I used to wake people up at night...a lot. Well, I didn't, but their dogs did. I was merely a catalyst. See, when I was living in Japan, I was a young guy with lots of free time on his hands. I went out a fair amount. I often ended up coming home late, catching one of the last trains home if I was fortunate enough to make it in time. Japanese houses are not the hermetically sealed giant Thermos boxes we live in here in North America. No, while they are beautiful and ornate, walls are about as thick as wishful thinking and doors seem to amplify ambient sounds rather than muffle them.
So, did I shout? Drag my feet aggressively? Sing? Kick things? No...
See - every house on the 3 minute walk from the train station to my apartment building seemed to have at least one dog. And not giant slumbering laid back mutts either. No, these were a series of small, yappy dogs, each more hi-strung than the next; a loaded gun with a hair trigger. As I rounded one specific corner, all I had to do was let out one small quiet "ruff". Barely audible, every time without fail it would set off a chain reaction that would see lights coming on all down the street that sounded like a kennel on bacon day. I'd giggle uncontrollably the rest of the walk home and sleep peacefully to the sounds of whatever I had in my discman that day (remember those?) - oblivious to the escalating chaos I'd triggered all around me.
Fittingly, anyone who's been to my house in recent years knows that I'm continually reaping the payback I'd earned over those years. I have the noisiest dogs of them all.