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Cringe-worthy Sounds

A few women are conversing, and somehow the topic came around to “horrible sounds.” Not the universal chalk-on-board, but sounds that make us personally wince.

“I hate the whimpering of a baby with a fever,” says one woman.

“I hate the sound of my husband’s electric saw,” says another.

A third detests, “Jackhammers and subway brakes.”

When it was my turn, I say that I shudder at the sound a copy machine makes just before the lights flash to indicate that it’s jammed.

“Is it really that grating?” asks someone who’s obviously been shielded from encounters with office equipment.

“No,” I reply. “It’s just that the noise represents the sucking away of my time. A task that should have taken seconds to complete will now be minutes if I’m lucky, and two days and $100 if I’m unlucky.”

“Oh,” she says, “that’s probably like when the toilet backs up.”

Yes, yes it is.

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