Entrainment

After losing the race to the last seat on the packed train yesterday morning, I reluctantly stood just inside the doors and braced myself for the ‘door closing’ warning beeps.

Beeeeeeeep went the doors as we prepared to depart.

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE……..EEP went the hearing aid.

At the next station, a well built and rather grumpy looking man got on and positioned himself directly opposite me.

Beeeeeeeep went the doors.Ā Several times.

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE……..EEP went the hearing aid

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE……..EEP

As I cursed the lack of an ‘OFF’ switch on the Chroma S, I noticed that the doors were not fully shut and that the grumpy man was leaning against them. Dare I tell him that he was stopping the train from moving with his outsize elbow? One look at his expression told me that this might not be such a good idea, so I hatched a plan to surreptitiously squeeze the doors shut with my hands instead.

“Excuse me, have you ever tried squeezing a set of train doors shut with your bare hands?” interjected my helpful Inner Voice. “If a hydraulic door closing system can’t shift that bugger’s elbow, I very much doubt that you can. You’ll look like a right eejit…” The Inner Voice was abruptly silenced before it could go on to elaborate further on my inadequacies, by the sight of the train driver knocking on the window to shout at the grumpy man. I was glad that I had decided not to fiddle with the doors just at that point, as I might now be being wrestled to the ground and handcuffed by the British Transport Police.

The driver returned to his cab in a bad temper and opened and closed the doors one last time to make sure that everything was working. The grumpy man, having learned his lesson, carefully leant away from them as they opened… before leaning on them again with his elbow just as they shut. There was another prolonged round of beeping as the driver repeatedly attempted to close the doors, causing hearing aid meltdown to begin in my left ear. I was starting to dislike the grumpy man and his big elbow intensely. Everything now sounded like it was reverberating through a gigantic cardboard tube, and I prayed that no one had a set of bagpipes on them, or videos of my exploding head would be gracing YouTube in no time.

Just as I was contemplating ending my torment by ripping the doors open instead of trying to shut them, the grumpy man suddenly released his big elbow to turn the page of his newspaper, and the doors snapped firmly shut.

Silence. Phew.

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2 Responses to “Entrainment”


  1. 1 Clara April 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    My feedback management system also likes to take any form of beep and turn it into an ear to ear relay beeping competition. The microwave goes off and the little feedback system thinks oh goodness, this is not good, and tries to counteract what it assumes to be feedback. Well done, Siemens.

    But a cautionary tale, I was sitting at home merrily clicking away in silence at [URL=http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html]this site [/URL] and wondering why there was a big warning not to click in the top end of the chart. A few minutes later the long-suffering Mr Clara-Cookiebite appeared all the way from the upstairs begging me to stop. “Is it making real noises then?” I innocentely enquired. His answer is unprintable.

    • 2 moiradancer April 18, 2011 at 7:11 pm

      Tee hee, Mr Clara-Cookiebite has my sympathies on this one. I know the ‘equal loudness’ site extremely well from my paranoid “Oh My God, Am I Going To Go Completely Deaf, I’ll Just Do Another Quick Hearing Test” phase, and the warnings are certainly justified, it’s LOUD!

      Be careful with your audio dabblings, or you could be invisibly shredded by soundwaves like this:


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