LA GRANGE, NORTH CAROLINA – If you’ve ever had to sit in traffic listening to a nearby vehicle blast music at a volume capable of diverting the flight pattern of migrating fowl, you’re not alone. Chances are the La Grange man who was recently issued a bizarre penalty for noise pollution was the source of your involuntary ear wax removal.
Larry Storch, 89, of 667 Calamity Lane, La Grange, was recently cited for misdemeanor noise pollution; it was his 17th citation since 2005.
“They’ve been giving me noise tickets for years,” Storch said. “I guess they thought their tickets would deter me, but every time I paid off a ticket I’d stop by the speaker place on the way home and add a little more boom to my zoom.”
When Storch was brought before Lenoir County District Judge Robert T. Ironside for his latest infraction, the judge alluded to what he described as “wanton disregard for the public.”
“You’ve come before this court many times over the years Mr. Storch,” Judge Ironside said. “In the past I’ve fined you, sentenced you to community service, and at one point even forced you to watch the fourth hour of the ‘Today Show.’ Since none of those punishments have done anything to curb your jackassory behavior, I’ve decided to get medieval on where your butt — if you had one — would be.”
Storch – who drives a 1976 Aston Martin Lagonda — has been sentenced to blare the Teapot song (“I’m A Little Teapot”) out of his stereo for 45 days. A bailiff gave Storch a homemade CD featuring 37 different versions of the beloved children’s poem as he left the Lenoir County courthouse on Friday.
“I think it’s kinda sweet, really,” said Storch’s girlfriend of 27 minutes, Paulette Burroughs of La Grange. “I’ve dated many a rapper in my day, and they all cite ‘I’m A Little Teapot’ as the joint that got them started in hip hop. 50 Cent was weaving ‘Tea Pot’ into his rhymes when he was still 16 Cent.”
Storch — who usually blares the likes of Kenny Chesney and Eddie Rabbit from his system — has appealed the decision. When interviewed by The Free Press regarding the unusual sentence, Judge Ironside stood by his decision.
“I enjoy a good sound system in the car — nothing like a little Bobby Womack on a Saturday night — sookie sookie, now,” Ironside said. “But anyone who insists their stereo rattle every mailbox open it passes is in dire need of a daily flogging with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire until they get better.”
Clinical psychologist Ken Strayhorn of Miller-Monty University says there are several types of psychosis that could cause a person to parade around town with a stereo system that would run Iron Maiden up a tree.
“Massive, bone-rattling stereo systems are usually the by-product of low self-esteem,” Strayhorn said. “This type of scenario most often occurs in males who are feeling inadequate in some way. These feelings of inadequacy usually result from the subject’s inability to count to 10 or properly satisfy a woman. In the case of Mr. Storch, since he is 89, he may just have it loud because a stereo upgrade is cheaper than being fitted for a hearing aid.”
As Storch drove down Vernon Avenue blasting out “I’m A Little Teapot” on Monday morning, he was met with stunned faces. As usual, Storch’s stereo set off many car alarms burglary systems as he cruised along.
“There was one bright spot,” Storch said. “I had every 3-year-old within a five-mile radius jamming along to the teapot song; they were waving their little hands in the air like they just didn’t care.”