Pet Peeve #1: Interference

Now, I’m not talking about the kind of interference where someone outside of your inner circle of friends and/or family is trying to have some kind of influence in your life decisions, although that is most definitely another pet peeve, which I will get to another time.

No, today my beef is with static interference.

I’m not sure what it started this mild psychosis, but whenever I hear anything that even remotely resembles static or any other kind of interference, it puts my brain into a sense of alert and aggression. The other half can quite easily ignore it and sleep through, but it drives me to the point of insanity, where I’m literally screaming at the radio–an inanimate object–to shut the fcuk up.

And that’s when I’m with people. When I’m alone, it’s even worse. I break into full conversation and negotiation with the radio and/or equipment in question, wondering why it can’t do what I paid the £50 for it to do in the first place, and fine, I may have sat on it once or twice or kicked it out of the wall, or left a sofa leg on the wire, or yanked the plug out with just a tad too much vehemence in the past, but that’s just the way I am. I buy things to be hardy. It’s one of the main reasons I still favour Mega Drive cartridge games over PlayStation CD’s; they were just built of stronger stuff, meant to last, et cetera.

Today, my iPod charger/receiver thing broke in the cigarette lighter socket in my car. It was still working–sort of–but every 20 seconds or so, I’d get a split second of silence. And we’re talking proper split second, literally nothing more than a tiny little blip in the music. And yet, it was still enough to drive me into some kind of mental breakdown: driving home from work, I was driving over the bypass at 50mph while fiddling with the adaptor trying to coax it back into place without this annoying little hiccup.

In any case, I did manage to fit it back in without dying in an explosion of burning hot fire or without giving up and accepting that I had crunched it or sat on it one too many times without fully breaking it. I plugged it in upside down in the lighter plug, and hey presto! So it works fine again.

So anyway, back to the sound of interference. Up until being around 14 or 15, the only technology I had in my possession that was capable of making static noises was the television. And that only ever burst out into million ant song in those brief instants between switching to AV and turning on the MegaDrive. I never had a radio, not in my early teens, anyway. I bought tapes (that’s right, casette tapes) and listened to them over and over and over and over andoverandoverandoveragain, but never bothered with the radio.

Static interference crept into my life (and I imagine into many others’ lives) with the introduction of the mobile phone. And that noise…oh God, grr, that noise! Just thinking about it makes my skin itch and my eye do a little crazy twitch. That dur-dur-dur dur-dur-dur dur-dur-dur when the phone comes without about a mile of anything else electrical, forcing you to either move the phone, or move the other equipment that your phone finds so offensive. And of course, because you always need the phone to be within grabbing distance for when your family member phones up to ask you for the hundredth time how to turn on their printer, you need to sacrifice anything else making the noise.

These days, I don’t come into interference all that much. Luckily, my iPhone (bit of gloating thrown in there for free. You’re welcome.) seemed to have a sit down with the majority of my house’s appliances in the beginning and reached an understanding. The only thing that still kick up a fuss are my PC’s speakers, which claim dominion in my office, bleeping and shrieking like a big ol’ bitch if the phone is even brought into the same room.

And since being able to play some heavy metal while being able to play Robot Unicorn Attack on the iPhone is a lifelong dream of mine, I only hope that some day, these two will put their differences aside and give the interference a rest.