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Monday, 21 January 2008


I have recently devised a new scale that measures how excruciatingly painful or vexing is a certain something or situation. I call it the Teeth- Pull Factor, or TPF. It is measured on a scale of 1- 32, according to the average number of teeth possessed by an adult human being. It is based on a hyperbole I've been recently employing, for example, "Visit relatives during Chinese New Year? I'd rather have my teeth pulled out one by one!". Incidentally (haha, sorry couldn't resist that corny pun...) seeing my relations has a TPF 30. Yes, it's that horrid. Conversely, seeing my relations but with the promise of mucho lucky red packets reduces the TPF to a more palatable 11. (Geddit? Palate...)

However some things on this plane of existence are beyond the measure of the TPF scale. Such as having to listen to a certain radio station whilst at work. It shall be referred to as 'Shite FM'. A few songs from 'Shite FM' are fine and dandy but when it is on for 8 straight hours, the TPF exponentially increases to an abominal level. It reaches way past 32, off the scale and into the area known as, 'Complete upper and lower maxilliary removal'.

Some will say a knowing, 'aahh...' and tell me that it's a generation gap thing, that I don't like old songs but this station plays easy listening favourites for those long and short in the tooth. Here's a special request going out to all DJs: Stop playing song covers by Celtic boy bands! Pap is bad but recycled pap is excreable.

Elvis Costello aptly sang that formatted radio seeks to, "...anesthetise the way that you feel..". That sweet mellow feeling becomes somatic and addictive. Some might say, change the channel or turn off the damned radio but someone else seeking their fix of E (as in Easy-listening) always restores the channel to Shite and Queasy, because you need 'soothing relaxing favourites to get you through your workday.' or so the radio ads purport.

This smug peddling of a pseudo- psychological aural panacea is what really pushes the TPF into the realm of the unknown. If the hard-disk on my PC crashes, I don't need Skeeter Davis blubbing about 'The End of World' to get me through my workday, as I hurl the contraption out of the window. For all those working overtime or during the graveyard shift, you don't need Elvis Presley crooning, 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?'.

I wouldn't presume to suggest what we all need to listen to in order to get us through our workday. However, I do feel that each one of us should define what we want to listen to and not let the airwaves dictate to us. I'll still have an intact set of teeth and the radio in the office will not be petrol-bombed.

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