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Living Out Louder
It's not bad enough that we all have to endure terrible drivers, loud cell phoners, and other Me! Me! Me! Generation types when we leave the house -- sometimes rude delivers.

These photos and the little movie of the incident at the bottom have taken me a while to put up because Gregg had to do something to the audio/video.

But, about a week ago, I had a really hard day and I'd fallen asleep on the couch at around 9:30 p.m. when I was awakened by my house shaking.

Earthquake? No. Asshat quake.

Some girl, already booming her car radio really loud, decided it would be appropriate to open her car doors (about four feet from houses and apartments) so her music could be our music.

I came out to ask her to turn it down -- "Excuse me, but did you notice the houses four feet from your car?" -- and she lectured me on how I should ask respectfully! Well, that pissed me off, so I told her I was going to photograph her and put her on my blog as a loud, rude, neighborhood disturber.


Hilariously (except for the fact that our community policing people don't need any more calls than they already have) she called the cops.

I said to her: "I'm sorry you're too stupid to understand the First Amendment, but it's not the slightest bit illegal for me to take your picture."


"She looks about 27," the loud cur said into her phone, (apparently to a police operator on the other end).

I dooo? Suddenly, being awakened wasn't quite so bad. (I'm 43.)

I thought maybe she was bluffing about calling the cops, but I grudgingly called 1-877-ASKLAPD, the police non-emergency number, to be sure, just to protect myself.

The idiot. She had actually called, and a car was coming. I told the operator nothing threatening was going on, and I was the neighborhood point person for the community policing cops (Officer Skinner laughed when I later told her the story -- apparently, the woman waited over an hour, maybe more, for the police to arrive.)

Anyway, I thought they'd call when they got there and ask me to come out and talk to them, but they didn't -- perhaps because they were too busy searching and impounding the chick's car?

I'm not saying they necessarily did that, but, well...lady, next time you call the cops on somebody because you're a rude asshole, consider your wardrobe!


P.S. Gregg jokes that he's regretted every piece of technology he's ever given me. He'd just reminded me that my camera takes little movies. Poor Gregg. Here's a pitch black movie (with good audio, though), of me going off on the girl.

Posted by aalkon at April 13, 2007 1:07 PM


I love your blog and have been reading it through an RSS reader. I noticed today that instead of giving me the full post, I only saw the first paragraph in the reader and I had to click on the link to read the rest. (Before today all posts showed up in the reader in full.) Is this due to an inadvertent change in the blog-software settings? If so, I'd appreciate it if the settings could be changed back to allow users of RSS software to enjoy your blog in full without making them open an extra browser window for each additional entry.

Posted by: RSSreader at April 13, 2007 8:05 AM

Actually, I have to do this because I was losing money on my blog traffic count (from Pajamas, which puts the ads on my site) because people on RSS readers weren't seeing my ads...and it's considered rude to put the ads in the RSS feed. I hope you understand -- I work really hard on my blog, and you don't have to pay for it except by clicking through to the entry, which maybe takes a couple of seconds more. I don't make that much from blogging, but I gave my assistant a raise based on the money I'm getting from Pajamas, and I need to keep paying her her new rate (she's great, and I adore her and need her).

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 13, 2007 8:27 AM

To give you a sense of it, my traffic was being undercounted perhaps as much as 30 percent because I wasn't getting credit for people reading me on RSS.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 13, 2007 8:28 AM


It's scary how self-absorbed this woman was - not only expecting external help at taxpayers' expense when you posed no real threat, but being oblivious to the opportunity to have an engaging, informative conversation with you.

If she had apologized properly and sought your advice on being courteous, how long would you have stayed out there to chat?

The other day I took myself to see Grindhouse then called my wife on my cellphone while I was on the plaza sidewalk. A group of teens walked by then and I was pleasantly amazed when one boy told his friends to quiet down because I was making a phone call! I thanked them.

