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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I think that's the word they use on Law & Order when one side wants another crack at rebutting the other side's argument.

So I said my piece on serial spitters and knuckleheads w/booming car stereos in residential areas.

And I got a couple of interesting responses. One was from a reader who said that "As you get older, you'll see you need to get rid of the phlegm RIGHT NOW!" Naturally, he was responding to the serial spitting rant.

My rebuttal: needing (or wanting - in this case there's a thin line separating the two) to spit right now just doesn't cut it. I "need" to go "right now," sometimes. But if I always went immediately upon "needing" to, I'd be walking around with wet pants. And that wouldn't be pretty. Sorry pal. Sometimes common courtesy says you have to try to hold it.

And Big Daddy, that was a colorful story about Miami and car stereos back in the day. I closed my eyes and could almost see the scene. But you weren't describing Miami. You were describing every urban neighborhood in every big city in this country. We all experienced that back in the day. I experienced it in Southeast Virginia. I have friends who experienced it in Milwaukee. Others who have the same memory about growing up in Seattle and Chicago. The key was we all put together our jury-rigged stereo systems and bumped them ridiculously loud when we were kids. You can still listen to old hot tunes, to loud hot tunes, but come on, if you're grown do you still really "need" to blast 'em in heavily populated areas? And I would disagree with you that the offenders are bumping their stereos so loudly because they genuinely believe everyone wants to hear their music. I think they do it, because they just couldn't care less what you or I think. The only symbolism here is the gesture of crankin' it up that says I like it this loud, so how the volume affects you doesn't matter.

And Big Daddy, I would never wear socks with my sandles. But I am crotchety when it comes to my peace being disturbed at home.


  • And being crotchety about home peace is a sympton of being in a state that we now call "grown-folks". I have many of those symptoms and it scares me because I see myself turning into my pops. Next thing you know I'll be snapping my fingers and crooning along with "Ooh Child" like Furious Styles. Except for me the song would be "Don't Believe the Hype"

    Those kids who were bumping the stereo on your street are just like we were 15 years ago. And we were as rude as we could be, couldn't care less if it woke the neighbors, dared them to call the po-lice, but we turned out OK. You certainly wear the mantle of responsible adulthood proudly on your shoulders.

    Just remember that kids will be kids and give 'em at least half a break before you call in the noise patrol.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 2:16 PM  

  • BD took it back to PE... I'm with you with the "kids will be kids" but they SHOULD know better.

    Every so often though, I go through very affluent neighborhoods with the volume too high- class war.

    By Blogger Miamista, at 9:50 AM  

  • I particularly like thumping loud music when I'm with my 10 year old daughter. That way I get to answer all kinds of interesting questions about "what are bitches and ho's" and "what does bust a cap mean" and "why does that guy keep yelling 'f***'".

    You want to crank your tunes, fine. You want to listen to uncencored garbage, fine. It's a free country. Don't forget I also have the freedom to raise my child without exposing her to obscenity. Turn it down, or get a Chicago tuneup.

    By Anonymous og, at 8:50 AM  

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