Posted by: Chelsea Novak | February 23, 2007

For whom the chime tolls

When you live in a large metropolitan city like Toronto your concept of personal space changes. Things like front lawns and spaces between houses just don’t exist. There is no such thing as quiet, unless something terrible is afoot. It’s noisy, but you get used to it.

The sound of cars driving by the house helps to wake me up on weekdays. The sound of jets making their final approach to Pearson helps lull me to sleep at night as I watch them cross the sky. Sometimes I can even hear the wheels on the Queen streetcar as it makes its way west and that makes me remember the trams in Prague. For someone who grew up with the sounds of wind and waves at night, I think I’ve adjusted well to sounds of city life.

Except for one thing.

We live in an old neighbourhood and the houses are closely tucked together. One of the houses across the street has put up a set of wind chimes. I can only assume that their bedroom is at the back of the house, because these chimes make the most annoying “tink” noise. I can confirm that it’s nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep when those things are moving. They drive me crazy.

As such, I’m not sure what to do about them. The weather is going to get warm soon, and the windows will be open wide again. I think my head will actually blow clear off my body with rage if I have to hear those things much longer. But what to do?

I’ve thought about writing them a letter, explaining that the noise that the chimes make at night keep me and my husband awake. I don’t want to rain on their parade. I imagine they put them up because they like them and I know that as soon as they get that letter, I will become that whiny bitch across the street who made them take down their wind chimes. And I don’t really want to be that. I already don’t fit in our area, as it’s full of pinko hippies. (I’m kidding. It’s only partly full of pinko hippies).

So the letter option doesn’t seem to be good. I don’t actually know the people who live in that house, so I can’t just run into them in the street and say “Hey, about your wind chime.” And I know if I do that it’s going to be a situation where the wind chime was made by a one handed Peruvian orphan, and again, aren’t I a whiny bitch for asking them to take it down.

This leaves me with two options. One I can, in the middle of the night, creep over to the house and liberate the wind chimes. I’d rather not engage in petty theft, because I very much respect the property of others, as I would hope they would respect mine. The other option involves less theft, but it still is a slight dis to property rights.

I’m thinking of creating chime socks. Little covers that I could sneak over and slide over the chimes. It wouldn’t damage the chimes, it wouldn’t involve stealing the chimes, most importantly it would silence the chimes and when the people woke up in the morning, they would get the no-so-subtle hint that they are making an annoying racket from an anonymous source.

Brilliant, no?

Today’s sing-a-long song: “Wind chimes” by The Beach Boys



  1. Keep us posted, I can’t wait to hear how this turns out!

  2. Do it! DO IT!

    I confess that my first thought was, “Just take them down,” but yeah, I wouldn’t want that to happen to me.

    Do the socks! I think it’s a great plan.

  3. I have some little baby socks that would probably do the trick.

    L & P

  4. as a pinko hippy, may i say the windchime owners give us all a bad name. it’s really not very respectful of the rights of others as the whole damn neighborhood is forced to listen to your windchimes.

    i’d go with the socks, funny and creative. we pinko types go for that:)

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