Why Don't You Shut Up?
By Chris Churchill
You. Why don’t you shut up? All the constant talking. And if you’re not talking, you’re grunting or squirting out some small amount of air from some hole. And that makes a little noise. Human squeaking. It’s terrible.
I also hate your mouth sounds. Come on, NPR. Turn the mics down. If your guests can’t be bothered to speak up, then maybe what they have to say isn’t that important to them? No more elderly people on the air if they can’t make enough air to speak louder than their creaking jaw joints or their slipping dentures. If I can hear the paucity of viscous saliva shifting in a nearly dead, albeit award winning, author or scientist or, (my neck hairs are standing up before I even write this) story tellers in your studio, I change the channel.
I once edited an audiobook (my own). It was narrated by one of my favorite people in the world. The complete lunatic, fringe comic and music legend, of early Second City, National Lampoon and often my car, by the name of Nate Herman. If you don’t know him, get to know him. He’d love to have coffee with you. I spent days cutting out every mouth sound, nose whistle, and popped “p.” Now I legitimately love Nate. However, by the end of that editing process, I didn’t want to hear his voice again for a while.
So when I tell you to shut up, just shut up. I rarely tell people to shut up. I try not to be a jerk. So just know that if I ask you to shut up, there’s an active shooter reloading in the next room, or I’m having an otherwise really bad day.
And if I hear another commercial where they poor bubbling liquid into a glass, I’m gonna drive into the lake.
And what’s that whispering thing that people get off listening to? Or it makes them feel good? It makes me want to learn how to track down people’s locations using only their URLs so I can punch the whispering people in the face until they can’t remember how to whisper.
Hi. I’m Chris Churchill for Misophonia Awareness Day. It’s the first monday in May in England. It’s in England so I can’t hear it. Misophonia is a real thing. No I’ve never been diagnosed with it. But I’m pretty sure that uncontrollable rage at the sound of a Coke opening in a McDonald’s commercial might be a problem. So I took the test. Apparently, I have a moderate case. My cousin Brendon seems to have it too. It’s a weird thing, huh? Sometimes, I can’t stand my own chewing. You too, Brendon? I have a theory that these sounds were presented in association with some sort of traumatic something or other. Send that to Science University! But don’t lick the stamp anywhere near me! I’ll fucking kill you!
Deep breath. Thought: I wonder, if we label enough stuff, we’ll everyone have a handicap? Is my mental illness a handicap? At what point does my severe asthma become a handicap? There’s all the philosophy and extrapolation this article will give you.
You ever have one of those mornings where the birds outside are just being dicks? Seventeen different songs playing simultaneously, and then, out of nowhere, suddenly we have a woodpecker? That’s not misophonia. That’s just birds being dicks.
Guys on loud motorcycles. Shut up. Guy with phone on speaker in line at the hamburger restaurant. Shut up. Dude telling me story as I nod politely, but definitely more and more and faster and faster. You see me nodding like I can’t control my neck. That means shut up.
Not misophonia. Just “shut up.” Two different things.
Wanna hang out later? I’ll take a pill and wear earplugs.