The Soapbox: Cause for alarm

By Nancy Lombardo

There are so many sounds we take for granted, living in New York City. A siren, truck horns, helicopters, screams in the night (usually the young returning home from a night of partying). But the most invasive of all of these sounds is the car alarm and if you live anywhere near a loop in Stuyvesant Town, you know the nightmare.

Quiet has finally settled in your sleeping mind, ambient noise is at its minimum.

When suddenly…WAW-WAW-WAW-WAW. The maniacal car alarm breaks the silence with its piercing cry…WAW-WAW-WAW! You think to yourself “Please let it stop soon,” but it doesn’t.

And for some reason, it’s always when you have one to two more hours of sleep owed to you. “No, make it stop,” you cry. Surely the owner can discern the “WAW-WAW” like a mother the cry of her own child. But no, peace does not come and it continues on and on, WAW-WAW-WAW!

As a car owner (who parks in the garage), I understand the need to protect your property but are you seriously going to race down from your 10th floor apartment to thwart the interloper or thief? Are you really going to get all Superman at four a.m.? (Which by the way means Ante meridiem, in 12-hour clock notation, Latin for “before noon, p.m. Post meridiem”; who knew? Not me. Sorry, I got off topic. Blame it on sleep interuptus.) Anyway, I doubt you will be taking on bad guys in your pajamas.

I understand no one wants his or her car broken into or stolen. And the siren does draw attention to the vehicle, but surely there must be a happy medium we can achieve. LoJack perhaps, an alarm disabling device; I’m open to suggestions. Until then for the love of humanity, if you do recognize it’s your car, can you please race down there (come on, elevator!) in your pajamas (which people seem to wear now as a fashion statement anyway) and turn the darn thing off?

On behalf of the sleep deprived, I thank you.

Town & Village is proud to present “The Soapbox,” a column featuring a different voice from the neighborhood each week (space providing). All are welcome to submit columns on the topic of the author’s choice, preferably not longer than 800 words, to or Town & Village, editor, 20 W. 22nd St., 14th floor, New York, NY, 10010.

2 thoughts on “The Soapbox: Cause for alarm

  1. I am woken up at 4 every morning by my downstairs neighbors coming home from their night of fun at the clubs, boozed up and high. After all the laughing, fighting and high-decibel conversation, they put together their Ikea sofa beds with a lot of thumps and bangs and finally go quiet at around 6 am, just when I have to get up. Worse than any car alarm in my opinion.

  2. Pingback: Beth Ditto, Punk Rock Flapper | Sabina Mollot

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