Monday, October 05, 2015

The Birdbrain.

Such is life in the mental asylum dumpster of Northcott Housing Estate, one nutcase gets moved on only to have another take his place. Thankfully, Gumnut in the flat above me disappeared two years ago, taking his rotten cabbages and frozen chickens with him, (he'd rescued hundreds of them from behind our local supermarket and scattered them about the grounds like so many pods from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers.")

The first I knew there was someone new up there was when I heard shrieking and cursing from his balcony, "Fuck off, fuck off, fuck off!!! Fuck off birds!" Over and over....was I hearing right? He then threw buckets of water onto the trees in the back garden, the birds twittering in dismay

When he marched out back with an axe and chopped an offending tree down, we all shat in our collective pants. Would we be next? He's about thirty, skinny, balding, with a shrunken head, somewhat like a bird's, is a complete idiot, thus I call him Birdbrain. He obviously has a phobia about birds, can't stand their song, sad really as birdsong is one of the pleasant things relieving the background caterwauling of this madhouse. Maybe he got shown Hitchcock's "The Birds" when he was a kid and it freaked him out irrevocably. He even put his sound-system's loudspeakers out the window and played bad disco music at full volume to scare the birds away, and it worked, no more birds, and no more peace for the rest of us.

This has gone on for the last two years, with all of us putting up with it, minding our own business, tolerant, stoical, gritting our teeth, somewhat scared of him, he's a madman, screams at anyone who crosses his path, a bit of a bully actually. We're mostly old people, wimps and retards, nobody wants to invite an axe in the head. There was a time he accosted a woman at the common-entrance, he cursed her like Satan, scared the bejesus out of her, she called the cops on him but when they asked him if he'd misbehaved he squealed like a school-boy, "Little innocent me? I wouldn't do anything wrong." I wanted to speak to the cops and tell them I'd witnessed the whole nasty event but thought, "No, mind your own business, don't get involved."

I would live to regret my timidity as I soon needed cop back-up myself. Many times at night I heard him stumbling about his flat above me, seeming to fight with himself, bouncing off the walls, cursing in a demonic voice, thump, thump, thump, like he's dropping anvils on the concrete floor. In the deep dark hours I've heard spooky organ music and chanting, as if Satanists were having a Black Mass up there. We have a fortune-telling psychic running his business in what used to be the doctor's surgery on the Estate, and when peeping through red velvet curtains in the shop-front windows I've seen black robed figures playing Tarot cards around a table and imagined them carving up body parts on the old operating table before filing into Birdbrain's flat for a demon-rousing ritual.

The worst part about the bad disco music he plays is it's the same cracked CD churning over and over, a collection of hits from three years ago, maybe from when he had the one good time in his life... "when I hold you here in my arms, da da da de de dah, we're in Heaven!" Then the next piece of noise pollution, "da da de da da, after the boys of summer have gone!" Maybe his one good summer? The crap echoes around the collective backyard, disturbing hundreds of us. Finally a neighbor from across the garden could stand it no longer and charged up to his door and abused him roundly. I thought the guy would beat the shit out of the birdbrain but he kept his distance and just got him to turn it down.

But it didn't take long before the volume crept up to ear-shattering levels, ..."We're in heaven!" while we were in hell. Day and night, week after week, month after month. I rang the front office of the Housing Estate and made a complaint about the noise to our client officer. She said she'd go have a word with him, ask him nicely to consider others and turn down the volume. For a few days he complied but thinking he could get away with it, day by day the sound crept up until it was at full pitch again.

Finally came the day when even his full retinue of shit music did not satisfy him, he'd play half the "We're in heaven" song, stop, go back to the beginning, start again, stop half way, over and over, finally moving onto, "Boys of summer" and stopping that half way, going back to the beginning and playing it till halfway again, over and over, for hours. It was sheer torture and I snapped. I rushed upstairs, banged on his door and yelled, "Turn the music down, dickhead!" He squeaked from behind his locked door, "What's wrong? I thought everyone liked my music?" "No shit for brains, we hate it!"

