My own most memorable experience with noisy neighbors dated, not surprisingly, back to my days at UIUC. I was living in a shared house, which normally had about half a dozen other guys but on this particular weekend had only two. That's because this was graduation weekend, and I had already graduated a semester previous. (Just because one is no longer a student doesn't mean one is well-off enough to afford one's own apartment yet.)

Graduation had taken place Saturday, and this was Sunday night following. Sometime after midnight the party at the neighbor's began. Which was fine; I mean, you have to have graduation parties. But this one woke me up, along with the two other sleepers in my house, at three a.m. and wouldn't let up. One of my housemates, the one who actually owned the place, had gone over to talk to someone about turning down the volume and moving people indoors. That had been half an hour ago.

Now, by three o'clock in the morning and after an hour of continuously interrupted sleep, I get pretty irritable. Finally I'd decided enough was enough, and I did the most courteous thing I could think of that would allow me to get back to sleep.

I put on a pair of pants and a shirt. I walked downstairs and next door. I walked up the porch, found the stereo speaker, looked for the wires leading into the back of them, and yanked them out.

The music didn't stop. I went just inside the front door, found the other speaker, and yanked its wires out, too.

Ahhh, peace and quiet at last. The one advantage to having a great big party going on next door is that you can wander in and out and no one will notice you, no matter what you're wearing.

Less than two minutes later, the local constabulary pulled up and toned down the party their own, more professional way. I was vaguely glad I wasn't over there at the moment they arrived, but right then I didn't think about it too much. I curled up in bed and smiled, and went right to sleep.