City of Bears

Today’s post comes from Bart, the bear who found a smart phone in the woods.

He Found a Smart Phone in the Woods
He Found a Smart Phone in the Woods

H’lo, Bart here.

The woods are loud this summer thanks to all the people who come up here with the same low standards for noise control that they use in the city. They’ve got every kind of sound maker there is, including smart phones, which more and more bears are picking up. Seems like as soon as a tourist sees a bear, out comes the smart phone to take a picture. And as soon as that bear makes a move toward the tourist, they drop the phone and run.

That’s how getting smart phones got to be easier than picking berries. I have a bunch of them stashed away. As soon as the battery runs out on one, I open up another.

But I don’t get it why people would bring such a loud thing into the woods. These phones are ringing, beeping, chirping, and playing music ALL THE TIME. They’re so demanding! I thought getting out of the city was supposed to be about leaving behind all the racket and the stress. Instead, having a bossy smart phone makes it feel to me like I’m living in a Minneapolis apartment.

Not that I really know how it feels to live in an apartment.

Though I ran into a bear one night at a picnic area in the Chippewa National Forest who shared the contents of an abandoned cooler with me. He said he once was able to rent an apartment in St. Paul by doing it totally online. The landlord didn’t ask for references, he just left a key under the mat and this bear claims he lived like a prince for two weeks until the downstairs neighbors started to complain about the sound of heavy footsteps (and breathing) overhead. He also had this bad habit of rubbing off ticks that had dug into him by using whatever was handy in the main downstairs hallway. He splintered some of the wood paneling and ruined the carpet, which was a dead giveaway and led to them calling a zookeeper and the police. Tranquilizer Dart time! Otherwise they never would have caught him because the neighbors just thought he was an exceptionally hairy person.

Anyway, when I run into city people up here in my territory, you’d kinda expect that they’d quiet down as soon as they laid eyes on me, seeing as how I’m so big and fearsome. But it’s just the opposite – they get louder. Some of ’em even start banging on pots and pans. What’s with that? People are just weird.

I saw online that urban experts think they can make cities quieter places to live. I’m not so sure about that. Unless you can do something to get rid of the humans, cities are going to be noisy, no matter what.

A city of bears would be pretty peaceful, I think. Not that we wouldn’t have our issues, but we bears tend to keep a respectful distance from one another, which is something humans don’t always try to do. So if you want to come to the woods to learn about patience and quiet, fine. But leave your smart phone at home!

Your Pal,

What’s the most annoying noise in your life?

42 thoughts on “City of Bears”

  1. People talking loudly on their smart phones in public places is at the top of my list of noise-annoyance. When this trend first began, I thought there were a lot of schizophrenics walking around talking to themselves. Worse, I occasionally thought someone was actually talking to me and responded, only to be met with a blank stare.

    Every family gathering, lunch date, and doctor’s waiting room is overtaken with people using their smart phones. I’ve actually scanned for non-users in airports. When I spot a person who’s not on one, I scamper over and start a conversation – something extroverts need any time when other people are present. I start these conversations with the truth; “You’re the only person here who’s not on a device! Have you noticed how people don’t talk to each other anymore?” This novel approach has resulted in many wonderful dialogues.

    As much as I love talking, I really can’t stand listening to other people’s conversations when it’s none of my business.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Morning all. As someone who lives in the city, on a busy street, under the flight path for the airport, I’m pretty tolerant of noise, until it gets to be repetitive, then I lose it quickly. Two year ago, when they re-did the bridge over the creek, a block and a half from my house, it took several days to drive all the new pilings. I was off work one of those days; after several hours of the pounding, I ended up going to the movies before it made me crazy!


  3. I offer music that is too loud for the most annoying sound in my life. Whether at concerts, where I wear earplugs, or in retail stores, or at church for pete’s sake! Turn it down unless you’re in your car and not too close to others.


      1. I asked an audiologist once about the hearing problems they were seeing, and she said that they were getting teenagers with hearing loss equivalent to a 40-year-old trucker. Considering that I can usually hear other people’s music on their earbuds, I was just surprised that it was only that of a 40-year-old trucker; I was expecting a 60-year-old machinist, myself.


  4. Good morning. I wonder what Bart thinks about barking dogs? I am very annoyed by all the loud barking done by my own dog. Our dog, Henry, is constantly barking at people and their dogs when they go by our house. I’m sure he would bark at Bart. I can put up with some barking by dogs if it isn’t my own dog. Maybe Bart is not bothered by barking dogs. For me it is very annoying to have own dog barking frequently not far from me in my own house.


