You know those noise-cancelling headphones, the ones that counter an external noise by playing back the opposite sounds into your ear, and the two sounds cancel each other? Perfect balance.
The trouble is, they're only effective against continuous noises - planes, car engines, that sort of thing. They're no help at all against intermittent racket, like the human voice.
I need to invent a way of neutralising the noise pollution from the garden next door. During the day it's the loudmouth kiddies, usually just as you're about to take a well-earned nap. I used to live next to a primary school playground and that wasn't too bad, but this is something different, two wee shites bawling at full volume across the neighbourhood. It's like the nyaff in The Tin Drum, doubled.
I almost feel sorry for the parents, having to live with that 24/7. But the parents are the same - if they're not revving up their power-boat in the front drive, they're making all their phone calls in the back garden outside my room. I know I should be more forgiving - they're actually Australians so how could they know any better?
I know what you're thinking: why don't I just ask them to consider using their phone indoors like everyone else. Well for one thing they don't seem like people who are into self-control. And besides, supposing I asked them and then nothing changed? I'd have to just seethe.
No, I've stumbled on a better noise-cancelling idea, and if it works I may patent it, like Marlon Brando's drumscrew.
Tonight when I got home from work, the father was shouting down the mobile phone as usual. When I got a call from the Piddledorf Pension Plan, I saw my chance. I took the phone out to the garden. It was perfect - the pension fund is deaf as a post, so I had to shout, and repeat everything several exasperating times.
When I hung up, there was silence next door. I think they must have been stunned to think that anyone else could be as thoughtless as them.
They might get the message, but even if they don't, eff them! I'm getting a taste for the loudmouth way of being. I'm going to do all my phoning outdoors, switching at random into Bavarian, which is even more irritating than Australian.