Charleston, Humor


Formerly a quiet field of grass

Beep, beep, beep. They are building a 300-unit apartment complex outside my apartment window. Every piece of heavy equipment must beep. In the 90’s, they only used to beep when they went backwards. But now, some of them beep when they go backwards and forwards, side to side. 

Presumably, the beeps are to keep morons from being run over. I feel like Darwin would protest this. If crocodiles had beeps, there’d be a lot more water buffalo. I guess the New Millennium beeps are the result of some savvy lawyer who attacked the innocent silence of a forward-moving machine.

Beep, beep, beep, all day; 7:30 AM to a quarter ‘till 6. The men get there at 7, but they take some pity on those still asleep. They hit the beep-snooze for the first thirty minutes of work. Although, I know exactly when they arrive because the rumble of their diesel trucks permeates my dreamworld. No whistle blows at 5 PM either. Sometimes the beep doesn’t clock out until well after the sun goes down. Those beeps have lights. 

The beep with the long arm with the bucket attached sometimes shakes my 4th-floor apartment. Not a lot, but just enough to make you go, “hey.” One beep moves the dirt over and another beep spreads it flat. One beep digs giant holes (they do this in an amazingly short amount of time) and the other beep fills the hole back in. 

I try to drown out the beeps with my Amazon Alexa unit. Sirius XM and the Joe Rogan Experience podcast are the best quality audio. The beeps somehow still leak through. I think they are targeted by my subconscious. Sometimes, I can hear them when they stop. If I create the perfect noise-vortex in my 700 square-foot apartment, I can win that hour’s beep battle. If I run the dishwasher, the dryer and turn the air-conditioning fan to the forbidden “on” position, I can not hear the beeps. 

I can hear the beeps right now as I write this. Beep. I’d fire up the vortex but I just did the dishes and those pods are expensive. I even went so far as to buy some “noise-canceling” headphones on Amazon last year. But, even though I was in the “noise-canceling headphones” search results and I paid almost $280, when I got them, I realized: BEEP! They weren’t noise-canceling. I’m a beeping dope. 

Sometimes the beeps cross each other. Beep beep, be-beep-ep, beep beep, b-beep-eep. How often do the beeps save someone from being run over? It can’t be worth this beep torture. People still get hurt by heavy machinery on job sites all the time despite the beeps. Just look at the highway lawyer billboards. “Don’t Scream, Call Akim: 1-888-8888” 

I’m not ungrateful for the beeps. I’m living in a building built completely by beeps. And I want no one hurt because they failed to heed the beep. On the long list of world problems, occasional continuous beeps are pretty low. It’s not exactly the torture chamber at Abu Ghraib where “Rock Lobster” was on repeat for weeks. 

Beep, beep, beep. I fantasize about running on to the job site with a court injunction demanding they stop the beeps. The law says no beeps for you! But that’s unrealistic. Multi-million dollar project v. Annoyed in Apartment is a loser for the AIA every time. Besides, the beeps are actually a good thing for me. If I’m still here when beeps turn into building, the competition will lower my rent. 

Hold on. Beep. Don’t put me in the anti-beep category just yet. I need to take a long-term approach to the beeps instead of being aggravated by the one just now. And now. And now. I think I’ve come around on the beeps. Life is full of them.


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5 thoughts on “Beep”

  1. It’s not as bad as your situation but our new microwave beeps 3 times every 10 seconds. Drives me nuts and there is no way to re-set the number of beeps. I could only turn it down but not enough. Great piece. Beep

    Liked by 1 person

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