A woman's 6-foot singing Santa is bringing everything but peace to a New Jersey neighborhood. Jill Patella put the animated figuring on her porch recently in honor of her husband, who passed away unexpectedly in 2007. Neighbors say that while they're sympathetic, they're not deaf, and the constant singing -- which sometimes last 12 hours a day -- is driving them crazy:
A neighbor complained not long after Santa was plugged in. It was making her loopy.
"She came over and said, ‘That thing is so ugly, I can’t take it anymore,’" Patella said.
Police were called. A decibel test was done. Singing Santa was within the law.
"I went into the neighbor’s house," Sgt. Tim Kelly said. "She kept saying, ‘Can you hear it? Can you hear it?’ Finally, I did, but I had to strain to hear it."
Kelly told Patella her Santa passed the decibel test.
"As long as it was off between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., I told her it was okay."
But on Dec. 11, another Union Beach officer came by and gave Patella a ticket. The violation: NOISE. Written in capital letters.
Noise is exactly how Mark Dittman describes it. He lives across the street, and works nights and tries to sleep days. He says his wife, too, has trouble sleeping.
Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said the whole thing "is stupid."
"Why can’t she just lower the damn thing?" she asked.
"All the neighbors are complaining," he said. "It’s playing from 8:30 in the morning til 10:30 or 11 o’clock at night. We don’t mind that she has it on. But just lower it."
Read more at NJ.com, including the author's thoughts on who needs to exercise more "goodwill toward men."