    1. I hang out with my former daughter in law every Thursday. She has a basset hound who barks constantly and I truly hate it. I don’t know whether I’m more upset that she doesn’t realize how irritating his barking is or at the dog himself. I feel the same way about little kids who repeatedly intrude on adult conversations.


    1. I also don’t like leaf blowers, Anna. For those people who use them they seem to be just another kind of power equipment that they think they should have. Some people just love to operate any kind of power equipment. What will they think of next? I saw a company that does lawn care using a very loud motor driven device for renewing lawns. I’m sure there will be some home owners who will start using those or who are already using them.


  5. Aside from wanting to flee the house when my husband eats chips and other crunchy things, my world is pretty quiet. My dad likes to go to sleep with music blaring, but he sleeps in the basement and we can’t hear it. We hear lots of trains in the night, but our town is still small enough that it is quiet. I used to hate the sounds of sirens when I had teenagers at home, as I would worry that the sirens involved them somehow. They never did, but a mom worries all the same. Now sirens just make me curious.


  6. Why can’t the police take more action against people who have very loud motorcycles? I’m sure they would stop any car that is that loud. There seems to be some unwritten law that it is okay to have a motorcycle that is way too loud,


  7. When I was in my Marketing classes in college, we were discussing consumer behavior topics. Apparently, back in the 70’s, lawn mowers with mufflers were test marketed. They had the same look, the same horsepower, the same everything as a standard lawn mower but they were quieter. They tanked completely. No one would buy them. Because people equate noise with power. And the perception was that a quiet lawn mower didn’t have as much power as a noisy one. Now we have noisy lawn mowers and everyone wearing hearing protection. Great, eh?

    Oh, and most people believe that red cars go faster.


  8. Probably not the most annoying but quite effective is the beeping that my refrigerator does when I leave something ajar. I think it’s designed to be like a crying baby – difficult to ignore. My only complaint is that if the door is in exactly the right position, the beep won’t go off, the freezer goes below zero and the main part’s temp starts to climb. I’ve learned that the only way to get it back into alignment (short of an expensive visit from a repair person) is to unplug it for a short time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My fridge beeps too. It tends to discourage me from giving it a thorough cleaning. At first it beeps rather quietly in sets of three. Beep beep beep. Hey, the fridge door is open. Beep beep beep. Did you know the fridge door is open? Beep beep beep. It’s been open for quite a while, your milk is going to get warm and go sour, you know. Beep beep beep. Have you completely forgotten that you left the fridge door open? – it’s wasting energy. Beep beep beep. Then it abruptly turns the light off and beeps continuously and insistently, as if it has lost its little electronic mind. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP SHUT THE DOOR SHUT THE DOOR until your nerves are completely jangled and you slam the door shut yelling “Alright alright, you win! Are you happy now?”

      Appliances used to know their place. They were seen and not heard.


  9. I wanted to answer hours ago, but my hands weren’t flexible enough to type. The two sounds I detest are leaf-blowers and unmuffled motorcycles. Ironically, my apartment grounds crew is running around today with leaf blowers. What a nasty, stupid machine that is. Even my neighbor, the Lawn Nazi, tried to avoid using his, and he was a sucker for every lawn subjugation device ever invented.


    1. Had a next-door neighbor who had one of those motorcycles and used to fire it up like clockwork at 6AM. Oh, I was so happy when he got rid of that thing.


  10. My agency is housed in a former college dorm. Sometimes we have repair guys in our building who have to use drills on the cement walls. It sounds like a giant dentist with a giant drill is at work, and you can hear is no matter how far away the project is from any one office. I have a dentist-phobic colleague who really has anxiety when it is happening.


  11. I find this noise funny, not annoying, but we have 3-4 little wrens in our yard who scold and give us the business any time we venture out into the yard. It is their yard, you see, and they don’t appreciate our intrusion. For such small birds they have a huge sound. We also are lucky to have a Warbling Vireo in the yard. That bird call is just beautiful.


  12. Rise and eat lunch–wow am I late today!

    This weekend the Twin Cities Air Expo took place at the airport near my house and in the air ABOVE my house. It sounded like London during the Blitz, given the WWII era planes being demonstrated. It got really OLD—AHHHHHH.

    The dog barking next door–tied up in the back without water, poor baby. He/she is generally neglected. I don’t know which part annoys me more–the owner’s neglecting the dog or the barking.


  13. All of the above! – with a special antipathy for the next-door neighbor’s car that apparently needs a lot of work that it’s not going to get, so he really has to VROOM VROOM it to get it moving. Probably needs a muffler too.

    Not usually annoying: about mid July each summer, I used to the cardinals at daybreak, and can sleep through most of the time. I love all their calls, but this morning I was sleeping out on the screen porch (it WAS warm last night), and I’d swear he was two feet away – I almost jumped out of my skin.


