Please Cry Quietly

As someone who might charitably be described as unusually sensitive to other people's noise or more realistically an irritable, hard faced cow my life contains more than it's fair share of torment.

Take this afternoon for example after being released from the horror of work slightly earlier than expected I thought I'd take myself off for a quiet pint and a read at the paper. Really my needs are simple in life, a dark pub with just enough light to read , a bit of gentle chatter in the background and a newspaper in the afternoon. That's just how it was today until the incredible whining she- screech started.

One moment all was perfectly peaceful then the next this awful creature started saying 'I' and 'me' a lot between sobs of a terrifying volume. I looked up all the better to glare at the person who had brought a distressed child into the pub only to be confronted with the sight of a badly dressed young woman hanging off a middle aged man and screaming.

I must say the chap showed infinitely more patience than I would have in such a situation, more so when one considers that he didn't make his escape when she went to the toilet. I hoped and prayed she might be using her time in the ladies to compose herself but no, she'd merely been working herself up to greater heights of hysteria.

I've nothing against crying as such. I do it all the time and it's quite useful. All I ask that it is done in private or at least quietly. If one must to make a song and dance about it at least tell the rest of us why. Honestly I was driving myself mad trying to work out what had happened to cause her to carry on in such a manner. She looked to me, like the sort of woman that cries at parties and has to be taken home early by a chap, ideally a friends husband.

My peace shattered I packed up and moved on. To think they won't even let one have a fag in the pub but behaviour like that is within the law. I really don't understand anything anymore.


Anonymous said...

Clairwil I too hate unnecessary noise. You have my sympathys. However at 25 am I too young to have Unnecessary noise as my biggest hate in life.

lism. said...

I hope not, I'm 24 and feel the same! Other people's breathing is a constant source of irritation. It's no wonder I never sleep.

Will said...

Well, I'm 24 and noise really is the bane of my existence. Firstly, high-pitched noise especially really does make me suffer and always has done, ever since when I was really young when my dad would attempt to pick up Radio Scotland and would succeed only in bombarding the house with a whining, screeching sound.

Secondly, having been a linguist in a previous phase of my life, I still have very sensitive ears for focussing in on different sounds and listening carefully to them. So when I'm in an environment with a lot of background noise, I struggle, as I have lots of different sound sources and I'm picking up all of them. It's rather annoying.

Incidentally, I'm not sure I agree with certain perceptions only being allowed for people of a certain age. The other day I had the first instance of getting on a bus, only to find that the driver looked about 14. I'm not ready for old-man-dom just yet!

Billy said...

I've never cried in a pub. The journey home from a pub on the other hand...

David Duff said...

Stand by your beds as I Bore for Britain!

I, too, cannot stand noise that is outside normal parameters. Hence many years ago, I bought a house on an estate which was not yet completed. A few months later the developers started work on the land behind my house. Fair enough, and I made no complaint about the noise until one *Sunday* morning - which followed on from one of *those* Saturday nights - I came awake, suddenly, to the noise of a cement mixer. I rushed (alright, stumbled) to the window, threw it open, despite my nakedness and the fact that proximity to fresh air before midday is against my religion, and attempted to shout at the two builders enjoying the prospect of triple time at the expense of my hangover. Of course, they could not hear me because of the noise of their bloody machine but eventually, my frantic arm-wavings attracted their attention, at which point they smirked at each other and carried on regardless. Like Bonaparte at Waterloo, that was their first mistake!

In my gibbering, furious attempt to cover my nakedness, I pulled on my wife's sweater - that was *my* first mistake - but nonetheless, I rushed downstairs and out into the garden with my exposed tummy in the lead. My garden was surrounded by a 6' wall which, as a fully trained ex-Para, I assumed I would clear with the ease that I had enjoyed as young lad 20 years before. That was my second mistake!

