Stop your whistling, Jock

Dunno what’s going on with the Siemens, but it behaves wonderfully well everywhere apart from at work, which is the one place where I really need it to behave. In the studio, it whistles incessantly in my ear and in lecture theatres selected individuals sound like they’re talking through a flute. At 3 in the morning, after finishing worrying about all my teeth falling out, dying alone, my thinning retinas detaching, etc, the awful thought crossed my mind that perhaps I was not the only person who could hear the noises in my lugs. By 10am I was already conducting an experiment with the assistance of my bat-eared colleague. The students were milling about en masse in the studio for a presentation of their work, so the minute I stepped out of the office we were in business.

“Psst, Susan, can you hear this?” I bent towards her finely tuned concha.

“Jesus, Moira what’s that?”

Oh God. Weeks of whistling one-to-one tutorials sitting 12 inches away from students with mosquito hearing flashed before me. The intimate Zimbabwean mbira recital in the lecture theatre where the Siemens was rattling away merrily in time to the music. The even more intimate mindfulness demonstration in the computer room with the visiting psychiatrist, where he started us all off on 5 mins of silence with a strike on his buddhist bell and I was still hearing it on a loop at the end of the 5 mins.

Horrified, I composed myself for the slide talk I was about to do, but within minutes of starting I was firmly entangled in a horribly unfolding Freudian gaffe sparked by an image of a pencil. A sane person would have redirected their commentary to avoid reaching the embarrassing looming double-entendre, but I decided to opt for a head-on collision. At least the ensuing hilarity at my expense temporarily masked the flute band whistling away under my hairdo.

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