How much cowbell is too much cowbell?
Enough that it is keeping you from sleeping — or that was the view of an eastern Ontario family who found their neighbours' cows too noisy, when their cowbell complaint made news nearly three decades ago.
In July of 1989, CBC's Midday brought viewers the story of two families, and the herd of cows whose jangling cowbells were jarring to a sleeping family on one side of a fence and the cause of an ongoing dispute in St. Albert, Ont.
The Bourgeois family had a bedroom window that faced a fence, which bordered an area where their neighbours, the Naefs, had cattle going to and fro.
And they found those cowbell-laden cattle a hindrance to getting a good night's sleep.
"My patience has gone the limit," said Yvon Bourgeois, when speaking with the Globe and Mail about the cowbell-related conflict.
'Put in air conditioning'
The Naefs had cowbells on their livestock to keep track of their whereabouts — a practice that, according to this report, was common in Switzerland where the family had emigrated from.
And the Naefs had suggestions for how their neighbours could deal with the problem. Earplugs were one option. Changing the location of his bedroom was another.
"He can put in air conditioning and close the windows," said Shua Naef, listing a third option, when speaking with CBC about the issue.
A complaint was made about the cows, which was supposed to go before a provincial board later that year.
The Naefs said that if it didn't go in their favour, they would simply take the bells off.
If it went the other way, the Bourgeois family would have to "lie awake at night, listening to the nightly gong show," according to the report that aired on Midday.