So today’s word is “misophonia”.
I suffer from that as well as prosopagnosia. (see post on 13th Nov)
Gotta love the internet!
Basically, it means that I am irritated by background noise. Fortunately, my misophonia is mild although I think I’m getting worse.
The sound I hate the most is the rustling of sweet wrappers in the theatre: it produces a red rage within me. I try to breathe deeply and have so far managed to keep myself from physically assaulting culprits, although probably more because I don’t want to disturb the performers than anything else. There was one woman who sat behind me during “Curious Incident Of The Dog” who was scrabbling around in a crisp packet for most of the first half. I turned and glared at her. She desisted and apologised in the interval saying she was used to eating in the cinema and anyway the venue had sold her the snacks so she thought it all right to munch them therein. Poor lamb was hungry!
There are lots of sounds that I find irritating mostly to do with food. At Liars’ League – a live story-telling event in a bar – I find the sounds of people scraping their cutlery very disturbing. Most of the food – chips, burgers, onion rings – could be eaten quietly with fingers but so many (rude people) clatter away oblivious of both audience and readers. I always order my food for the interval; The Phoenix, Cavendish Square, does jolly good fish and chips. I’d rather listen to the actors than the sound of food being masticated.
Background music is another sound that I just don’t get. I don’t see the point of it. I like listening to music but have never understood why it has to be so loud in bars and clubs to the extent that one never knows whether someone is apologising for treading on ones toe or is asking one to dance. At a social event a few weeks ago in the other Phoenix bar, Charing Cross Road, the music was so loud that conversation was nigh impossible. I guess if you can’t natter you’ll drink more.
I prefer to converse at a normal pitch of voice.
I mean I can almost appreciate a bit of light classical music as a background sound in a restaurant – perhaps to disguise the noise of clattering knives and forks – but it seems awfully rude to chat away whilst someone is singing actual words. Cole Porter is meant to be listened to and not talked over.
Last night we went to The Cocktail Hour at Cafe Koho to see a variety of acts; in fact, a variety show. There was a superb jazz band, a bonkers escapologist, two great singers, two comics, and a sketch group. All were excellent, professional performers and each act was occasionally punctuated by the noise of the hand-dryer whirring away in an adjacent “rest” room. I suggested that at the next show, in two month’s time, I might provide a wad of paper towels. (And why could people not wait for the interval to widdle?)
I loathe electric hand-dryers. Apart from the unpleasant noise I think they are less hygienic – they just blow the germs around the vicinity. They’ve disabled them on many a cruise ship for that very reason.
On reflection I wonder if I have become more grumpy and more noise-sensitive since I gave up smoking over nine years’ ago.
Ah, that might be my next blog because I think now I have run out of long words.