7 Reasons That The Banging is Probably a Good Thing.
The house next door to us, having stood empty for some time, has finally been sold and my wife and I met the new owners and several of their dogs last weekend. They seem like a nice couple and, not unreasonably, they want to get on with renovating their house before they move in. The builders – unannounced – started work at seven o’clock this morning. They started with a sledgehammer in the bedroom, pounding on the party wall, several inches from our heads. This was a surprise. Still, I always try to see the positive in every situation and, to that end, I decided to write 7 Reasons That The Banging is Probably a Good Thing.
1. Efficiency. My wife always complains that she never gets enough done during the summer holidays but now – as she’s up at seven o’clock, rather than nine – her day will be 12.5% more time-efficient. It’s only day one of the banging, but she’s already accomplished many things in her extra two hours. These include: Swearing like a dock-worker; slamming every door in the house; winning a light-welterweight boxing-match with the sofa (TKO: Round 6) and preventing her husband from murdering a man in a checked-shirt. If the banging continues for more than a week she will probably solve global warming, bring about world peace, organise her shoe-rack and discover a cure for cancer, though experience tells me that one of those suppositions is fanciful.
2. Numbers. The banger, bangs steadily and rhythmically in sixes, leaving a six second interval between bursts of hammering. 1-2-3-4-5-6…1-2-3-4-5-6…1-2-3-4-5-6…. I think in sevens, so my numerical horizons are being broadened by the banging. This can only be a good thing, though it is always a relief when our numbers coincide at forty-two. I have taken to celebrating every forty-second bang by growling like a walrus and bellowing, “SHUT UP YOU BASTARD!”.
3. Discovery. As I wound the duvet tightly around my head, to lessen the sound of the banging, I discovered a lump between duvet and cover. On further investigation, it turned out to be a missing purple sock. So now I know where the missing socks go. They’re in my duvet cover. At last, an age-old mystery solved, all thanks to the banging. I also found an orange sock that I didn’t recognise: Feel free to email me if it belongs to you.
4. Décor. The banging isn’t just improving the house next door. It’s improving ours too. We were never entirely sure if the framed Japanese print above the fireplace in our bedroom was the right way up, and we both had opposing views on whether it was. Now that it’s lying on the floor though, with its frame shattered into a thousand pieces, it will no longer be a bone of contention and we’ll have a more harmonious marriage as a result. Yay! Thank you, banging.
5. You. I do a lot of my best creative thinking while lying in bed. If it weren’t for the banging, you’d have been reading something rather more considered and rational right now like 7 Reasons That The Age of Enlightenment Was Anything But, or 7 Reasons That France Should Invade The Vatican but, as a result of the pervasive, over-bearing din that is currently preventing me from pursuing any logical thought, or using the toilet (though you don’t really need to know about that), you’re reading about the banging instead. So we’re all benefiting from it.
6. Comparison. Another unexpected benefit was that the unremitting cacophony of the banging, when combined with the sound-baffling properties of my duvet-turban, and the low, wailing sound that I was emitting made listening to Nicky Campbell on 5Live Breakfast almost tolerable. I didn’t even want to punch him.
7. The Relief. The wave of domestic-serenity and abject calm that washed over our home when the banging stopped at eleven o’clock was indescribable. The euphoria I felt at the cessation of the tumult was almost worth having endured the prior four hours of torture for. And that was my opinion until 11:20am, when the banging started again.*
*Coming soon: 7 Reasons That The Punishment for Killing Builders Should be a Stern Look and a Cursory Slap on the Wrist, M’Lud.