Boom! Boom! Boom! Bella Goes Under the Bed

BOOM! BOOM! That’s how Robin Jaffin punctuated her letter to the Amherst MA board of selectmen when she complained about her neighbor the farmer. In order to keep away unwanted birds, he’s been shooting off a propane-powered gun that makes a boom boom noise in frequent intervals all day long.

Jaffin’s cocker spaniel, Bella, has refused to come out from under the bed. An article in today’s Daily Hampshire Gazette by Nick Grabbe quotes Jaffin. “It’s persistent, like water torture. And the noise seems louder when its humid. You can almost feel it in your body.”

This isn’t the first time an Amherst resident has stared down the face of a noisemaker and blinked. In fact the Town Meeting voted to exempt agricultural noises from bylaws, making the owners of a North Amherst sawmill very happy. A resident complained about being woken up ten times and after a court summons, the farmer was found not guilty. Too bad–farming trumps sleeping in Amherst.

The story provided more information about the gun that’s making Bella so unhappy. The propane cannons can be programmed to make the sound of a motorbike, the clatter of cans, barking dogs or even a Huey helicopter. But her neighbor has stuck with the boom of the gun. She is considering putting Bella on Prozac.

And there is little sympathy in town for those former city dwellers who have chosen the quiet countryside. The old farmer’s catch-all stop ’em in their tracks line was trotted out by Jim Pitts, farmer and member of the Farm Committee: “If you’re going to complain about farmers, don’t do it with your mouth full.”