Honku

motorcycles vroom
smashing the evening calm
impressing no one

…and a letter written after said honku to Iggy’s, a new-ish bar down the street.

I am writing to express my anger with the motorcycle event held at your establishment on Sunday, 12 September 2004. As a result of this event, thousands of your neighbors were subjected to almost constant and maddening motorcycle noise for the entire day on Sunday, well past midnight. This excessive, obnoxious, and unavoidable noise — at 100 decibels, as loud as a baby crying or a helicopter taking off and eight times louder than usual traffic — is firstly unpleasant and distracting for tens of thousands of residents near both your establishment and any routes to and from there. I and countless others were disturbed and prevented from going about our business (whether reading, conversing, dining, or resting, whether on the public way or even within the supposed sanctuary of our own properties) due to your rude and inconsiderate customers.

Secondly, this level of noise is also patently illegal, violating both City of Chicago noise ordinances and federal laws governing mufflers for motorcycles used on roads.

If your business hopes to be welcomed by its new neighbors in Wicker Park and Bucktown, I would suggest that you minimize noise from future events involving motorcycles. One way of doing so is to remind your customers of the American Motorcyclists’ Association’s firm position against excessive noise (see enclosed). Otherwise, I will seek to have action taken against offending motorcyclists, to the extent that the law provides.

One complaint that gets my goat: “well, you live in the city, get used to it.” Actually, no, I choose to live in the city so that I can get away from motor vehicles (at least in my own life), and I will respect others’ choices if they will respect mine. These egomaniac idiot motorcyclists think that some false buffoonery of a safety slogan allows them not only to flagrantly break multiple laws, but grants a magical “right” to disturb (harm) innocent bystanders, even those sitting inside their own homes. Well, no. I have a “right to quiet enjoyment” of my property; the public roads, on the other hand, are heavily regulated in countless ways.

Besides, thank goodness that I don’t have the right to disturb you in your home: run jackhammers at 3 AM, throw dog poop in your windows, shine spotlights from across the street.

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