An A to Z of my favourite noises

I like noises. It's one of the reasons I am petrified of going deaf. The other reason I'm scared of going deaf is because I am, actually, going deaf. But that's a sob story for another day. Today, I choose to Celebrate my Hearingness, with the complete A to Z of my favourite noises. A is for aliens. They love to make noises, usually while standing on the roof of my home. My partner seems to think for some crazy reason that it's actually just the plumbing making the weird noises, but I know better. B is for Burping. I love the sound of a good, solid belch, particularly if it is one of mine. A sonorous blast from the belly after a good meal or a long swig of cold beer on a hot day is a true sound of happiness. C is for clapping, for the following reason: I have always been fascinated by the concept of clapping. Who was it that decided that the polite way of showing one's appreciation for something is to bang one's hands together? D is for Dynamite - I love the sound of a rollicking good explosion, the bigger the better. When I was a little kid, someone set off a huge bomb in a commercial laundromat three blocks from my house. The blast shook me out of bed, and it was one of the most interesting nights of my childhood. E is for electricity. I like the buzzing noise it makes just before it really hurts you. Having been electrocuted on a number of occasions, I can reliably inform you that while the noise gets more and more interesting the longer you're connected to the power supply, the sensation becomes less pleasant at an exponentially greater rate. F is for Foam, the kind used for shaving. It makes such an excellent sound on its way out of the can that I have been known to try to use an entire container of it for a single shave. I ended up building a tower of foam on my head to see what I would look like. Predictably enough, I looked like a soft-serve ice cream. It served me right. G is for Goblins. They sound like little kids full of helium and sugar… oh wait, that's what they are. Never mind. H is for Helplines. I like to call them and ask for help. Like when I locked myself out of my apartment, and rang a laundry detergent helpline for assistance. The lady's advice - to 'rub a little on the lock and wait ten minutes before putting it in the wash' was next to useless, but interesting nonetheless. I is for Ice, tinkling against the edge of a large glass containing scotch and soda water, from which I sip on a sunny afternoon as I watch the world go by. When I grow up, I'm going to be an alcoholic. J is for James Morrison. He's a trumpet player. I find that playing his records at a staggering volume is useful for subduing and evicting unwanted house guests. K is for Kiss. It's a wonderful sound, except if it's coming from an elderly relative. Or if it's the kiss of death. Then it's probably not so good. L is for Language. The part of language that I love is the first time I hear something said in a language that I am learning, and I understand it without having to translate it into English in my head. M is for Mastication. When I hear someone chewing food, it makes me so happy that I feel like putting their eyes out with a fork. N is for Nnnngggg, which is the sound most people make when they hit themselves somewhere sensitive with something blunt. I heard a great one the other day when a workmate slammed himself in the balls with a golf club. It was Good Stuff. O is for Oration. Hearing a good speaker make a wonderful speech is one of life's highlights. Hearing the US President make a tit of himself every time he opens his mouth is another. P is for Pablo, my cat - she makes the best noises ever. When she's hunting, she goes 'meh meh meh' just before she pounces. It's cool - much cooler than you. Q is for Questions - I love them, love being asked them and love answering them with a question of my own. People get infuriated by this practice of mine, but to them I say, "do I look like I give a fuck?" R is for Rain, on a tin roof. As a child, I played in a cubby house made of asbestos sheeting with a pressed tin roof, and when it rained outside the noise was deafening, but I stayed dry. It was such a momentous feeling of safety and warmth that the sound, to this day, brings me comfort. S is for singing. I like most kinds of singing, but especially the genre perpetuated by tramps and hoboes when they've had a couple too many swigs of cough medicine and they think, for a brief moment before they pass out, that they're in the top twelve on American Idol. T is for Tantrum. If there's anything funnier than a little kid losing the plot, I'm yet to hear it. My personal favourite is the supermarket tantrum, which generally involves junk food, one harassed mother with a teetering shopping cart and a child on the floor screaming blue murder. It's one of nature's classic sounds. U is for ululation. Look it up - I had to. V is for Vaseline - or, more accurately, the sound a satisfyingly large blob of Vaseline makes when it hits a hard surface from a reasonable height. W is for Wind. Pundits claim to have heard it speak, sing and even - famously - cry "Mary." For the most part, though, it has a tendency to howl, particularly around my motorcycle helmet during repeated attempts to approach the speed of sound. X is for something other than a xylophone. Bugger. I nearly made it all the way to the end. Y is for Yellow - contrary to popular belief, yellow is not just a colour, it is also a sound. Synesthetes claim to be able to hear colours, as did I after one memorable episode with a strange chemical compound on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Z is for Zoo. I have a friend who lives near the zoo, and on quiet Spring nights, if you lean out the window, you can hear the lions fuck. They sound so happy… I trust that this satisfies your urge (or lack thereof) to know what my favourite sounds are. Next week, I'll write something a little more accessible. I promise.

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