This Side Up

I can't get my neighbor to shut up


I’m filing a complaint against my neighbor.

It’s become too much. His yakking is incessant. Just the other night I was awakened by his calling, “me too…me too…me too.” What on earth could be happening? The moonlit yard showed no signs of activity. Houses on both sides of us were dark. It was 2:30 a.m.

His refrain suddenly changed.


Now he was sounding like a skit from the Charlie Hall follies, the one on Rhode Islandese. I wondered what he’d be coming up with next and, yet at that time in the morning, all I really wanted him to do was shut up. I didn’t need to hear any more of his repertoire that seems to expand by the day.

Besides, what was he doing up at this hour? Was he purposely trying to wake the neighborhood? Had he been awakened and was now voicing his objection? Was he a newcomer to the neighborhood and asserting his authority?

“What’s your problem?” I was prepared to yell.

Surely others were awake and might even join in my objection if they thought it might have an effect.

Truth be, we all knew it wouldn’t stop him. Not even the appearance of the cops and the threat of a disturbing the peace charge would halt this verbal assault.

I closed the bedroom window in hopes of muffling him and tried to go back to sleep. His chatter kept up.

Strangely, when he first appeared in April, we welcomed his appearance. He was a harbinger of summer, and if you recall this past April any sign of summer was worth celebrating.

“He’s back,” Carol declared enthusiastically.

I caught a glimpse of his perky silhouette as he stood sentinel from a treetop. This is his turf and he was letting everyone know. Just to be certain he mimicked the click-click of the cardinal, throwing in boisterous chirps that had to be chickadees. What an impersonator, but that’s how mockingbirds have earned their name.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the northern mockingbird is territorial, staking out its neighborhood and letting everyone know. It eats insects, worms, grubs, berries and fruit. The Cornell website offered no advice on how to drive the birds away nor did it have an explanation on how the birds seemingly live on little to no sleep. Now they’re torturing the neighborhood.

One good thing, however, is that they haven’t learned to mimic exploding fireworks or firecrackers. While the 4th has faded into the rearview mirror, some neighbors apparently love carrying on the celebration. Thankfully, the show is usually over by midnight.

But the mockingbird never grows weary. He started up again.

“Me too…me too…me too,” he intoned once again at full volume.

“Go to sleep…go to sleep…go to sleep,” I said to myself.

No point shouting it. The mockingbird didn’t need another phrase to add to his collection. That would only add insult to injury.


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dey is territorial sews a shotgun is da answer. boom boom. bye bye birdie

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