Over the weekend an email appeared in all the inboxes of all the email users where I work. Perhaps you have seen this email too. It describes how internet uses can get to secret web sites where they can hire hitmen, buy and sell drugs, and conduct other illegal activity. A member of the IT department chose to send us all a follow-up email, making sure we knew that this was spam, and assuring us that our employer does not endorse or encourage the use of hit men.
Of course in the twenty-first century, the proper noun would be hitperson. (Even if SpellCheck says there is no such word. SpellCheck also says that SpellCheck is not a word.) Hitman should have gone out with policeman and fireman. I’m sure I have seen women perform hits in movies and television shows. On the other hand, if one is already engaged in criminal activity, compounding the crime with political incorrectness probably does not matter very much.
More than that, though, the emails caused me to ask myself whether I would ever want to hire a hitperson. Naturally, the first person who came to mind was Mrs. Dim. The truth is that I do not want Mrs. Dim to die. Especially I do not want her to die a violent death. I would approve if she would move to another state. I would even help her pack. Her leaf blower would be the very first thing I would tape into a box to send on its way.
But Mrs. Dim is not planning to move. Our other dimmer neighbors are unlikely to move out so soon after moving in. They took out another tree this weekend. From the number of hours the chain saw was roaring, I have to assume that they were dismantling the tree six inches at a time. They didn’t even finish Saturday; they had to do some chain sawing Sunday afternoon as well.
If a hitperson is not the answer to my problem, what would bring me relief? I have in mind an invention that would help, but not being one of those creative STEM types, I need to send out a call for help. What I need is a noise-seeking missile. As a heat-seeking missile is drawn to its target by the heat of the target, this noise-seeking missile would be drawn to loud machines, such as chain saws and leaf blowers. They would not be powerful enough to maim or kill the operator of the device, but they would have the power to render the device inactive. I would like to base these missiles in my attic, with several missiles targeted at Mrs. Dim’s property and at the dimmer neighbors’ property. I would not have them armed at all times; the neighbors can make all the noise they want when my family and I aren’t at home. When I need things to be quiet, though, the missiles would be armed and ready to defend the peace of the neighborhood from senseless noise.
I expect that the missiles could be calibrated to react to certain annoying pitches. They could also be set to respond to five minutes of continuous noise or five total minutes of sporadic noise (such as a chain saw). I wouldn’t want to accidently destroy a barking dog or the city’s garbage truck. I have mixed feelings about a car with a damaged muffler; I suppose the missiles could be set to finish off a car if it has been driven for a week without being repaired. The motorcyclist who roars through the neighborhood every pleasant evening—clearly having disabled the motorcycle muffler to add to the driver’s enjoyment—would be fair game. I would want to be sure that the inventor knows that these noise-seeking missiles need to be able to target, follow, and disable a moving motorcycle.
Interest inventors can reply to me on this post. J.