Have Malaria, Typhoid, Cholera and all those other lovelies been eradicated off the face of the planet?
They must have been because top of the WHO's list of worries now is my hearing.
I can't help but be a little puzzled though as to why they care? After all, they can't worry about the cheeeeldren as hearing loss doesn't affect them. Likewise I don't think that there are huge queues in Accident and Emergency Departments as people wait to have their ears checked, so they can't complain that hearing loss is costing the state billions every month
They have issued guidelines as to the kind of noise level that we should be concerned about. For example, they worry that I might spend my day listening to my MP3 player at full volume. I'm sure they'll be happy to know that I don't have an MP3 player, unless they are counting my phone, and I only use that for making phone calls. Maybe they do mean my phone, in which case I am limited to 4 minutes per call, which I can live with. It'll cut down on my costs too.
I am not allowed play with my vuvuzela either, or at least for no more than 9 seconds. Now I don't have a vuvuzela, and I'm not even sure what it is. It sounds sort of kinky, though at less than 9 seconds the pleasure isn't going to last very long.
Loud rock concerts I can live without. I never went to many in the old days as my preference lay with the quieter sort such as Tom Paxton, Steeleye Span and Planxty. If I want to listen to loud rock music I will do it in the comfort of my own parish, where I have to confess that I judge volume by whether I can feel the music. If I can't feel the bass sound waves pulsating off my chest, then it isn't loud enough. I don't do it very often though as they complain down in the village.
I don't live in London. It is many decades since I visited the place though when I did visit, more often than not I would use the Underground. Now they tell me that should I ever wish to return to London, I mustn't use the Tube for anything longer than 15 minutes which is going to curtail my traveling a lot. Or maybe I can travel further if I get off at every station and then wait in silence for the next train? Maybe the people of London should forsake the Tube in favour of the lawnmower? They can travel around London on those for two and a half hours which would get them a lot further?
The whole thing is a bit academic though as my hearing is already fucked. Well, it's not actually fucked but I enjoy the constant accompaniment of Tinnitus and have done so for many years. Apart from the Tinnitus my hearing is excellent [for my age, or so I’m told].
I don't know what caused the Tinnitus. Maybe it was ramping Queen up on my stereo, or maybe it was falling down two flights of stairs onto a concrete floor?
Or maybe I once accidentally drove my motorbike for 48 minutes?