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ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
Anyone who's talked to me in person lately has already heard the
story, so I apologize for rambling on about this yet again, but I'm
hoping someone out there has an idea about solving this long-standing
The Degenerate Press HQ is located just west of downtown Atlanta in a
small neighborhood stuck between the jail, the CSX rail yard, and a
concrete recycling plant - a little residential oasis in the
industrial side of town.
Next door is a family of hardcore redneck white trash much like those
I grew up around in the hills of North Georgia. Their yard is
surrounded by a tall fence. From this fence rises a flag pole
sporting a faded American flag, a tattered rebel flag, a tattered
rebel flag a Dale Ernhart #3 on it, and a random NASCAR flag. The
fence encloses a yard trampled down to bare dirty by three large dogs
that bark incessantly at any thing that moves, and some things than
don't. Random relatives' children visit for the trampoline that takes
up most of this yard, which they play on until after 3 AM on
weekends. The front porch of their shack-like house is covered in
junk, such as the screen door that fell off the hinges and now stands
awaiting the reconstruction that will never come.
The residents of this house are Dale and Pennie. Dale is the
archetype redneck - shirtless, except when he wears his coveralls to
kickbox his dogs (no, I'm not making this up), his dirty mullet
covered by a dirty baseball cap, he tinkers with race cars in the
street with his extended family.
His wife, Pennie, is deaf and never learned sign language or lip
reading as far as we can tell, and cannot speak. She makes strange
alien yodeling sounds whenever she "speaks", such as calling in the
dogs and such. The only way she communicates, beyond the occasional
wave and such, is through nearly illegible notes.
The rest of their end of the block is owned by their relatives,
including the house on the other side of theirs, and the house behind
theirs, leaving the DP HQ duplex and another duplex behind us the
only residents on the block not related to them in some fashion.
Having grown up around such people, they don't generally bother me.
They've invited us over a few times for random drunken birthday
parties and the like, but thus far we've always had something better
A couple of months ago Dale acquired a rooster. Growing up where I
did, I assumed it was for cock fighting, but why he has this animal
doesn't really matter. What matters is the goddamn thing crows
incredibly loud, usually starting around 5 AM, sometimes earlier,
sometimes all night and all day. You're probably chuckling, but you
wouldn't if you'd been woken up EVERY DAY at 5 AM, then frequently
kept awake by this crowing.
Bad enough with one rooster, combined with the dogs, even in winter
with the windows shut. But a month or so later he got a second
rooster. The thing about roosters is they crow in competition with
one another so the crowing is now louder and non-stop. And with
summer on the way it's getting harder to sleep with the windows
Degenerate SW left them a friendly note about how the roosters were
waking us up and asking if there was something we could do to remedy
A couple of weeks later I wrote them a note begging them to do
something, even offering to help build solid-walled coops to tone
down the sound.
A couple of more weeks later I wrote them a note saying I'd be forced
to call the cops if they didn't do something.
I finally broke down and called 911, since this wasn't getting
resolved in a neighborly fashion without bringing in the authorities.
Call #1: the operator said "We don't usually do anything about roosters."
SW had done some research about the laws governing such animals and found this:
Article IV, Sec. 74-134, Paragraph (5) of the City of Atlanta Code of
"The owning, possessing or harboring of any animal which frequently
or continuously howls, barks, meows, squawks or makes other sounds
which create excessive noise across a residential or commercial real
property line or within a noise-sensitive area are declared to be in
violation of this article."
I mentioned this to the 911 operator and she said it didn't matter
and would not even send an officer to investigate.
Call #2: I was on hold so long I finally gave up and hung up.
Obviously had it been a real emergency someone would be dead by now
(likely two roosters and either Dale or myself, or both.)
Call #3: an officer arrived later that afternoon and told me "Unless
they're crowing between the hours of 10PM and 6AM, or after midnight
on weekends, and they're above a certain decibel level, and an
officer is here to witness it, there's nothing I can do."
The odds of me getting a police officer to my house (in the famous
Zone 1 of Atlanta) between 10PM and 6AM on a mere noise complaint and
getting him to do something about it aren't worth considering.
Another neighbor also called the police. When the officer arrived he
told us "Call the mayor's hotline," and drove off.
So I looked for this "hotline" and couldn't find it in information or
the phone book. Eventually I found a number for the mayor's office
and left a message. They didn't return my call.
I looked up the mythical hotline online and found it's the same
number for the mayor's office, or the central number for city hall
depending on where you find it online.
So I emailed the mayor from a link online about complaints and got an
automated response, then a personal response saying they'd forwarded
my mail to someone else.
No response since.
I emailed again from a different email address, hoping it would sound
like I wasn't the only one complaining, and got the automated
response and nothing more.
I got a couple of other neighbors on the block to email and they also
got the automated response and nothing more.
I'm confident the owners of these birds would do something if they
were fined, but I'm also pretty confident that's never going to
As if this weren't enough, they have acquired three new baby birds of
unknown gender. The situation is escalating.
One of the other neighbors noted that Dale hasn't been around for a
couple of weeks following a little domestic dispute between he and
one of the relatives, leaving Pennie, the deaf woman, in charge of
the situation. She works for a living so she's often away from home.
This has me sorely tempted to kill the birds myself, though it would
have to be done quietly since the back yard where they are kept is
bordered by the two neighbors' houses who are their relatives.
And I'd have to do it without making it obvious it was me that killed
the fucking things.
So I've been looking up various ways to kill roosters. Poison is
tempting, though I'd rather not risk poisoning anything else that
lives around the neighborhood, even if I knew how much of what poison
I have a BB gun, but that leaves material evidence.
Because of the big dogs in the front yard, cats and other potential
predators won't go near the place.
So if you have any friends in the APD, or if you know of a quiet way
to kill roosters without leaving any evidence, let me know because
it's going to be a domestic disturbance of an entirely different sort
if something doesn't change pretty soon.
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