Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rolling Stones "Bitch"

I remember standing outside the dorm building, looking up at McNamara Hall, trying to find out where the music was coming from.

It was cold, but I was happier to be standing alone in the cold, than headed upstairs toward confrontation.

I was an R.A. at UMass Amherst, 1989, and it was my night on duty.

R.A.s were there to answer questions, help folks out, intervene when necessary and keep the peace.  Mostly, I just told my residents "Don't smoke dope in the hallway, and I won't hassle you."

But some students just had to be confrontational.

What other reason could there be for the level of noise that was coming from somewhere in the 8 story building?  There was no possible way that someone was actually IN the room where the music was.  It was insufferably loud.

The other R.A. on duty and I were in the 1st floor office, when we got complaints.  She was a take-charge type, and was ready to march up the stairs and find the source.

I headed out into the courtyard, to see if I could pinpoint it from that vantage.

It was early evening, and most all the rooms on that side of the building had lights on.  Except one.  And notably, that room's window was open.

Yes, very sneaky, Idiots.  No one will be able to figure out it's you playing the stereo at 11, if the lights are off.

Pretty much on schedule, the music stopped.  The light came on.

This happened in just about the amount of time it would have taken my partner to walk up to the 5th floor, knock on the door, and tell these geniuses to turn the music the fuck down.

I stood there for a second, waiting to see if I could hear anything, or see any shadows or action.

Pretty much on schedule, the music came back on.

This happened in just about the amount of time it would have taken my partner to yell at the residents for a few minutes, tell them they were going to get written up, and leave.  Likely, she was about halfway down the hall away from the room, when I saw a stereo speaker hoisted into the window.

The volume went straight up to FULL, and across the courtyard and echoing against the surrounding buildings was "Bitch" by the Rolling Stones.

As offensive as it was, I had to give them some kind of credit for not being afraid of inevitable confrontation and penalty.

The song lasted for a good 30 seconds.  No doubt my partner had wheeled right around and double-timed it back to the room.

I had to give her credit too, for not being afraid to going charging into the face of the most truculent opposition.

The music stopped.  I waited out the in cold.  Nothing else happened.

Both parties had satisfied their level of confrontation.

And I, ever one to avoid a tangle, waited outside a few minutes more, just in case . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

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