A draft to our Silent Neighbor

Here’s the draft of the letter to the neighbor. I think it’s mostly a vent right now, and that this won’t actually be sent to him.
Still. It’s freaking hilarious.

Clicky clicky the photos to see bigger…they’re calculations pulled straight from the county website on noise ordinance 🙂

Dear Jack,

We found your last email to be quite offensive, un-neighborly and not in the least humorous.

If you had simply stated “I can hear the hum of your pool pump motor from inside my home, is there any way that we can work together to minimize the sound?”, that would have been a courteous way to communicate your desires.

Instead, you felt it necessary to launch into a pedantic condescending bloviation in which you re-stated (as you did in your last email concerning noise emanating from children playing), your aversion to any sound that derives its source from anything outside the sounds of nature, specially those emanating from the presence of human beings.

If you had cordially communicated your concerns, we would have informed you that we had already taken you hyper-sensitivity to sound into account and were in the process of enclosing the unit in a sound reducing enclosure, placing the unit on vibration absorbing foam and surrounding the pump motor with thick Styrofoam to render the unit virtually inaudible.

Even worse, you made the errant assumption that we are completely ignorant of acoustic calculation and audio engineering and issued a boorish dissertation on the effects of audio physics relating to the decibel level occurring at your location.  Your careless hurling around of audio terminology infers that we are completely ignorant of acoustic calculation and audio engineering.

In the future, if you have the need to communicate issues relating to sound to another that you use the following formulae to provide specific mathematical data and utilize the sums of the data to justify that the sounds that you are hearing are above the legally acceptable level of OUR COUNTY ordinances:

We feel, at the very least, you owe us an apology for being so un-neighborly, making us feel unwelcome, as well as insulting our intelligence.


Oh, dear neighbor. Go f*ck yourself.

LETTER FROM OUR AWESOME NEIGHBOR. Names have been changed, because I really wouldn’t put it past him to sue for defamation. Not like he has ANYTHING ELSE TO DO.

The pool pump is the quietest one on the market. Our house is approximately the same distance from the pump as his is, and we can’t hear it at all. Hardly even with the windows open.

Also, we’re pretty sure that he needs to go live in the middle of Oklahoma, where his nearest neighbor is 15 miles away and can play vuvuzelas all day without fear of email retribution.

Hi Folks,

It’s “Jack” your neighbor here. HHRmmmm-HHRmmmm. I saw that you erected a swimming pool in your back yard. HHRmmmm-HHRmmmm. If we ever get any hot weather that should provide hours of relief and fun for you. HHRmmmm-HHRmmmm.

It looks like an inflatable pool, very clever, and no doubt much more affordable than an in-ground, cement job. HHRmmmm-HHRmmmm. Well, I do hope you enjoy it, just be safe: i.e., no high-dives from the basketball hoop! HHRmmmm-HHRmmmm.

Oh, I guess there’s just one more thing. HHRmmmm-HHRmmmm. Have you noticed that the pool’s recirculating pump-motor emits a constant HHRmmmm-HHRmmmm sound? We have, every hour since it was turned on last week. While we can easily hear it through our closed windows and walls (especially at night), I think much of the sound is coming through the roof and down onto the living areas. That would explain why we can hear it in all areas of the house. Turning on the bathroom exhaust fans seems to mask it, but I’m hesitant to put so much wear-and-tear on those littlemotors by running them several hours a day.

Sound harmonics are tricky, because you can often be standing near a sound source and actually not perceive it as loud or objectionable. But when you are standing beside or inside a structure (i.e., fence, house) that has building materials which reflects sound or physically vibrates from sound waves, the resultant pressure wave reverberates and can createmore sound/noise than expected. Even if the decibel volume remains relatively low, it’s the penetrating frequency of the lower amplitude sound waves which seems to effortlessly pass through structures, and ‘thrum’ against our ear drums, incessantly. And monotonous “thrumming” is what the swimming pool pump is producing, hour after hour, without a break.

So I guess I’d like to ask if you would be willing to moderate theHHRmmmm-HHRmmmm sound in a couple of ways. For example, could you check with your pool experts and determine if the recirculating pump actually needs to run 24 hours a day. If not, perhaps a timer could be installed which would allow running thepump for shorter periods through-out the daytime, with little (or no) operation in the evenings when some of us enjoy the remarkably quiet nights on our back decks: listening to the croaking of distant frogs, the light twittering of nesting birds, and the occasional fly-overs of ducks and geese as they beat their wings, are rare and prized luxuries for city living! Presently, the dominate night-time sound is (you guessed it) HHRmmmm-HHRmmmm.

A second idea might entail building a simple, insulated, sound-box around the pump motor in order to contain its noise and perhaps redirect it away from the water membrane of the pool itself; which might be amplifying the sound as well. That’s kind of what I did when we installed our outside A/C unit years ago; I had the additional option of locating it on the downhill side, away from your side, between the Smith’s and our garages. Obviously, you don’t have that option of strategic location, but the sound-enclosure principle could help. If you wanted to undertake that project yourself, I have new tools that are begging to be used (andpurchases justified), just let me know. : )

Anyway, thanks for being such good neighbors, and anything that you can do would be much appreciated by your side- and back-yard neighbors.

HHRmmmm-HHRmmmm. Ha, Ha, Ha, I crack myself up.

thanks again,

Editor’s note: as in ASS.

All images, ideas and text here is property of Mia Cupcake/Bruises in the Frosting, unless otherwise noted. Please do not copy without express permission from blog author.