Image Credit: Everett CollectionThe South Carolina beach community Sullivan’s Island wants to outlaw singing in public, particularly between the hours of 11 p.m and 7 a.m., if you’re loud enough to be annoying. The town administrator told CNN the residents have already voted twice in favor of the ordinance, and if they do so again in July, violators could start receiving a ticket and a maximum $500 fine in August. The exact wording of the ordinance: “It shall be unlawful for any person to yell, shout, hoot, whistle, or sing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort, or repose of persons in any office, or in any dwelling, or other type of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity.”
As someone who’s been annoyed by the sound of her neighbors’ stereos (and drunks on the street) on more than one occasion, I can understand the desire to shush people. And I can only imagine the kind of shenanigans a beach community sees when the bars let out. I’m sure there will be some clear-cut cases, but I also see gray areas: Let’s say you’re walking home after a really crappy day and three sober guys in front of you suddenly break into “Day Man” from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If you’re a Sunny fan, this random act of musical hilarity is like a little sign from God that your life doesn’t totally suck. If you’re not, men doing falsetto could be considered irritating. I hate to think I would have missed out on that moment because those guys were afraid of getting fined. Can I suggest an amendment to the ordinance that allows sober people to sing comedy references as long as they’re moving (that way, they won’t be annoying anyone in particular for too long)?
Have you ever disturbed the peace with your singing? My colleague Kate Ward just admitted that she got detention in third grade for singing the hula song from Dirty Dancing in the hallway.