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Friday, December 17, 2004

What the Hell is All that Noise! I got Vertigo!

I used to work at an auto repair shop in the Atlanta area that was right across the street from the main north/south rail line that went through the city and was also adjacent to the Naval Air Station on the northwest side. Now I know you're thinking, so what, but i'm gonna tell ya so what. This has to be one of the noisiest freakin spots on earth and I am not kidding. How loud was it, well, The Who are on record for having THE worlds loudest concert on record and I have seen them and they sound like an old tinny handcranked Victrola compared to this shit. Why was it so loud? Well apparently Navy fighter pilots need a shitload of practice to touch down on aircraft carriers at sea safely and they have painted a sort of replica of an aircraft carrier deck on the runway and these guys make 'touch & go's" all farkin day long passing DIRECTLY over the shop just a few hundred feet in the air for practice. So close you think you could hit it with a rock, I tell ya. They SCREAM in and touchdown briefly on the "deck" then full throttle up and back up into a 1 mile wide or so circle SCREAMING through the air to come around and do it again, over and over and over....

Now the first time you see this happen is extremely thrilling, I mean it sends goosebumps all over ya at just the sight and sound. Totally amazing to see one of the entire worlds most powerful weapons of destruction passing so close. I mean this is the sound of freedom, baby and ya gotta love that! Right? Well sadly enough a few weeks of the "extremely thrilling sound of freedom" is enough to put you in the nuthouse. Now I know you're shaking your head and labeling me some kind of wussy ass whiner at this point, but, I have more. How much more?

Well remember I said we were across the street from the main rail line? Yes well, it has trains running on it, going both north and south, sometimes at the same time, trains that are a mile long and then when you think that sucker is just about done passing so you can take a breath and hear yourself speak, along comes 4 MORE engines in the middle of the train to drag another mile of cars behind it. Yeah, well you can imagine how loud this must be when added to the "extremely thrilling sound of freedom" constantly happening while the trains are a merrily passing. Take some Dramamine cause you gonna get seasick from the vertigo, yah I know I am still a wussy assed whiner right? Wrong, cause I ain't done yet. Oh, what do ya mean?

Well the road the shop was on is a very busy 2 lane blacktop with a wide crossing over the tracks to the very busy Naval Air Station directly across the street. One of those old ones with big loose boards that go bump bump rumble rumble every time a car passes over it and a shitload of cars and trucks cross every single day all day long. Now when ya add up the "extremely thrilling sound of freedom" to the sound of the trains passing and all the cars going over the tracks would be purty damn loud right? Well ya I would think so, wouldn't you? But I am not quite done yet.

The city/county decided that we wasn't getting quite enough noise in our diet so they decided to widen the road from a quaint little 2 lane blacktop to a very wide main thoroughfare with 4 lanes and tunnels and shit for cars to pass under the tracks and medians and turn lanes and all kinds of modern conveniences that are almost as cool as indoor plumbing. Needless to say these improvements would take up part of the shops parking lot directly in front of the building, we figured no big deal right? Wrong wrong wrong boys and girls.

The city/state people showed up with what I like to call "the loudest goddamn machine in the entire free world and beyond" and in fact I think they had that painted on the side of the thing. What did this machine do? It broke concrete into teeny tiny little bits of rubble, rubble that would have made Fred Flintstone proud, really. But the damn thing was so loud it made The Who look like a buncha sissies all by itself. And it went on and on and on for hours, nearly as long as this post is getting. Now add all this up and what do we get, well, let's see we got the "extremely thrilling sound of freedom" and we got the trains a passing and the cars a crossing and "the loudest goddamn machine in the entire free world and beyond" to add to....

All the noises that are normal in a busy auto repair shop. Stuff like air tools and grinders and air compressors and a dynomometer and telephones ringing and welding machines and big sanders. Well, now, I think you might have an idea just how loud all this shit really was. We are talking major vertigo here folks, brain numbing, mind bending major league vertigo like you hopefully will never ever experience. I swear it was enough to make you want to go van Gogh on yourself. Why didn't I wear earplugs? Huh? Did you say something? Dammit I can't hear ya, speak up, for craps sake