My friends (or, by the end of this letter, I hope our relationship will come closer to that agreeable state),
Last week, when I went over to your house and banged on your front door at 11 o’clock at night. I honestly didn’t think the music was too loud, just a little out of context for a residential area. However, for a bar full of people drunken surrounded by screaming television and decibel testing conversations that only the really hammered can manage, you’d fit right in. Your speakers were right over my fence, and the music-and I say this very loosely-was the strains of dissonant bellowing into a Karaoke machine was turned up to “11.” The poor man sounded like he either didn’t know the words, didn’t know where he was, or didn’t know that yelling into a karaoke machine muffles your words. From his tone, however, I’m sure he didn’t care. I gather he didn’t know whether he was singing into a microphone or a broom handle.
If that wasn’t bad enough, most of the night your soiree was featuring the bane of all musical instruments, one so vile that it is often mistaken for the sound that a garbage truck makes when it backs up in the snow as it drops a rusty dumpster into an alley, catching a rat the size a Holstein underneath its wheels:
Your party featured the screeching chords of the accordion.
I’m a middle aged white man from Chicago. I grew up around a large Polish and German population. These musically challenged people listened to a thing called Polka music. Polka music has gone slightly out of style these days. It could be related to the fatalities from very old, fat, pasty looking white people dancing together after eating handfuls of potatoes and drinking buckets of beer. Polka music has inadvertently thinned out the herd, so you don’t hear it all that often, at least in public. Instead, you’ll now find this kind of music confined to our State and Federal Houses of Corrections and Penal Colonies, where Polka music is now used during torturing since water boarding has been determined illegal. Once you turn on this music, people will hand over any incriminating information necessary, even if they have to make it up, to stop that infernal wailing. And there’s no wasting water.
To tell you the depth of the awfulness of your beloved accordion, during the 1970’s, Chicago had a very strict handgun law that was advertised on bumper stickers: “Use a gun, go to jail. It’s a law.” Shortly thereafter, another more appropriate bumper sticker emerged to capture the general feeling about the playing of Polka music: “Use an Accordion, go to jail. It’s the law.” If you’re from Chicago, you understand that one completely.
I felt like an ass coming over to your house. I wouldn’t have banged on your door after I knocked if somebody came to the door. And I wouldn’t have brought my 150 pound German Shepherd if I wasn’t afraid that the lot of you would have kicked me to the curb. I don’t know you, but I hope to at least exchange a smile or two when I walk the dog. He likes strangers. And I don’t want us to be strangers anymore.
In the days ahead, to bridge the gap of civility, I am going to give you three CD’s to widen your musical scope and calm the sounds from your backyard speakers. The first, “The Eagles Greatest Hits” is the musical equivalent of Vanilla Ice Cream. It has no soul, no depth, not much of anything, really, other than music that, after listening for a long period of time, may cause you to just not care about anything anymore. You’ll start appreciating the color Beige, the State of Iowa, and believe that having white teeth is the most important thing you can do for your and your family. You’ll smile more, you just won’t know why.
If that doesn’t work, the second CD are songs written by a woman named Enya. I have no idea who she is but there are people I know that have listened to Enya’s music, and I’ve never heard from them again. I think they just got this wide eyed look on their face, walked out their front door, and kept going. They were happy, I guess, but they always hummed her songs all day long and then they disappeared. I don’t think they knew their destination, but it doesn’t matter. Enya music is like morphine for the spirit. It’s almost like something else possesses your soul. You think it’s equivalent to a blissful state, but it’s really brain damage. I’d be careful listening to this around the children. I think Enya’s music is responsible for the opiate epidemic.
Now if things get out of hand with those CD’s, the third CD is an antidote for the first two. If you begin to lose track of your children, have little idea where you are and can’t feel your face with your hands, you’ve overdosed on The Eagles and Enya. So just put on the third CD, “Muddy Waters at Newport, 1960,” and put on track two, “Hoochie Coochie Man.” This will bring you back to consciousness immediately and restore the sensation to your limbs. Or, in a pinch, you can just recite the lyrics, “A gypsy woman told my mother, before I was born, “you got a boy child comin’, going to be a son of a gun.” If you want, throw a few, “da DA da DA DA”’s in between the lines. Helps you recognize your surroundings a little faster.
I don’t want to rain on your backyard parades. But do the best you can to lower the volume on the karaoke, destroy any and all music that involves an accordion, and keep those three CD’s handy. They’ll change your life and I will like you a whole lot more.
Here’s to being neighbors. I’m here to help.
By entrusting us with your feelings, we help you take steps that you see necessary to begin and put forth the energy to make the needed change.
Now notice something: Trust in a coach, mentor, or guide helps you see what's in front of you. We see a Coach for Your Heart a little like an emotional Sherpa, somebody that helps you climb your mountain by pointing out where to best step along the path.
Offices in San Diego and Denver, but will travel to meet onsite anywhere in the United States and the World.