Years ago, a drunk driver rear-ended my parked car in the street. He was not injured but our cars sure were. My car was a beater so I didn't get upset. I went outside to see if he was OK and I even gave him about 1 hour to sober up before I called the police (I realize that perhaps I owed it to society to nail him for DWI, but he knew where I lived and all that), during which time we chatted. Strangely, after all that he suddenly got surly and decided to leave - 30 seconds before the squad car arrived. The cop angrily demanded to know where the perp was, so I pointed him toward the other street and he nabbed the drunk. Did I mention the drunk was driving a company car?

Posted by: Dave at April 13, 2007 8:55 AM

I thought Volvo drivers were Northeastern liberals!

Easter Sunday there was an Easter egg hunt down at the local park, for the public. Half the kids were in their Easter best, the other half in whatever they slept in the night before. When the whistle blew, it was pandemonium with the trailer trash parents running into the mix and scooping up everything they could. Two toddlers even got knocked over in front of me. Afterwards there were parents with 40 or more eggs going through every one of them and throwing / leaving the plastic eggs as garbage. Really, it was like a Who concert in Cincinnatti. (I should post my filming on Youtube.)

Be careful out there Amy!

Posted by: eric at April 13, 2007 9:39 AM

She the same shape as the last woman you got in fight with.

Not that I noticed. Or anything

Posted by: Crid at April 13, 2007 9:49 AM

I'd ask if there is any kind of noise ordinance one could reference to try and get morons like pot-bootie to turn down their stereos, but I won't bother.

There never seems to be anything cops can do about idiots blasting their 808 bass...but if your party gets a little loud they storm in like it was a drug bust. What gives?

Posted by: RedPretzel in LA at April 13, 2007 9:56 AM

I miss being a teenager. We would have just pelted her with eggs.

Posted by: eric at April 13, 2007 10:21 AM

"She the same shape as the last woman you got in fight with."

I have read that a good prediction about how smart a woman is, is how thin she is. Of course I'm not saying that all thin women are smart, I'm saying the majority of intellectual women are thin. Why? And I'm talking about the ones that dont really concern themselves with attracting males (a la Marie Curie). Anyone know why so many smart people wear glasses/contacts? Always been curious.

Posted by: PurplePen at April 13, 2007 10:23 AM

The noise ordinances are meaningless until they're enforced. And I generally don't call the cops except if the noise is after midnight. (Again, I don't like to bother them with stuff like this.) And Eric, I'm always fantasizingabout going after people with the hose, from the other side of my fence, but it would be assault.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 13, 2007 10:26 AM

And yes, when people say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking" or anything remotely accountable and apologetic, I just say "Thanks, I appreciate that," and go back inside. it's the unrepentent ones who make my blood boil.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 13, 2007 10:29 AM

I have read that a good prediction about how smart a woman is, is how thin she is.

That's hogwash. Svelteness may be an indicator of socio-economic status, but some of the smartest women (and yes, intellectually smart too) I've known in my life were stout.

Posted by: deja pseu at April 13, 2007 10:56 AM

Dixy Lee Ray comes to mind. Also that conductor... Can't remember the name

Posted by: Crid at April 13, 2007 11:02 AM

deja pseu, that's kind of size-ist of you. I'm sure it's a pretty even mix of stout and slim women who are smart. Maybe the slim women don't talk to you? That could skew the statistics.

Posted by: Chrissy at April 13, 2007 11:39 AM

That was cool, that you didn't raise your voice, Amy.

The easiest noise ordinance to enforce is that for amplified music, which almost every city has, and is not so dependent on hours of the day. And doesn't need an ordinance number, if you can't find it quickly. I would have told her that law right off.

Shame on you for letting a drunk driver have any leeway at all, Dave.

Posted by: Donna B. at April 13, 2007 11:40 AM

some of the smartest women

Did I say "all" of the smartest women? No, I said "some". How is that sizeist? Does saying "some of the funniest women I've known are readheads" mean that I'm implying that blonde or brunettes can't be funny?

Posted by: deja pseu at April 13, 2007 11:43 AM

PurplePen asked, "Anyone know why so many smart people wear glasses/contacts?"

My eye doctor told me that near-sightedness (myopia) is often a product of genetics, but can also be precipitated by reading too much (and according to my doctor, most people don't use enough light when reading, which is part of the problem). Computer screens don't help either. So perhaps the real corallary is between the intelligence and the amount of reading, and the bad eyesight is an unfortunate by-product.

