If a tree falls in the forest…

At the weekend, the spouse pointed out a snippet in The Guardian Guide which said that Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson are playing a gig only audible to dogs in Sydney next month. He felt that this might be of interest to me since I keep complaining about an annoying high pitched noise coming out of our ancient VCR machine and he confidently states it’s a figment of my imagination because he can’t hear it.

Well, readers, I’m vindicated. In a quiet moment during lunchtime in the office today, I tried out the Mosquito Tone Test (or How to Tell you’re a Young’un) and I’m pleased to report that in high frequency hearing terms I’m in the 18-24 age range because I can hear a 16kHz dog whistle unpleasantly loudly. In the human speech frequencies I’m a pensioner, but let’s gloss over that for a moment, I want to enjoy my fading moments of high frequency auditory superiority before presbycusis rains on my 43 year old parade.

As I was doing the test and eating my lunch, a student interrupted my highly scientific endeavours by  asking to come in to the office to wait for my colleague. I now had to eat my much looked forward to tomato soup silently, instead of slurping it noisily as I would have done on my own. I was annoyed, but thought I could get my own back by secretly trying out the 17kHz mosquito tone on my uninvited 22 year old guest. If it worked and she had to leave, it might buy me enough time to lick the soup bowl clean in private. I clicked the button gleefully, but there was absolutely no response. Maybe she thinks it’s my hearing aid and is being polite despite her ears melting, I thought. I turned up the volume on the computer a bit, mindful of the dire warnings that one’s speakers could explode, but still no response. I was forced to go to 16 kHz which was now extremely unpleasant for me despite my advanced years. Still nothing. I slurped a mouthful of soup and her head turned. Hmmm. Don’t know about her but I can’t take 15kHz, I conceded, and I quit the site and went back to looking at a dull swathe of official emails.

The spouse was forced against his will to take the test this evening and only made it to a feeble 11 kHz, making him age 59 in dog whistle terms instead of his actual age of 45. We’ve agreed that if he carries on with the tv interpreting, I’ll take care of the VCR troubleshooting and gas leak detection.

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1 Response to “If a tree falls in the forest…”


  1. 1 kentigern May 26, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Tell the lord of the Dance my pristine VHS awaits his pleasure, shall I bring it to GSA ramorra?


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