April 19, 2009

  • Ahem

    The Chronic Throat Clearer: A New Breed of Domestic Terrorist


    It seems people cannot be silent these days. No, I don’t expect everyone to go all Marcel Marceau and shit. I’ve come to expect and I accept that people are inclined to converse with one another. However, when a person is not speaking, one would logically expect their mouth to not make sounds. Observation tends to demonstrate otherwise. Nearly every time I am in a public setting, I find myself in the presence of one or more persons who are compelled to create a Phil Spector-esque wall of sound with their noisy breathing, humming, whistling, sighing, gum snapping, teeth sucking, loud yawning, or various other noises. Worst of all are the assholes who incessantly clear their throats every twenty seconds or so.


    I first began to notice this phenomenon a few years ago while at the local library perusing back issues of Tiger Beat on microfiche. I was doing some research for my Leif Garrett fansite and, while reading the heart wrenching account of Leif’s very painful break-up with Tatum O’Neal in the June 1977 issue, I heard it for the first time. From out of nowhere, an indescribably terrible sound reached up from the depths of Hades and violently shredded the silence. Then there was snort and it happened again. I wondered who could be making these awful noises and how I might murder him or her whilst avoiding prosecution. As the quiet returned, reason took over me and I decided to let it go and get back to the fiche. But then it happened again – gravelly vocal chords grinded together in a most caustic manner then melted into a gurgling of slimy residue. Only a few moments later, there was an encore then another and another. Now I just could not let it go. I got up and walked to the reading room where these sounds emanated. There sat an old man reading the Times Dispatch (folded in quarters, in typical old fuck fashion). He took a breath then did it again. This time the snort was far more intense as he sucked the mucus from the upper reaches of his nasal cavity down into his throat then briefly gargled and swallowed it like a freshly milked load of his daddy’s semen. Then there was a three bass note hum – “m-m-m”. That was all I could take so I decided to confront the nasty fucker. I did so politely of course, because I respect my elders. He was not as refined.


    “I got post nasal drip asshole!” he explained, “If you don’t like it go find yourself another fucking library!” He then began to yell, declaring me and my generation the cause of this once great nation’s decline and citing us as the reason “the Chinks are taking over everything”.


    Shortly thereafter, the librarian was telling me “You’ll have to leave sir” and the janitor was physically ejecting me from the building. Ironic given that all I did was point out their  own “QUIET PLEASE” sign to the old prick. Oh well, I should have known you can’t go up against an old fuck who spends his afternoons gurgling mucus at the library because he is too cheap to spend fifty cents on his own fucking newspaper. Greatest generation my ass! Sorry but being conscripted into the military under force of Federal Law back in the 40’s doesn’t grant you the perpetual right to be a whiney, inconsiderate, disgusting old fuck who burdens society until his heart finally does itself in because it can’t stand listening to your bitching anymore. But I digress.


    Anyway, since that day, these monsters have become more and more prevalent. Often they will come together like some abominable orchestra playing an endless symphony of repugnance, each of their throats acting as a different instrument. There’s the standard ahemmer – classically annoying in all respects. Then there are those who start off with a half sneeze which they gradually segue into a short cough followed by inhalation of the resulting expectoration down into their throat which is then cleared with a sonic boom. Next are the staccatos. They rapidly play their notes in short consecutive bursts (approximately seven to ten in a row), not unlike the firing of a Thompson submachine gun. Last, but certainly not least, are the growlers. Think of a rabid German shepherd painfully screaming out his last barks.


    Many times I have pondered how anyone could possibly be so selfish and inconsiderate as to continuously drive their fellow man to the verge of homicide, suicide, or just plain insanity.


    “I’m afraid it’s more than mere inconsideration,” says Dr. Phillip Randolph, Managing Director of the Institute for Cocksucking Motherfucker Studies (ICMS), a Washington D.C. think tank that seeks effective ways to deal with a wide variety of cocksucking motherfuckers including people who end sentences with prepositions, Ron Paul supporters, the United Way, and those fatsos who always sit next to you on an airplane. “[Chronic throat clearers] seek to destroy our way of life ,” Randolph continues, “They want to make the mere act of being alive painful for the rest of us.”


    “But why Dr. Randolph?” I ask.


    “Basically these people hate America and they hate freedom but as long as they have it, they’re going to use it to deprive you of your ability to pursue happiness. That my friend is what I refer to as terrorism.”


    “Gosh, I never thought it was that serious.”


    “Contraire mon frère. Right now these fiends are at work destroying our financial system. In workplaces all across America, they are decimating morale and productivity by tormenting their coworkers. Recently they appear to be enhancing their efforts by combining throat clearing with a plethora of other irritants such as coffee slurping, eating loud foods like apples and potato chips at their desk, and boosting the volume of their voice to extreme decibels when speaking on the phone. Their efforts appear to be paying off too. It’s been estimated that these terrorists will cost corporate America nearly $175 billion in lost productivity this year.”


    “Wow! That’s an astounding number! Why don’t employers crack down like they do with March Madness or fantasy football?”


    Without hesitation he looks me square in the eye and says, “The Americans with Disabilities Act – the greatest legislative evil this country has ever known.”


    *   *   *


    Freddie Womack is a proofreader at a New York based publishing company.  An avid throat clearer and coffee slurper, he shares workspace with several coworkers in a cubicle environment.


    “Hey, I can’t help it if I got a frog in my throat,” says Womack.


    “You realize that continually clearing your throat can be quite irritating to your colleagues.”


    “Oh well,” Womack tells me, “It don’t bother me so it shouldn’t bother them.”


    “But it does Freddie, it does.”


    “I say if they can’t stand the heat, they should get the hell outta the kitchen. Let ‘em go flip burgers if they don’t like it.”


    I have the urge to slam my fist into his fucking face right then and there but resist.


    Womack’s coworkers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tell me that they generally have to do their work after hours as it is all but impossible to perform the task of proofreading as long as he is in the office. I asked why they hadn’t brought this to the attention of their manager or Human Resources. They told me that wasn’t an option, a lesson they learned last year when three of their fellow employees were terminated after attempting to raise the issue with management. Womack turned the tables on them and they ended up getting fired for harassment.


    “These are terrible, terrible people and they need be stopped,” Dr. Randolph says. “Unfortunately they’ve got the Law on their side.” When I ask how then can we defeat this most elusive enemy, he has one word for me, “vigilantism".


    Yes vigilantism, perhaps not an ideal solution but at present it is the only hope for preserving our nation and our freedom. Who will step up to the plate though? Who will put aside their own security, safety, and the well being of themselves and their family to stand up for truth, justice and the American way? Images of Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey cleaning up the streets of New York come to mind. Some may even think of the Batman. But there is no Paul Kersey and there is no Batman and even if there were, it would take much more than a single Polish man with a gun and a Death Wish or a caped crusader and his boy wonder. Clearly it is up to us, all of us. We patriots, the non-throat clearers, must unite. We must stand together as one and let these haters of God and country know that we’re as mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!


    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave

    – Francis Scott Key

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