Far-sightedness (presbyopia) is typically a side-effect of aging. However, people often don't notice that they are becoming far-sighted . . . until they try to read!

Posted by: Ms.Gandhi at April 13, 2007 12:10 PM

and that would be "corollary."

Posted by: Ms.Gandhi at April 13, 2007 12:12 PM

Amy's taking movies now! Roving reporter regarding rudeness! It certainly makes even more clear the idiotic attitude of that woman.

I wonder if that "blameless martyr" attitude of hers gets her very far...seem to see a lot of people with it lately.

No consideration/apologies for how inconsiderate her behavior is, but she completely exaggerates your behavior.

1. "she's in my face...she's like 5 feet away" Wow...that's some laaaaarge personal space.

2. "you're cursing at me" Not that I can hear.

3. Calling the cops because you're telling her she's being rude??? this assault? Were you threatening her? No, just telling her she's being rude and that her behavior isn't appreciated.

It's nice to see that the people who are usually the most inconsiderate, are also usually the first to claim to be "victims".

Posted by: Jamie at April 13, 2007 12:59 PM

I hope you gave her the URL, Amy...too funny!

Posted by: Brenda at April 13, 2007 1:51 PM

It's nice to see that the people who are usually the most inconsiderate, are also usually the first to claim to be "victims".

Isn't that the truth?

Posted by: deja pseu at April 13, 2007 2:02 PM


Posted by: Jim Treacher at April 13, 2007 4:57 PM

I understand that hits are an issue, but I'm surprised that ads in RSS feeds are considered rude when the entire article is delivered through the feed (I am, however annoyed by RSS feeds that have ads and only a snippet of the entry). Personally I find it much more inconvenient to open individual entries manually than to get ads in the RSS feed. I guess it makes a difference what proportion of entries one reads. I (and I suspect most readers of your blog) read pretty much every entry and so if I'll have to see the ads anyway, I'd rather get them served together with the full entry to my reader. I hate to sound like I'm nagging -- I do appreciate your blog and column and I guess I just find the implied consensus in the statement "it is considered rude to put the ads in the RSS feeds" suspicious. Personally I don't see much of a difference between ads in RSS feeds I subscribe to and websites I surf to, but maybe that's just me.

Posted by: RSSreader at April 13, 2007 5:28 PM

I was for putting ads in my feed. My boyfriend, who is a tech expert, told me it's considered rude. Others confirm that. Some say they will stop reading RSS with advertising. Others don't mind:

The guy I linked to has two different feeds - one with ads, one without. I don't know if that's complicated to do -- my boyfriend is already up for sainthood for the work he's put in on my site, and he's been addressing other issues (plus doing his job!) I'll have to look into this -- but I click on the entry I'm interested in in my own RSS reader...for me, it's not a big deal.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 13, 2007 7:52 PM

You should have let the air out of that ho's tires.

Posted by: rich at April 13, 2007 8:42 PM

This is why I need a directed EMF device. Car goes thumping by, I push a button, car stops. Forever.

I turn my radio down at night, and it doesn't even thump. Hell, I even idle the motorcycle down at night so it's not so disruptive, and it doesn't have loud pipes.

But maybe my mother raised me right, unlike that street-blimp Amy had to deal with.

Posted by: brian at April 13, 2007 9:25 PM

"I'm saying the majority of intellectual women are thin"

I'm saying you pulled that out of your ass.

Posted by: Charlie at April 13, 2007 9:42 PM

Ha! Oh, this made me laugh! Right on, Advice Goddess. Keep going, click click! Post post!

Posted by: kanani at April 13, 2007 10:46 PM

Thank you! There's more to come! (Sigh...the rude...they're EVERYWHERE!)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 13, 2007 10:49 PM

Amy, you're too wonderful. The 'wardrobe' comment - perfect. Come back to Paris soon. More humor needed here, stat.

Posted by: Polly at April 17, 2007 7:49 AM

very smart =)

Posted by: dertyhiyu at May 7, 2007 6:44 PM

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