Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Rock Tumbler


I was a young professional returning to my apartment on a weekday evening, an apartment I shared with three other mid-20s bachelors. Each of us had our own rooms and maintained good jobs. It was surprisingly spacious and comfortable, though cleanliness, as one might image with four fellas residing within, was a constant struggle. I do not recall from whence I was returning, but from 50 feet away from the front door I could hear a horrendous racket, the source, though, not yet evident. The noise was constant, no gap or pause, the kind of noise I thought that might be capable of driving someone mad should it not be extinguished before long. I smiled to myself confidently thinking, ‘I don’t know what that is, but it sure is nice to know I can go home to an apartment that would not foster such a noise.’

The smile was short lived. As I approached the front door the noise was indeed getting louder! As I unlocked the door and opened it, I felt as if I were walking straight ahead into a strong breeze. A look of horror on my face with mouth agape, I turned to the kitchen to see a roommate casually eating a bowl of cereal.

“Dave got a rock tumbler,” he yelled to me from 15 feet away. Yes, he yelled so as to be heard over said tumbler.

I looked at a five-foot tall tower of sofa cushions along the kitchen wall. The rock tumbler, as a courtesy to his three roommates, had been buried under every cushion from our four sofas. [Yes, our apartment had four sofas which had been acquired over time at no charge from friends. Sofas were positioned two-deep in the family room facing the television, plus one sofa on each side of the room.] Nice, I thought, he did what he could to temper the tremendous racket generated from the tumbler, but the decibel level remained unbearable. Not wanting to be the one to throw a tantrum, I went to my room without disabling the thing. The noise continued after I closed the door, the door having a negligible affect on reducing the noise.

It was some time after going to bed, lying in bed tossing and turning, that I finally tackled the cushion tower and unplugged the rock tumbler, or was it one of my roommates. Regardless, I slept. The rock tumbler lived on intermittently for another few days before finally becoming a thing of the past.

My son recently asked about getting a rock tumbler. This past experience came to mind. I asked if it were OK if we did not get a rock tumbler. My boy, lucky for me, did not push hard for the acquisition.