There’s a scene in Annie Hall where Alvy, the Woody Allen character, is shown growing up in a house located underneath a roller coaster. Literally underneath it. In a flashback sequence a man tries to eat soup, and the place shakes so bad as the cars roar past overhead, the spoon is completely empty by the time it reaches his mouth.
And I can almost relate, because I grew up only a few yards from the railroad tracks, where an earth-shaking, howling locomotive would go crashing through several times every day and night, followed by roughly a million coal cars.
Here’s a picture I grabbed off Google Maps, of the old Dunbar homestead. You can see how close the tracks were, to our… lives. And if you followed that street to the end of the block, there was a crossing. So the conductors were required to blast their impossibly loud horns — right outside my bedroom window. Yeah, it was great, especially at 3 am, or whatever.
But it’s also weird. You quickly adapt, and don’t really notice it after a while. We moved there when I was in fifth grade, and during the first two or three weeks I’d sit bolt upright in bed every night, my heart hammering in my chest, believing the world was coming to an end. But within a month I was snoozing through the night again.
Whenever a friend would stay over, they’d almost always wake me up screaming: “Holy shit! What’s happening?! …Mommy!” And I’d sputter, completely confused, “Whut? What’s the matter?!” I couldn’t even hear the trains anymore.
Occasionally something would fall off a shelf and break, or a china cabinet would tip over on my brother, or whatever. But it wasn’t so bad. You learn to live with it, and I can’t remember it being a big deal, at all. Visitors would act like we were crazy, living so close to all that racket. But it was largely a non-issue to me.
In fact, it was kind of fun. We’d put pennies on the tracks, and go retrieve them later. I undoubtedly still have some of those smashed coins, boxed up somewhere. And for many years we threw snowballs at the caboose guy. I don’t know why, but we liked to abuse (aboose?) the caboose guy…. A few times we sent him scrambling for cover, and that made our day.
What was the most challenging place you’ve ever lived? To what nonsense were you required to adapt? Later in life I was forced to adjust to bums sleeping against my apartment door, in Atlanta, and too much junkie business right outside our home.
Do you have any stories to tell on that subject? If so, please use the comments link below.
And it doesn’t really have anything to do with today’s update, but if you look at that Google pic, and follow the railroad tracks all the way to the right edge, you can see the top of a white house. That’s where Steve lived. And now, thirty years later (give or take), we live near each other again in some random part of the country. What are the odds?
Finally, Brad sent me this link earlier in the week. Apparently there was almost a Marlboro-brand beer. Weird, huh? And I’d like to make that the alternate Question of the Day: what other well-known brands could be used to sell completely different products?
Clorox eye drops? Tampax tomato ketchup? Allow your imaginations to run wild in the comments section below.
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.
Have a great day!
Now playing in the bunker
Evil Twin t-shirts now only $13!
To whom it may concern:
I have to attend a meeting today (on my day off) at 1, and don’t know if I’ll be able to update. Sorry.
Summer’s Eve slaw dressing.
That is all.
Arm & Hammer Erection Neturalizer
Liquid Plumber Suppositories
Dr. Sholl’s Car Air Fresheners
Absorbine Jr Ringworm Medicine…which they actually make. Weird, but it came about when Jammie and Stephen were in the company gym one night and Jammie put his fungal, but treated, big toe in Stephen’s ass (playfully of course) and after only three more ‘sessions’, there was a marked improvement in Stephen’s ringworm infection.
This place is getting vulgar. The women are talking about ball sacks, dry heaving, shuck and fuck, and techno music. I love it.
casey j says
I have nothing on the animal sex and trains. hmm. maybe i need to move.
We have a neighbor(great guy) who insists on using a snowblower from fucking 1978 or some shit at like 4 am when is snows.
It doesn’t run smooth, it is like a constant farting engine noise, goes down with lots of snow, comes back up full loud out of the snow.
I will get even when my three sons are teenagers, I am sure. but, nothing ruins a snow day like him waking you up from sleeping in till noon.
He said “goes down”.
and comes back up full. Tee hee !
Dave's not here, man says
That does suck! We have a retired neighbor who runs his snowblower at the crack of dawn if there’s even a hint of snow on the ground. Of course, snow blowers are exempt from the noise ordinance in our city. Asswipes!
Snow blower?…Oh vheery nice… I’d give anything to hear a snow blower. Where I live you need a plow on the front of your four wheel drive truck and some times you have to get out the dozer or the grader. Snow blower?…..piss off.
