A case of Tylenol can’t cure this ailment!

How to describe it …

Okay. Pray to God you never experience this but you’re driving along one day on a stretch of country road and the fan belt breaks.

You gotta keep driving. Cousin Ellie Mae’s gettin’ married to your best friend Jimmy and you’ve got his ring.

So for the next hour-and-a-half, you listen to the split fan belt go thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack as it strikes metal of the bonnet.

Thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack. Like a duck with a speech impediment.

You arrive at the wedding safely on time despite the rapping knocking of the fan belt. Everything’s swell.

Until you gotta leave. Get back in your car. And have to listen to thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack for the next five hours straight. Rap music without lyrics or melody. Only the rhythm of a persistent flat monotone.

Thwack thwack thwack. A fan belt striking metal only reminding of a costly repair ahead upon your return.

In other words, my landlord hasn’t done squat about the thumping swamp cooler of Unit A above.

It’s massive! Nearly the size of a PT Cruiser — speaking of cars! It’s been thwacking, thumping and knocking — oh my! — since Day 1 when the neighbors turned it on.

A month ago.

I submitted a maintenance request. I knew the neighbors wouldn’t. I doubt they care — or even hear it inside their cushy nice cool digs.

The world around them certainly can hear it! Whether we want to or not. I hear it the loudest because it sits directly above my studio. I hear it whether I’m inside or on my small patio.

I hear it too because the thwackings bounce off the walls of the next building. The driving obnoxious intrusive sound made all the more so by an amplifying echo.

The landlord doesn’t give a you-know-what.

“We’re aware of the issue,” emailed Holly at the landlord’s office when I wrote a follow-up. “The servicemen are very busy.” Summer ‘n’ all. “They’ll get to it when they can.”

I knew straightaway: “They’re never comin’.”

A year from now, I could swing by this space and the damn thing’ll still be knocking.

This space has been fraught with noise issues from Day One. Literally Day One. That’s when I discovered that this studio’s not the haven of peace and serenity it appeared to be when I first viewed it.

No one above was home at the time. In fact, Apartment A had been vacant and was awaiting its new occupants. Who moved in the same time I did. Literally.

Everything went south. Noise. Noise noise noise noise noise and more noise. Don’t need or care to revisit that nightmare. But it drove me nuts!!

The nightmare’s soon to end. Within a month, I’ll be moving. Still don’t have the new place.

Point is: I’m moving.

So’s the neighbor’s swamp cooler. Thwack thwack thwack, sounds like a belt needing replacement.

Thwack thwack thwack. The sound of hard slappings of my hand on the landlord’s head in my imaginary world.

“Get the damn thing fixed! Respect your tenants! And the need for peace! You’re *paid* to maintain properties! So do it! Do what’s right!”

Thwack thwack thwack directly above. Bouncing off the walls.

Thwack thwack thwack. Filling my space inside and outside. Day, afternoon and/or night.

Thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack. No volume of music from my fine stereo can overcome it. Not even close.

Thwack thwack thwack thwack. Boring a hole into my head. Producing serious headaches.

Forcing me to leave the place I don’t call home. Not really.

Tha-tha-that’s all, folks! Off now to the library for some quiet.

Plus I need a new book.

At the top of my Wanna-Read list:

“Easy Cooler Care: A Self Help Guide to Servicing and Repairing Your Evaporative Cooler”


4 thoughts on “A case of Tylenol can’t cure this ailment!

  1. Hello..I realize your posting about your battle with the swamp cooler is over two years old, but in my desperate search for what to do with my neighbor’s demon swamp cooler led me here.
    I have laughed and cried reading your travails with your tortured life with a swamp cooler beast robing you of your peace, quiet and sanity.
    Lol… Not only did I feel your, angst, and frustration, I am living it!
    But I own home, and m9ving is not an option. In my neighborhood our homes are extremely close may 12 feet apart.
    My nemesis is the swamp cooler my neighbor installed in his garage wall, their yard is about 4 feet higher than min, so the sound goes through and is amplified by the vinyl frence. It is just in line with the height of my bed.
    And yes our home have refrigerated air conditioning, but he uses that huge swamp cooler to cool his large home, so it runs 24/7 x 6months a year. Even when it cool enough to have a window open at night. Or even when the rest of us are not even using our air conditioners.
    I can’t even sit in my small backyard and enjoy it, his cooler sounds just like a car or truck left running in the driveway.
    So I am getting desperate for peace and quiet.
    But your blog, gave a laugh, and realization that I am not the only 9ne suffering that torture of the attack of the swamp cooler creatures.
    I enjoyed your writing.

