People are in one of two camps – either like it or can’t bear it – background music, that is. I’m not talking about muzak, because I can hardly believe that anyone likes that, of course.
As I said yesterday, I’m not a fan. I listen to it if I like it, and if I don’t it jars on my ear intolerably. There was one occasion when I was in Al’s shop on a Saturday. I know it was Saturday because his then Saturday girl, Laura was there. The Sage had just been in too and then said goodbye and left. In those days, Al used to have the radio playing on a local station (of course, this had to end when the then government decreed that any business doing such a thing had to pay for a licence). Whenever I was in the shop alone, it was turned off, of course. Anyway, Travis came on singing ‘why does it always rain on me,’ a song I have no fondness for. “Oh go away, you dreadful irritating man,” I snapped, and then realised that Laura was gaping at me, horrified. “Well, I can’t bear that song,” I mumbled. Alex was snuffling with mirth in the corner. “She thought you were talking about Dad,” he chortled.
On the other hand, if something came on that I liked, I would be completely distracted because I wanted to listen to it. And yet, if you are listening to something, whether music or the spoken voice, on the radio, people don’t think it matters if they interrupt you. My mother had that knack of speaking at a critical moment. She was quite firm if I went in and she was watching something on television, I had to wait quietly until she was ready to speak to me, which was fair enough. But if she came here and I had the radio on, she’d start talking immediately. It nearly always seemed to be at a vital moment, when a mystery was being unveiled or a news item announced. By the time I’d said, hang on a moment, it was too late – without a picture to give context, you had to hear every word or you lost the sense altogether.
I don’t like wind chimes, either. I find them very irritating because they are intrusive. And I’m iffy about running water )of the ‘water feature’ type) in the garden. It depends on how splashy it is. Natural sounds are different. Obviously, a constantly yapping dog is not a good sound (and Dave isn’t too keen on our chickens squawking as they sometimes do) but normal outdoor sounds are fine.
Then there are air fresheners. Now, if there’s a bit of a whiff, then squirting around something to disguise it is all very well, I suppose, but those plug-in ones, that keep on puffing out at regular intervals are dreadful. I dreaded it when my friend Caroline took me anywhere in her car, fond as I was of her, because she had the air conditioning turned to ‘too cold’ and she had a dangly fruit-scented air freshener in her car. I have no idea why, she didn’t smoke, or even smell like rabbits, as Dave does.
I’m more intolerant than any of you thought. Sorry about that. Of course, whatever you have in your own home is fine. I’m talking about other people, naturally.