Root 66 says
I grew up right next to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Ahia) when the U.S. was still in Vietnam. They were drilling constantly and were flying B-52’s non-stop. When we moved from there, it was so quiet that we couldn’t sleep for months.
-McDonald’s Diet Pills
-Alpo Frozen Dinners
-Pepsi Chewing Tobacco
My previous residence was a 9th floor apartment in a building that is beside a road that was a bus transitway, so I had the joy of listening to buses squeak to a stop, idle and take off…constantly and randomly from 5am to 3am every day. I got used to it.
On the other side of the road from said apartment is a three story shopping mall and parking garage. When it snowed, I had the joy of listening to the scraping plows and constant forward/reverse as they cleared the top levels of the parking lots. I actually enjoyed sitting on my balcony with an adult beverage and watching them plow the lot. They used plow trucks to pile the snow at one end, then had a Bobcat to shovel the snow down a chute to a melter.
General Motors Financing Company
Trump Instant Noodles
Lee Harvey Ramone says
You guys are lucky! When I was growing up, we lived inside of John Bonham’s bass drum. It was very difficult to sleep on concert nights.
Grew up two houses away from a major highway in PGH (Route 28). Only the occassional truck crashing would be noticed.
Ironically the 2 kids next door (closer to highway) were deaf.
US GIvernment Securities
Here’s the most challenging place I’ve ever lived in…
…and for some reason, we ended up staying there for 8 years!
While still in college, I lived in the apartment on the second floor (above the “Victoria Garden” store) with my husband-to-be and 2 roommates. Go back to look at the picture again, and take notice of the left side of the building. Look carefully, and you will see that all of the windows on that side face the building next store. Yep, we were only able to see daylight from the front window, which faced the street. Great for when you are a college student, but not so great when you have to live a real life.
How about the piped-in muzak that was played daily from speakers attached to various buildings throughout the town, one of which was right in the alley next to our living room window…
Or the non-wall between our apartment and the one next to us, which was really just a piece of cheap panel that was only as high as the drop ceiling, leaving more than a foot of space above and between the living rooms for all the sound to travel through…
Or the coke-head neighbors upstairs from us, who lived a nocturnal existence and allowed their 4 year old daughter to run wild up and down the hall for most of every day. (They also played the Smashing Pumpkins song “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” repeatedly at a near ear-shattering volume for most of the time they lived there).
I could just go on, but I won’t. Besides the insanely cheap rent, there was another good thing about the place. It was directly across the street from a 1920’s movie theater. We just had to look out the window to see what was playing, and decide whether or not it was worth the walk across the street.
Thanks to the USN I lived/slept about 2.5 feet under the flight deck of the USS Enterprise, CVN 65.
First time a 52,000 lb F-14 landed right above my head i almost jumped out of my rack.
By the 3rd night i slept right through it. It’s amazing what you can get accustomed to.
Crap! Pasted the wrong link! Here’s another:
Bank of America ATM says
I live about 100 feet from the 580 freeway running through Oakland, and while the place doesn’t shake very often due to the traffic, it is EXTREMELY loud and just always there.
I enjoy listening for the crash after hearing screeching tires up there, and a few months ago there was a shootout between the cops and a guy who had driven from way over near Tahoe to kill liberals in San Francisco.
Also, you hear people getting pulled over because the police have large loudspeakers on their cars – PULL OVER. PULL OVER. I heard a funny one the other day – ARE YOU OKAY? OK BYE BYE!
The Other Dave says
Granddad worked on the railroads; he took that job over pitching for the major leagues as my uncle had just been born and back then the railroad paid $1,000 more per year than baseball.
Alpo Hot Pockets
Everclear Bismol… coats, soothes, relieves.
Playskool’s My First S&M Session
One nice thing about being a romantic is that, in times when the truth is being traded for a political longing for a country that never was, I can look back to a time when giants roamed the Earth and truth mattered. This will take about 4 1/2 minutes of your day.
West Berlin, June 26, 1963. Jack Kennedy…
Live and be well…
Amd my take on the speach..2 minuets
Eddie Izzard is the Bomb. Not exactly WV material though.
Dave's not here, man says
dto, that was freakin’ hilarious!!!!!!!
Dave's not here, man says
jtb, I can appreciate what you’re saying. But I make absolutely no pretense that I visit the WVSR to better myself in any way. In fact, I’m pretty sure the reason I come here is because of the notion that I’m actually doing something bad for me but it feels so good. Kind of like why I go get Krispy Kremes all the time. Or Miller High Life. Or Strippers. Or all of that at once! Why doesn’t somebody open a bar where you can eat donuts off a stripper? I’d be there all the time!