    • @Bakokitty – Hi and thanks for your comment on the albeit dated post on the swamp cooler! Nice too to hear that you enjoy my writing. Very rare that anyone says anything positive to me, most of all that which I particularly enjoy (writing).

      Just to show God’s cruelty, I ended up moving to a place with an even WORSE swamp cooler! Motherf–er ran it all the time, regardless of weather. Damn thing was old, big as a VW bug with a shrieking dying motor. Which the landlord insisted she didn’t hear. (That I had to take her to court eventually when I moved out speaks to her character!) Likewise, it was directly across from my home/bedroom. (This was an old mobile home park with thin-walled old trailers separated only by yards so imagine THAT fun … not!)

      Anyway, things got worse before they got better; here’s a snapshot from that particular Swamp-Cooler Journey Into Hell 2015-2016 if you’re interested. https://wordpress.com/post/arizonaallycat.wordpress.com/7868
      As to your situation … first, I feel your pain, believe me I do. Your situation is yet another reason to rent — haha — or at least live in the middle of nowhere where the nearest neighbor is 10 miles down a dirt road. Up and selling prob’ly isn’t on your to-do list — understandably. But I can offer only what my sister, who DOES own her house, did with her neighbor and his INCREDIBLY noisy air-conditioner that ran and ran right outside her bedroom window. Of course. That’s how God is!
      She talked with him and they worked out some sort of schedule of operation. (Don’t know details.)

      What I’d likely do in your shoes is talk with the neighbor. Most people are incredibly oblivious and stupid, particularly the Noise-Makers. (Case in point: People in public with their monster kids screaming at the top of their lungs while they, the parents, hear nothing, say nothing, do nothing, continue strolling supermarket aisles as if they’re solemnly crossing green pastures in solitude.)
      Your neighbor needs to know he’s an asshole. Ooops, scratch that. I mean that there’s a problem.

      I like my sister’s solution. Also what I’d do, in talking to that neighbor, is throw money at the problem. Desperation often calls for boldness. I’d offer to go in half on a new machine. If he couldn’t be persuaded, then go all in. The expense would be SOOOOOO worth the peace and most of all the peace of mind. Which honest to God sometimes money truly can buy!

      Just some ideas. Whatever the path, I strongly believe that he needs to be informed — with politely and with goodwill — as much as you can muster under the circumstances. No good comes of Oblivious Neighbors — save when you’re a renter and can move. After that, money can talk and in some situations it provides a win-win solution. Go for it.

      • Hi Alleycat, I just saw your reply. Yes I have been looking for a solution, I did find a company that make sound barriers to go around noisy motors, ie: swamp coolers or AC units. They are somewhat costly but I think along your line of shared costs as a solution. So I will try that. He is not an a-hole but I think clueless as to how it effects others. But this week my money need to go to a sudden needed car repair.
        Well I did enjoy your “ rant “ piece. It was fun and reassuring that I wasn’t the only poor soul out here suffering a clueless neighbor. I will get back to you with results a later date. Keep cool. 😻

  2. @Bakokitty – Was wondering whether you’d ever see the reply so glad you did. As to sound barriers, through both indirect experience and research, I wouldn’t put much stock or hope in that as a solution. Money is better put toward a new modern unit.
    Do your research. Take it upon yourself to REALLY do your homework online. (Easy for me to say! I excel at research, most people suck at it.) Still worth saying. I cannot emphasize that enough. Because whether you split or absorb the cost, if you end up with a loud or poor-quality unit because you didn’t do your due diligence, you’re not only out that money but your life just got worse! You’ll have no one to blame but yourself. If you’re a Costco member, I highly recommend you start there. If not, then you got your work cut out for you — assuming your neighbor’s receptive to your proposal. Or, like I wrote prior, you could follow my sister’s approach (of neighbor’s use at scheduled times). Sorry about the car repairs, I totally get that. Keep me posted, I really wanna hear how it turns out!

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