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BOTD 08-10-2016 The Sound OF Music and All - An Anonymous Production

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Bransom Postmaster
The Sound of Music and All...
An Anonymous Production

Randolph, 23, your son by your first marriage:
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(He closely resembles your ex)

Matthew, 12, and Anthony, 11, your sons by your present marriage:
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(They look exactly like you did at their age...)

Randolph has graduated community college and recently landed  his first real job. You helped him buy his first car, and are currently allowing him to live at home until he has paid it off and has enough money saved up for first and last month's rent in a decent apartment. Randy gets along well with his half-brothers, who tend a little towards hero - worship... they are both very fond of him.

Last week, Randy splurged a week's take home pay on a little item for his car...

The bone of contention:
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The waste of money on something totally unnecessary while you are still partially supporting the boy was irksome enough but you could get over that and all...

Last month, you visited the doctor about some noises you've been hearing lately - it sounds like demented crickets are living in your ears - and been told it was tinnitus caused by long term exposure to industrial noise on your job. It is extremely annoying, but you were told there is nothing that can be done about it and you will just have to put up with it... for the rest of your life.

Some days ago, Randolph pulled up beside you in his car, with his new stereo turned up so loud that YOUR car was vibrating in sympathy. It's very hot right now, both cars had their windows up and the air conditioning running, but the music was so loud that it was causing you intense irritation as you sat in your own car. Remonstrating with your son about the potential for hearing loss produced no results... it's evident that he has no intention of moderating his listening levels while driving. there isn't, of course, too much you can do with your adult son about this beyond warning him about the potential dangers...

This morning, Randolph asked if he could take his half brothers camping with him up north. Normally you'd have no hesitation in allowing them to go, and neither would their mother - Randy is a responsible adult and he took the boys last summer with no problems at all. Randy has already spoken to the boys about this and they are very eager to go.

Unfortunately, your traditional campsite is a six hour drive, and you don't want the younger boys exposed to dangerously loud music for that length of time - especially since hearing is far more sensitive at their age. There is no possibility that you can go this weekend... you're on call for your job and can't be more than an hour away.

What do you do?

Can you dig it?


I'm letting him take his brothers. I'm also letting him know of my concern RE: PERMANENT hearing damage/loss, especially to his brothers, if they are exposed to very loud music for the six hours each way of the drive.

It seems that we otherwise have a good relationship. That being the case, even if he thinks I'm being whatever the modern equivalent of "killjoy" is, I think he'll agree to my request, for the sake of his little brothers.

Y Lee Coyote

As much as I want to agree I just don't think that destructive monster is going to be off on those twelve hours of travel and will probably blast much of the time there until a ranger shoots it to protect the bears.

It is unfortunate that I didn't make him return it last week or move out in a week.

I would be criminally negligent it I let the two boys be subjected to such torture.

Alas, it's a no go.

Actions affect other people and have consequences.


Full disclosure: I have heard other peoples blasting noise from their ear buds (while in their ears) from the other end of an 20m subway car and I have impaired hearing (hereditary).  I can't imagine how bad their hearing must be to tolerate the blasting noise just a cm away from their ear drums if it was too loud 2000 times as far to my deficient ears. Sad

David M. Katz

Sure they can go. I will insist that Randy use MY car (since it is newer and more comfortable and all) and I will use his while they are away.

Problem solved.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


Katz has come up with the ideal solution which will ensure the youngsters can have their camping excursion while not exposing their ears to excessive noise.


There are two problems here, and I should have already addressed the first one.

I'm going to sit down with Randolph. I'll tell him about my hearing problems, and why I worry about him playing his music that loud, not to mention the fact that what he's doing is rude and disrespectful to the entire neighborhood. With those things in mind, I'll ask him how having his little brothers in the car would effect his listening habits. On the other hand, if they're going camping, it'll probably be better to take the SUV anyway.

The second discussion is how his money will be handled from now on. Apparently he's not making much money if that was his whole paycheck, but he needs to start budgeting, saving, and helping to cover his own expenses now, instead of learning that lesson when he moves out.

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."


Jack I think you'd be surprised what a good Car sound system can cost. Its great that Randy wants to take the young ones camping and the last thing I want to do is to stop that. But I do want Randy to think about his half brothers hearing in later life. 12 hours of thumpety thump can be pretty hard going and also about his neighbours. He is old enough to answer for himself if the noise abatement people visit or the neighbours complain but I will be restricting the time my other other sons are exposed to the racket

I will of course pay the cost of the trip as its for the the younger boys as well but then for Randy, he will be confronted with a little reality. Till he is paid again I will only help him out on essentials if he is struggling and will be taking a small dollop off him each month if that puts him in debt. After which I suggest, if not done already, a savings account and he can put it away for another luxury expense WHEN IT CAN BE AFFORDED.

Emlyn Morgan

Great film, Sound of Music. Salzburg with no Mozart!

Anyway, as for those boys, I'm going to whack them.


Editor Extraordinaire
I'm with Katz on this, and since I see Katz's solution going well with Kier's analysis, I think I'll call this K Club.

I also think that I need to have a talk with Randolph, who, I hope, is not unreasonable.


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