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It 3:40 AM in the peaceful hamlet of Berkeley. Iris and I are sounds asleep, and a couple of cats are snuggling us. Outside an engine revs loudly  "rrrRRRVVVV" and a car-horn blares, "EeEEEEEEEEE." The revving lasts only seconds,  the car doesn't seem to move, but the horn keeps on going "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE." We wait, it continues going.

Iris curses a dark blue streak. I mumble something. Five minutes have gone by, with no quieting. I slam the bedroom window on my thumb.


Iris gets an icepack for me. As long as she is up, she calls the Berkeley Police non-emergency number, and hands the phone to me.

"Hello, Berkeley Police Department."

"Um, hi. I have I guess a non-emergency. We're on Channing Street across from the high school. There is a car across the street from us whose horn has been blaring for the last ten minutes. It is really loud."

"Is there anyone in the car?"

"We don't think so, but we aren't sure which car it is, we haven't gone out to investigate. We'd appreciate if an officer would come by."

"Alright, someone will be there in a few minutes."

The police station is only a couple of blocks from here, so before we even peer out the window there is one patrol car stopped, and a moment later there are two. They get out, shine their flashlights into the offending SUV. Nobody there. They get the door open and poke around, but can't get the horn to stop. Popping the hood, they look with some bewilderment at all the mechanical bits, call for backup.


We decide this may take a while, and that we can't possibly sleep with that noise. We have tea and scones instead. A half hour later a mechanic shows up and disconnects the battery.

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...    ee..  e..                                     "

4:35 and Berkeley is peaceful once more. We sleep.

"                                                                                        "

Until 5:30 when the tow-truck comes and tows the SUV away. For some reason before towing it they reconnect the battery.

"       e e eeE  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee........           ".

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