Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors...

And a 30 TDY (Temporary Duty) of the guy next door makes for a GREAT neighbor! This dude, who I'll call "Godfrey", is an okay person, but he's got a few quirks which have made sharing a thin dividing wall a real challenge. Let's start with his alarm clock. Godfrey owns one of those 300 decibel model electric clocks...the indirect fire warning klaxon is quieter...which by itself is relatively harmless. In Godfrey's hands, however, it is hell with a "snooze" button. Godfrey is a sound sleeper, which means neither rocket attacks nor his alarm clock usually awaken him. Unfortunately for me, I am a fairly light sleeper (thanks to over 30 years of being "on-call" either for the Army or law enforcement), so while Godfrey slumbers peacefully on, I wake up immediately...and since he doesn't turn off the alarm, I have to get up and pound for several minutes on the wall or his door until he gets up. Godfrey regularly sets his alarm for 10:30 p.m. most nights, so he can call his wife. If I go to sleep before then, I can be sure of experiencing "Sleepus Interruptus". Once the nightly phone call starts, Godfrey's foghorn of a voice makes sure that I hear everything...and I do mean EVERYTHING...he says to his wife. Unlike Godfrey, I'll spare YOU the details...no need to thank me...but there are some verbal images seared into my brain which it may take therapy to erase. An hour or so later, the phone call has reached its climax, so to speak, and it is relatively quiet until 0500...Yep, you guessed it, that's when Godfrey's alarm goes off again, with the same non-result on his side of the wall, and my same choice...try to ignore the beep Beep BEEP BEEP!, or get out of my snug bed and hammer on the vinyl paneling. Some choice, eh?
It gets better. Godfrey is a 3 pack a day smoker. Seconds after his feet hit the floor, he's standing just outside his open door, lighting up the first butt of the new day. Godfrey apparently believes the laws of physics don't apply to his carbon-monoxide laced clouds, but believe me, they are sucked into his room...and then thru the seams in the shared wall in to my abode. If I open my own front door to throw something heavy at him, the smoke senses new territory to befoul, and now my room is "Ashtray Fresh". Who needs Agent Orange, when I have Agent Godfrey?
Yesterday, our battalion HQ called down with orders to send Godfrey up north for a month to backfill an office. I definitely owe whoever came up with that mission a steak dinner when we return.
Now, if you'll excuse me...I have some serious sleep deprivation to rectify...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....


  1. "...the phone call has reached its climax..."

    A talented writer, such as yourself, often doesn't need to describe a situation in graphic detail. We read you loud & clear!

    Enjoy your smoke-free quiet time.


  2. An ice cold bucket of water should do the trick on both situations.....(1) to wake the sleeping goofball and the other to put out the fire. ahhhh the joys of living in close quarters.

    Love your blog (you should be a writer or planner--oh ya).....keep on trucking.

  3. A SMOKER!! Euuuuu!! How disgusting!!

    I am now a reformed smoker of six months standing which is just enough time to put me in the self-righteous category! :)

  4. P.S. Am having lunch with nephew who is back in the States for a month of R & R before he heads back to Cairo and points east.

  5. Terry, Big Congrats for kicking the habit! I'm proud of you!