Having bounced off the wall and in a fury of frustration, I searched for weapons. It being a new house there was a plethora of old bricks to hand with which I began to bombard the 'enemy' not just with bricks but with a stream of foul-mouthed invective. In the army, I was an infantryman, not a gunner (or 9-mile sniper, as we called them) so my aim was hopelessly wild and the two builders began to laugh. But then I got my eye in and one of the bricks landed smack on the top of the cement mixer, exploding into hugely satisfying fragments like a hand-grenade.

The builders recognised a loonie when they saw one and after an exhange of glances, switched off the machine and departed, leaving me heaving with lost wind and the mother of all hangovers. Glancing up at my son's bedroom, he had a pal staying overnight, I saw two little faces crying with laughter at the sight and sound. They have dined out on that story for the last twenty years!

One day, I'll tell you about the neighbour who got a gypsy in to cut down a tree with a power-saw on a Sunday morning!

Clairwil said...

I'm totally speechless! That's just priceless, you must tell us the power saw story. If you have enough of these you could publish them in a book of anecdotes about suburban rage.

David Duff said...

Well, you did ask!

I had just settled down on a nice spring Sunday morning with the Sunday 'heavies' and cup of coffee when a whining banshee howl went up not unlike a thousand Glaswegians keening "O, Flower of Scotland" (sorry, Clairwil, I couldn't resist slipping that metaphor in but I'll consider myself head-butted and continue!)

You need to imagine one of the Tom and Jerry cartoons as I rose vertically with my legs revolving at about 5,000 rpm. I hit the ground running and tore out of the house, skidding to a momentary halt as I tried to work out where the noise was coming from - we lived in an estate Close so there was a certain amount of echo. Standing there with my head swinging slowly from side to side and flecks of foam forming on my lips, I realised that it was from the house of a dipstick woman who lived next door.

I rushed down the side of her house into the back garden to see a 'Gypo' up a tree with a chain saw. Turning, I saw the woman through her kitchen window. I asked her politely what the hell she thought she was doing but, of course, she couldn't hear me because of the bloody saw! This sent me into a paroxysm of frustrated furing and I was literally jumping up and down with rage, at which point, terrified she retreated into her sitting-room.

The 'Gypo' just grinned and kept going!

I raced back into my house and rang my local police station. It was actually answered by the Station Sergeant - this was 25 years ago - who asked me what the problem was? The dialogue went something like this:

ME: You've got to send down a squad of policemen, this bloody 'Gypo' and his chainsaw are driving me ... (and so on and on and on.)

HIM: (after a slight pause to make sure I had finished) I see, Sir, has there been a Breach of the Peace?

ME: Not yet! But if you don't get down here smartish there's going to be a Breach of the Peace like you've never seen before, in fact it could be the first Berkshire Chainsaw Massacre!

HIM: (After a judicious pause) Oh, I wouldn't do anything too hasty, if I was you, Sir, it would only mean me having to arrest you and you'd spend the rest of the day in the cells. (Another pause) Mind you, it's a lot quieter up here!

Well, instant 'collapse of stout party' into appreciative laughter. And, indeed, a few moments later a squad car drew in to the Close. They didn't bother to get out. The minute he saw them, the 'Gypo' did a runner and that was the end of the affair.

I was told, later, that for some of the young Mums in the road I was used as the Threat of Last Resort, along the lines of, "If you don't do what I tell you, I'll get that Mr. Duff on to you!" Worked a treat, I'm told!

Binty McShae said...

Great story... small point though - your example in paragraph two is a simile, not a metaphor. Pedantic bastard, I know.

David Duff said...

"A hit, a very palpable hit" and right on my tender spot of ignorance concerning the finer points of the English language. I don't know why I'm so sensitive about it but I am, and that's that. Should you feel inclined to spell out the exact difference between a metaphor and a simile, I would be grateful, and you could then join 'Andy Barmcake' who regularly corrects my English over at my place - the other day he explained how I should use 'who' and 'whom', very clearly, but I still don't quite get it. 'E-' material, that's me!

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