Thursday, December 8, 2011

Get a goat

I heard this story the other day about a peasant who lived in a very small house with his wife, five kids, chickens, his mother-in-law and a cow. He was being driven nuts by all the chaos. He went to the wise man in his village and asked him how to cope. The wise man told him to get a goat. "A goat? Have you not heard - I have very small house and a wife, five children, chickens, my mother-in-law and a cow." The advice stood. So he got a goat. A week or so later, he went back to the wise man because the chaos was even worse. The man's advice: Get rid of the goat. The peasant did and the house was quiet again.

I have my own personal goat. I live on a busy street with traffic noise, a firehouse nearby and an occasional train that must blow his whistle at each of the two intersections it crosses. For months, construction has been going on across the street from me. First, old tiltups were knocked down and ground into gravel. That was noisy. Jackhammers and such, Then, the site had to be cleared. More noise. Then, construction began. Trucks began arriving at 6:30 to get ready to start right at seven. Six days a week. Noise, noise, noise. Added to my already noisy street.

Then, the overnight deliveries began. Starting at about ten and lasting until three, four in the morning. Do you want to talk about noise? Back up beeps, rumbling trucks, huge shipments of rebar dropped from great heights. NOISE. Did I mention - IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT???

Two nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night because of the quiet. The deliveries have stopped. The regular traffic sounds and the construction noises are still there but I barely notice them because it's relatively quiet around here. The goat was gone.

This time of year s is like that for me. Adding shopping, making gifts, going to parties to an already full schedule seems like adding a goat. I will enjoy the fun now, but am looking forward to less chaos in January.

And who knows, maybe the construction across the street will be over by then, too.

What's your goat?


Betty Hechtman said...

Middle of the night deliveries - yikes. Construction noise is very annoying. I'm glad it got toned down, a little anyway.

Monica Ferris said...

Maybe that little story is the source of the common comment, "That really gets my goat."

Terri Thayer said...

Betty, they're building a LA Fitness. Have you ever been in one? I'm hoping that their rates are cheap!

Terri Thayer said...

Monica, I wonder, too. According to the internet, the origin of that phrase is not known. Best guess:
The most common story to explain the phrase relates to horse racing in North America and to the common practice of putting a goat in the stall with a skittish thoroughbred racehorse to help calm it. If the goat was gone, the racehorse was upset.
Who knows?

Betty Hechtman said...

I used to belong to LA Fitness. I could tell you some pretty funny stories of me in a boxing class with a some guys who started sparing with each other.