    1. Bird calls are not often annoying, and yet can be. My daughter lived four years on the U of Puget Sound campus, and experience that taught her to hate the incessant squawking of crows. They are thick in western cities, and they are not pretty to hear.


  14. OT: Any of you know know of someone in need of a hide-a-bed? Light brown velvety fabric, some kitty damage on arms but I have fabric covers… better as a couch than a bed… appropriate for a porch or something. Goodwill doesn’t take ’em and Husband is gonna take it apart and scrap the metal if I don’t find a home for it.


  15. renee i share your crunch problem. i learned about pet peeves as a kid when i couldnt stand to be next ot anyone chewing ice, then chewing potoato chips then hard candies pretzels hard croutons …. i ma a sick dog when it comes to this. i cant stand it. i have to leave. my poor family all eat in muffled tomes when i am about. the crunching drives me nuts. then they ask. is this crunching bothering you? and i tell them i hadnt noticed it until thn but now i have to leave because i cant not focus on it after you have brought it to my attention.

    when i get in the car in the morning an the radio is on i have to turn it off to back up and go forward to get up the driveway. i cant focus and it feels like someone is banging me in the head with an unbeleivable gong when i am trying to get going an the blare is doinking me in the ear. god i hate it.

    my hearing aid( they said they could help on one side not on the other) is coming next week and i will see if life imprves or just changes when i can hear out of one side. the old rock and roll days seem to have taken their toll and i hear what i hear but i hear it in the way i hear it not how it sounds in real life.
    no highs on either ear but missing enough middle stuff in the one ear that they think they can improve it. we will see.

    my son the 27 year old hass recently begun talking REALLY LOUD AND IT DRIVES ME NUTS TOO i ask him to stop yelling and he takes offese but man oh man. im sticking my fingers in my ears as anon verbal form of request and he doesnt appreciate that either.

    i love listening to music loud in the car but i listen to good music. all the people who listen to music loud i witness listen to crap. big bass boom box in the trunk. 500 dollar speakers in a 300 dollar car. doorknobs….

    bart is always good for a monday

    thanks dale. i feel vented.


    1. Wow! I can feel the wind blowing from your venting all the way out here. I thought I was the only person who cringed over crunching.


  16. So many noises annoy me, many of which have already been mentioned here. Leaf blowers – I used to have a neighbor who had one and what used to take him a couple hours with a rake took him at leaIst 6 hours. Gosh, what an awful noise. Lawn mowers – I wish that everyone within a 4-block radius would all mow their lawns at the same time to get the noise over and done with. Instead they stagger it, so it seems like over the weekend, there’s always somebody mowing. Motorcycles. Airplanes going overhead – I used to listen to this really great radio show in the morning and it seemed that every time one of my favorite songs or guests (e.g. Cap’n Billy) came on, several airplanes would go over and drown out the radio.

    But the MOST annoying sound is a sound that I know saves lives, but it still drives me stark, raving mad. I live about 5 blocks from the helicopter landing/launching pad at a hospital and the noise that thing makes is beyond annoying. Sometimes it sounds like that thing is hovering outside my bedroom window (usually at 2 am or some such hour) for 20 minutes. And some days or nights there are so many helicopters coming and going that as soon as I take a sigh of relief that the helicopter is gone, it starts all over again.


    1. Yes, Edith! – we live several blocks from North Memorial…There was a helicopter last night maybe 3 a.m. And the sirens, seems like several a day But I was complaining about this once, and my friend Fern said, Oh no, Barbara, it means “Help Is On The Way.”


      1. I TRY to not resent the helicopter, because I know it helps to save lives…but when there are half a dozen in the space of a few hours, especially when I’m trying to sleep with the windows open, I just want to cry (or scream) with the pain of So Much Noise.


  17. I’m acutely sensitive to noise, so everything bothers me. I just bought a car, a nice used Jetta wagon, but it honks when you lock it. I really hate that. It doesn’t honk very loudly, but really – whose idea was it that cars have to honk when you lock them? There’s no reason for it. You can hear the locks engage, you don’t need further auditory confirmation that the car is locked. Gratuitous noise pollution.

    Also, I have noticed that the people with the most obnoxious ringtones are always the slowest to answer their phones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean, Linda. I almost answered Dale’s question with “What noise DOESN’T annoy me?” I could have listed at least 20 more Very Annoying Noises.


    2. A ‘Supervisor’ of mine mentioned to me, “You must have really good hearing” as I kept turning down the volume on the speakers. I replied, “I can hear my housemate’s cell phone vibrate at night”.


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