He who owned the field had taken advantage of a lax new Ohio law that allows drilling for oil and gas in residential areas regardless of municipal law. So much for home rule.

Hence, a towering oil derrick stands erect in the otherwise pristine meadow approximately 500 feet from my television and VHS machine, the mechanical heads of which have begun to whir. The drilling operation is replete with wildcatters, klieg lights and stentorian diesel generators.

He who owned the field, ironically, died one week ago and is not present to see his Giant dream come to fruition. No matter. Contracts were in place and the show must indeed go on.

I fast forward through the “Coming Soon” segments and settle into the movie, trying to ignore the atrocious noise associated with the drilling. Surely when the clock strikes 10 p.m., it will stop per a local ordinance. On the little screen, The Dude takes a slug of his white Russian, leaving a creamy white residue around his mouth and mustache. I absentmindedly finger my pearl necklace.

Fortified myself with a bit of cheap Canadian, I call the cops to report the racket at quarter after ten. I am promptly told that nothing can be done by anyone.

Horse shit.

If Bunny Lebowski can charge $1,000 for performing fellatio, something can be effing done! I check my aggression then call Every. Single. Councilperson. As. Well. As. The. Mayor. At. Home. I swear. I implore. I espouse my disbelief, my indignation, my outrage.

Nothing is done.

The generators generate. The drill pounds relentlessly into the earth as I note that, above the Dude’s modest home bar, there hangs a photo of Richard Nixon frozen in the ejaculatory moment just before bowling ball hits bowling lane. I meet and admire Jesus and his tongue and admit to myself that I probably shouldn’t have allowed nine years to transpire before seeing this movie.

What is wrong with me?

The film concludes. I retire. In order to muffle the noise, I sandwich my head between pillows much in the same manner I did when my college roommate entertained gentlemen in the bunk below me some 20 odd years ago. Just as was the case then, the pillows are not much help. Hence, as Mother Earth endures ceaseless penetration throughout the night, I sleep alone and poorly, fractured dreams of Sam Eliot’s extraordinary mustache floating in my head.

Miraculously, at 7:01 a.m., the drilling stops and the beautiful quiet to which I am accustomed blooms. At 7:04 a.m., my husband returns home fresh off the midnight shift. I stumble down the stairs and into the kitchen. He beholds my dark circles and poor coloring while blinking quizzically.

“Life does not stop and start at your convenience,” I say, then turn to the absolution of the coffee pot.

The preceding post is an edrant simulcast*.

*WARNING: Clicking the associated link may result in learning something cool**.

**WARNING: There actually is no warning associated with the preceding warning, I just felt like acting like there was a warning (which there isn't).


Hope said...

goddamned neighbors could poop on his lawn

~d said...


The Duchess said...


Last spring, there was jackhammering immediately beneath my window from 7 am to 7 pm every day (the dust of which eventually provoked a severe allergic reaction, but that's another story).

Around 7 pm there was a 4-hour lull, at which point the multiple underage (what only could have been) sex workers living beneath my apartment ran laps in high heels and boots in preparation for their nightly outing. Shortly after they left around 11:30 pm, their 60-something Eastern European (what only could have been a) pimp would get home and scream at the top of his lungs into his cellphone about killing you if you didn't give him his money until around 5 o'clock am. Then there would be another brief lull until 6 am, when the girls would get home and run laps again in their heels for another hour or so, turning in just as the jackhammer started up again...

After breakfast, I would go spend my days surrounded by priests, in a library run by a reactionary right-wing Catholic group.

Ahhh.... Spring in Europe!

Anonymous said...

Nobody fucks with the Jesus. Or Erin.

Larry said...

Erin....I must confess that I found it difficult to get into "Harvey & Eck". (I had the same problem with "Wuthering Hites", so you are in good company)

That said, I must say how much I enjoy these little snippets from the rust belt. How eloquently you convey the silliness we find all around us here in the Cleveland area.
I also treasure your periodic reviews of exotic sex toys....not that I will ever use one....I also read Mercedes road tests.

You make me proud to be a Northern Ohioan! I'd even buy you a cup of coffee. In a well lighted , public venue of course.

AND I actually read Free Times now and then!

Seals said...

Since you've already made your phone calls, you should put this story in the paper.

I griped about a similar situation in my paper, but I hadn't talked to anyone from the city before I wrote a really snotty column.

Woo boy! They tried to get me fired over that one. :)

Eventually, they tried to solve my problem with a band-aid. They wanted it to look like they actually fixed my problem.

I still have the problem, some 10 years later, but don't have the guts to fight city hall again.

Just a few more elections or funerals and I'll be ready to give it another go. Then I'll laugh that evil laugh you see in films.

Ahhhh, ahhhh, ahhhh, ahhh.

Colm Smyth said...

Oops. Any civilised state would not:
a) allow the erection of any such montrosity near habitable buildings, schools and such, or
b) if they did, wouldn't allow them to be operated during certain quiet times (say 8pm-8am, all day Sundays).

But then, I guess it would be ironic if a country that invades another to secure cheap oil would prevent it's citizens from harvesting it at any cost from a domestic source ;(

Don't give up, whatever about oil, sleep is not an optional commodity ;)

Pablito said...

That's a bummer man... just remember, the dude abides. When life throws you a gutterball, you just spark a jay and say "fuck it."

Sounds like it is time to move...

Carla said...

I think it's time to let dumb Erin on the loose. I bet she would really shake things up. Or at least provide ample entertainment for everyone in the neighbourhood. And it certainly would be more welcome than the relentless whir and pounding of that drill.

SIMON said...

Noise pollution is a sad sign of our times but you were right to make the phone calls and you should do the same thing everytime it happens. Going to the papers would work over here but I'm not sure about Cleveland!

Corn Dog said...

You are more civilized than I am. That thang would not have lasted the night. It would be lying in a heap on the ground for them to find the next morning. Shitheads.

You know - you have a Goat with an ax. Use them.

josh williams said...

I learned something.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. Argh. Unfortunately, if you think the drilling is noisy....just wait until the oil well is up and running...24 hours a day. If it's not maintained properly and regularly, it will be horrifically noisy. (I lived with one essentially in my back yard for about 5 years.)

If I were you, I'd get the neighbors together and pursue this as a group. There's power in numbers.

Good luck to you!


PS....Maybe this isn't such a bad thing after all. If there is oil in your neighborhood, maybe you could get your own oil well and make some moolah!

The Fool said...

There is nothing wrong with you Erin. It's the rest of the world. You are the only normal person in a very abnormal world. The odds are just against you, kid.

You just have to love the Dude, eh?


Sheena said...

Sheena's Summer Vacation:

Lewbowskifest #6