I went back to my flat and sure enough he followed me and banged on my door. I opened it to be greeted by his ugly shrunken head, squawking like a rabid emu, "You can ask me nicely! You can ask me nicely!" I yelled back, "You've been asked nicely, and every other way possible and you took no notice. If you don't watch it your  skinny arse will be carted off to some nut-house in the back of beyond and we'll be glad to see the last of you!" He pushed his shriveled birdbrain face into mine, leaning over my door-step, "You can ask me nicely! You can ask me nicely!" This infuriated me, I hadn't slept for weeks, I was a live-wire, I lost the plot, I no longer cared about the consequences, he was half my age and a terrifying maniac but I was willing to fight it out with him.

"How about this for nice?" And I bitch-slapped him so hard his head spun round like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" I then pushed him from out of my doorway and he went down like a paper-tiger wailing, "You hit me!" The chicken-shit ran off to cause more trouble I reckoned but I didn't give a dam, the bully proved to be a wimp, only good for terrifying old ladies. Come what may I was glad I did it, it was a hard lesson that was a long time coming to him. I'm so fucking tired of bullies standing over me, they've been doing it my whole life, and when driven to the wall I fight back, it's just the way it is.

Sure enough, ten minutes later there's another knock on my door, I opened it and there were three young cops there who informed me I'd been accused of assault. They then said, "Tell us your side of the story." So I told them the whole tortuous tale, of two years duration, ending with him pushing his way across my thresh-hold and me using my right to repel him. They agreed it's my right, and after asking my neighbors if he indeed makes too much noise and them backing my complaint, they had a hard word with him. And what do you know, he's shut down the bad Russian disco, it's been golden silent now for weeks, like heaven.

Oh how blessed is peace and quiet, and the beauty of birdsong is wondrous to behold. I'm sure word got around the whole housing complex how Birdbrain got his just deserts and I can picture them all smiling, especially the woman he accosted so rudely, the bitch-slap is exactly what she would've liked to give him. I know "violence" is politically incorrect, the drunken coward's punch is just not on. But should I merely cower when confronted by a thug?

All out WAR is not the answer to the planet's problems, still I believe the World should stand up to murderous psychopaths. In this case a slap worked wonders. He's been given a strong warning and is on his best behavior, and we all sleep soundly in our beds, with only the general screaming of ICE-heads and Alchos to disturb us, which we're all used to. I risked my own safety and freedom to shut-down a bully, and I don't feel bad about it all. Sorry, that's what it takes to get a life.

P.S. This story was not appreciated, few are courageous enough to take on a fight and bitch-slapping is politically incorrect, so the bullies stand over us and we have to take it lying down. It didn't take long for Birdbrain to go back to his old ways, his BAD music shrieks in the high decibels at 2am, predawn, 9am, 6pm, whenever he feels like it and hundreds of us living around him rarely get a moment's rest. Worse still is his abuse shouted at the birds, "You fucking faggots! You bastards! Faggots, faggots, faggots!" yelled in such demonic raucousness it could well be the sound effects for a remake of that old horror movie, "Bedlam."

I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown and have no recourse, the police have been called innumerable times, as has the landlord, but his madness protects him. If I could I'd beat the shit out of him every time I saw him but instead I have to put in ear plugs and wait it out. I've come to love that song "Silence is golden!"

Now he's got a slingshot and is killing birds by firing marbles at them, nature suffering as ever while we humans wring our hands. It's just so fucking pathetic! OK, he's mentally ill, I'm not encouraging medieval torture, but living in an assisted care hostel would get him shot up with a tranquilizer every day and the birds, as well as the human race, would get a break.

It's enough to make me vote for Donald Trump and bring him over to do some bitch-slapping. I'm joking but I start to understand his popularity: another Big Brother who might iron out the world's problems. (I don't think so.)

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.