It's 7:27 p.m. PDT on a particularly miserable Sunday evening. My tooth infection has returned with a vengeance, and the pain is intolerable. And what, besides Extra-Strength Tylenol, do I have to ameliorate my misery? Other than my cat's constant vigilance, I have a loud neighbor across the street, plaintively strumming his acoustic guitar and oh-so-sincerely "singing" his self-composed ballads about unrequited love and the dearth of people who "understand" him. His melodic line is identical to his chord structure: A C chord is accompanied by a C note, a D chord by a D note. He has far too great a fondness for half- and whole-notes, holding them long enough to show off his efforts at libretto. And, I'm sure, he believes he might be the most earnest minstrel since Bob Dylan. Small problem: no talent. Add to that his voice, which carries even farther whenever there is a gust of wind. (Closing the windows in this heat would only make my own suffering worse.) I'm sure this gentleman is a good person. But I saw sooo many of his type when area magazines would torture me by sending me on assignments to local coffee houses, where unsigned singer-songwriters are able to get this affliction out of their systems in front of their friends. Meanwhile, the pain in my mouth increases proportionately to the volume and plaintiveness of this "singer's" efforts. In order to persuade Congress to ban such misguided persons from picking up an instrument and attempting to write "music," I am willing to give up my own $500 Alverez acoustic guitar. And I am willing to toss out all my own wretched song lyrics. (But I wrote the crap with a rock band in mind, at least.) Or might it be possible to produce a repellent spray that makes it impossible for the talentless to pick up an acoustic guitar and attempt to play it in a densely populated neighborhood? Oh, the pain in my mouth and the pain wafting in through my windows make me want to jump out the window. Problem is, I live on the first floor. Thank you for your time, and I hope all of you get a great night's sleep.