Deaf or blind

Once upon a time, when I was a know nothing teenager, I had a serious thought. I wondered, if given the choice, if I would sooner be deaf or blind.

Before I go on, let me say that my heart breaks for those who suffer either condition because both must be horrendous.

Anyway, I became perplexed by the choice and decided that it was a dead heat. Both conditions would be equally bad.

My logic went like this. If I couldn't see, I wouldn't be able to ride my motorbike or watch the telly. On the other hand if I couldn't hear I wouldn't be able to listen to Elvis or Jerry Lee Lewis. Some might think the latter would be good a thing, well I guess they are entiltled to their opinion.

So back then, in the sixties, it was a stalemate. Now, roll the clock forward fifty years and there is a clear winner.

It came to me while I was pottering about in my garden on a summer afternoon. The sun was shining and the birds were singing, but they weren't the only things that were making a noise.

Some fool a few doors away decided that pracitising on his electric guitar would be a good way to pass the time. Great for him, but murder for the rest of us. While I was listening to him my ears became atuned to all the other noises that were invading my ears.

Firstly, there was the noise of the relentless traffic flowing up and down the nearby M6 motorway. Yet more cars were making noise on the local roads and every few minutes a teenager would pass by playing jungle music from a sound system that a few years ago would have powered a small pop festival.

Beyond that, there was the noise of some ignorant fool who was amusing himself by riding his trail bike up and down a bit of waste land in the middle of a residential area.

Somewhere to my left was another man who was block paving his drive. He was cutting bricks with an angle grinder and making a grim din.

Every now and again there would be a lul, but that would be quickly filled with a siren from one of the emergency services.

A few plots to my right was a gardener using a two stroke strimmer to cut his grass.

To finish it all off, somewhere close by, a little boy was entertaining himself by kicking a football ball against a garage door. Lovely!

Sorry, I forgot to mention the scrap metal collectors who patrol our estate three times a day blowing their horns and shouting.

This whole cacophony was punctuated by a choir of barking dogs.

So, having taken stock of the noise I was surrounded by, if I had to loose one of my senses it would be a no brainer for me.

There used to be a group called the noise abatement society, whatever happened to them? Did they get drowned out by the din. One would have expected that they could have used the power of the interent to further their case for a more peaceful life.