Ask A. Brain – Snoring Crosses the Line
Question: My neighbor’s snoring causes my windows to rattle, and my miniature Shih Tzu to howl like a higher-pitched Hound of the Baskervilles while running in tight little circles and sliding all out-of-control across the linoleum floor. Large picture frames regularly come crashing down from the walls. If I don’t remember to disable it, vibrations from the snoring sets off our car alarm. Occasionally, water in our toilet sloshes over the side of the bowl. The snoring occurs almost nightly between the hours of midnight and 3:00 AM. My wife sleeps like the dead and tells me I’m “too sensitive,” that I should wear earplugs if I can’t tune out “a minor bit of noise and excitement,” and that I should just “get over it.”
I’ve hinted to my neighbor that maybe he ought to look into nasal surgery, and that perhaps a little work with a 3/4-inch bit and a cordless drill would be a cheap way to go (I’ve offered to assist). More than once I’ve stapled a package of XXX-Large Breathe Right© Nasal Strips to his front door. I just might know a little something about a recent late-night fire that destroyed most of his garage and a part of his living room, but I’m not saying more about that.
What can I do about this problem? Do I have a legal case, or should I just kill the bastard?
– Gordon Blue / Coeur d’Grenouille, Idaho
P.S. Do you have any opinions on the upcoming climate change talks in Cancun?
Answer: Whoa, Gordo! Hold on just a bit there. There’s no reason to call into question the man’s parentage just yet. I, for one, will make no unwarranted assumptions about your situation. In fact, I believe I owe it to both of us to take a critical, somewhat skeptical view of your claims. A couple of your points have put me on guard.
First of all—I’ve looked into it—there is no such product as “XXX-Large” Breathe Right© Nasal Strips. The man who invented these little mutilated bandaids lives right here in Minnesota.1 Last week, I found him chuckling softly to himself on the sidewalk just outside of his bank. When I asked about these extra-large sized strips, he scoffed. He has long since sold his interest in the product to some big pharmaceutical corporation, but he watches new product lines pretty closely (he keeps a scrapbook), and extra-large sized strips just don’t exist. Further, he is convinced you could not have effectively stapled a package to a door. “It just wouldn’t be practical with any of the packaging used in the last ten years,” he says, “unless he is talking about substandard knock-offs manufactured and sold in certain poorer countries of the Middle East.”
The second claim that raises questions for me is that you burned down this man’s garage. Yes, I realize that you didn’t make this claim exactly, and I understand the reasons for your circumspection in this regard, but I can read between the lines, Gordo.
Why would you choose to burn down his garage? No, G-man, it’s the man’s bedroom you would torch if your outlandish claims of his snoring are to be taken at face value. The simple expedient of launching a Molotov cocktail through the man’s bedroom window would go a long way to solving your little “problem.” In fact, and if I may suggest an efficient way to kill two birds with one flaming pie (so-to-speak), why not ignite your yapping little dust bunny of a dog and launch it through the bedroom window?2 That, my friend, is a solution!
No, I’m afraid I can’t take your questions seriously. Maybe your neighbor does snore. Who am I to say? I once flew first class on a red eye from New York City to Elko, Nevada. The snoring that emanated from the cockpit of that plane sounded like two poorly-tuned Husqvarna chain saws ripping through the petrified thigh bone of a Diplodocus. Yes, snoring happens. Your wife gives some good advice, “get over it.” I couldn’t have said it much better myself.
(You say your wife “sleeps like the dead.” It occurs to me to ask: Are you sure she isn’t dead? Perhaps you have interpreted her stony silence to mean that you are “too sensitive” and should wear earplugs. But have you checked her pulse?)
One last thing. You asked what do I think about the upcoming climate talks? I think the idea to hold them in Cancun is brilliant.
– A. Brain
- I don’t expect you to know this. Which is why I write these columns while you languish in a state best known for its potatoes and white supremacists.
- I do not condone cruelty toward animals in any form. This suggestion is not to be taken seriously. Stick with the Molotov cocktail, and give away the dog-like Shih Tzu on Craigslist.
|Every week Once a month Occasionally, Mr Adelbert B. Brain answers one of your questions exclusively for Bachblog. His expertise includes—but is not limited to—questions of science, philosophy, medicine, pottery, sudoku, and electrical wiring. He enjoys ballet, mystery novels, gourmet coffee, peanut brittle, and his collection of 70s-vintage polyester print shirts. He owns two goats, and lives on the couch of an old navy buddy in the city of Stillwater, Minnesota.|