To Kill An Atomic Subwoofer; Or, How I Blew Up My Noisy Neighbor's Car Stereo


Across the street, shielding part of my view of the redneck family’s house, was a stand of young trees with thin trunks, nestled next to the corner of a chain link fence. It made a perfect hiding place. We’d just have to move the equipment across the street and pile it near the trees. I’d found a great spot to erect the antenna, pointing directly at the truck which was parked a little too close to their little cinderblock house. Most of the equipment was already across the street, lying in the grass, waiting for my friend to arrive.

At 1:45 a.m. he showed up, passed by my house, turned around, and parked up the road a block. I’d suggested he not park in my driveway because I’m paranoid like that. I just looked at him walking up to my house and giggled like a little girl. Silencing that subwoofer and stereo was going to happen. There would be no backing down. That stereo was going to burn.

It was time to get busy. With the destruction, that is. We walked across the street and squatted down behind the trees in the corner, leaning against the chain link fence. I had a tiny light, but it was still hard to see. I had to feel my way around and he helped me get everything set in the exact position we needed. My comrade bravely stood up and checked the antenna and its position and then we positioned ourselves as comfortably as we could down in the weeds and dried leaves and broken branches. He asked if I was ready, and I was, so with a bit of hesitation he handed me the remote. I think in all essence he wanted to blast the stereo himself.

I crawled through the treetrunks, scratching the side of my face on a branch which stung, but I was so excited by this time I didn’t care. On my hands and knees, I raised the remote and aimed it at the transmitters, a little scared of the antenna above my head, and pressed the button. We heard a “ping” sound, like a rock hitting a piece of metal, from the area near the truck. We looked at each other, puzzled. I tried again, and heard another weird noise, like a grating sound, but not loud, which was good because I didn’t want to wake up the rednecks; it seemed to come from beneath the truck. We both crouched there for a couple of minutes as mosquitoes bit us, unsure what we should do.

By this time, I just got pissed and thumbed it again, holding it down, taking out my frustration on the remote. I saw a small blue flash inside the truck and heard a pop like a light bulb going out. We looked at each other again, and he wondered aloud if we’d actually hit the stereo or did even worse damage to the truck.

No answer was forthcoming. I decided we’d better get back to my apartment before we were seen, or someone in the cinderblock house woke up and went outside to investigate. Neither one of us wanted to face a crazed redneck who might have a shotgun.

Hurriedly we gathered up the equipment, pulled the antenna from the tree, and hustled quietly back across the road.

For the next hour or so, we sat in my darkened living room, discussing the whole experiment, and wondering just what might have happened across the road when we tried to tase the stereo. When the adrenaline faded, my eyes got heavy, and my colleague decided to head home and I watched him walk down the street to his car.

At 11 a.m. the next morning, I awoke from a strange dream, only to recall what we had done the night before. Panic started gripping me. There was a message from my comrade on the phone to call him.

First I had to see if there was any evidence of our dastardly doings. Pushing aside a few blinds on the living room window. I saw Redneck Carl outside with his truck hood up. Then, I saw his wife’s nice green Chevy Lumina, with its hood up too. He kept going back and forth from one vehicle to another. I just stood there in shock and said, “Uh oh.”

The best way to get a closer look was to just go outside and pretend to do yard work. My eyes still sticky with sleep, I stepped outside, grabbed the garden hose, and started to hose off my dusty car. The redneck’s kids came outside and I heard one of them say, “What happened, daddy? Why won’t the cars start?” My eyes got big. I heard him cursing and he yelled at his kid to go back inside. I stepped around to the front of my car, hose in hand, to get a better view. Then I saw him get in the truck and attempt to start it. I heard nothing. He then did the same thing with the Lumina. Once again, nothing. He cursed until his wife came out and he yelled at her to go back inside too.

I went back inside, stifling laughter, and fell back on my couch and let go! I ran and called my friend and told him what was going on outside, and I swear I never heard him laugh so hard in my life!

Later that afternoon, my neighbor was able to get the Lumina started, but the orange truck was still dead. And so was its stereo. Weeks later, a nosy neighbor lady told me that Redneck Carl said he came out one morning to find his stereo wires with burn marks on them and also the faceplate melted on his Toyota truck! I feigned no knowledge of the incident, and told her that was the strangest story I’d ever heard!

To this day, no one in our neighborhood has been subjected to the obnoxious ghetto blasting we had to listen to for over a year. Mr. Redneck Carl has remained silent ever since, although he always keeps his porch light on at night now.

Our good deed was accomplished. Ever since, our neighbourhood has enjoyed only the sweet sounds of mockingbirds and chirping squirrels, no more “Me so horny!” 

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