Thursday, April 20, 2006


I'm trying to figure out what the attraction is between grown men and really loud stuff.

I don't mean to be sexist, or to leave out the women who love loud stuff. It's just that overwhemlingly, it seems to be a guy thing. This past weekend, I heard the roar of motorcycles past my house. Several times. Finally, I went looking for them, and asked them if they could please keep it down. I found them having a party in their driveway (not backyard) and the street in front of their house.
"They're loud. You can't make them quiet," the woman who rented the house said.
"You telling me these motocycles can't be made quiet? Ever?" I countered
"okay, well, you could, but what would be the point? Besides, it's not illegal."
I couldn't help but notice that they left quietly later. So, they can be driven loudly, or quietly.

I saw my sons make the loud engine noise when pushing cars around with their hands, when they were little boys. I clipped playing cards thing on my bicycle spokes when I was younger. WHEN I WAS YOUNGER.
and then I grew up, and realize that this kind of noise could be, well, intrusive.

I shared this experience with my father-in-law later that day. In his mid sixties, he has decided to buy himeself a Harley. "Okay, I give. What is the deal with loud?"
"You have to understand...the nature of the Harley engine..."

"So, you're telling me that it cannot physically be quieter," I said.
"Well, it's just hard to explain," said the man with the Ph.D in psychology., "The way that Harleys are built..."

I'm not just ripping on bikers, or even Harley afficianados either...I don't even mean to rip on my father-in-law, whom I adore. I know men who deliberately make their trucks loud. They love to downshift those mufflerless wonders and gun the engine loudly. I've even seen Honda Civics that have been modified so that traveling with your windows down is somewhat reminiscient of a stock car race. People - usually guys - have mega bass in their car that you can hear - feel, actually - in your house, a block away. And, in New Mexico, there is no noise ordinance, either. It's among one of its many charms, along with cock fighting and drunk driving.

So maybe some of the guys - or women - out there can answer this: what's the deal with loud stuff?


  1. The only thing I like loud is my music from my iPod. But, that has more to do with me being hard of hearing.

    The harleys don't have to be loud. Some people purposely take the baffles out of the mufflers to make them louder. They gain horse power too. None the less, I don't like it either. If I needed a new muffler on my car, I would pay extra for the quietest one. Maybe that's just me but I place a premium on quietnes.

  2. Dunno, but I read something about men hearing the lower end of the soundwave spectrum better than the upper end, so I think they are just wired for bass.


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