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Madeleine Begun Kane,
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Madeleine Begun Kane

I really hope my neighbors hate classical music.

Now that's one statement I never thought I'd make. After all, I started out as a classical musician -- studying flute, oboe, and piano, playing in symphony orchestras and, as do most serious musicians, looking for other ways to raise cash. It's usually in my interest for people to like classical music and maybe even pay for the privilege of hearing it. But I'll make an exception for my neighbors.

You see, I live in an attached house. This means I can hear a pin drop in my neighbors' yards. Of course it's not pins I'm worried about; it's children and parents and dogs, oh my.

I'd like to think I'm a flexible person. Okay, a patient person. Okay, a ... never mind. But I do have a reasonable tolerance for noise. Unfortunately the cacophony assaulting my home office has grown so loud lately that ...

"Woof, Woof, Woof."

"Cut it out!"

"Mommy, he hurt me!"

"Woof, Woof, Ahoooooooooooh!"

... I sometimes find myself writing what I hear, instead of my own thoughts.

In desperation, I've taken to blaring the classical music station, hoping classicus maximus will:

1. Help me hear an occasional cello, clarinet, violin, or flute amongst the screams, howls, and barks; and

2. Induce my neighbors and their kids, dogs, and (I'm guessing here) coyotes to flee indoors in order to dodge Dvorak, shun Chopin, and escape from Stravinsky.

Right now you're probably saying, "How clever of Mad Kane to bomb her neighbors with Beethoven and assault them with Albinoni." I'd love to take credit for inventing the idea of combating noise pollution with a philharmonic din. However, some savvy reader would probably hit the search engines and find items like these:

* In July 1998, Newsday reported that Minneapolis police would soon be playing "Pavarotti as Punishment." The City, which wanted to dissuade young people from hanging around downtown clubs after closing time, planned to blast opera through loudspeakers to persuade them to go home.

* Back in 1992, the New York Post reported that the Port Authority had found a great way to rid the then notorious 42nd Street Bus Terminal of loiterers and miscreants -- piped in classical music.

So I must reluctantly cede credit for inventing the "drive them away with great music they hate" concept. Although I'm pretty sure mine is the first residential application.

It's too soon to tell whether my strategy will work, but I'll ...

"Woof. He started it. Woof."

... let you know ...

"Woof, Ahoooooooooo, Woof."

... just as soon as ...


... my early results are ...

"Shut up or else!"

... in.

© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
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