“The other alarm drowned out my alarm.”

November 16, 2017
Notable Stats
Defensive Excuse Response Time (DERT) – The time it takes for someone to come up with a theory couched in a fact, while obscuring an excuse. Measured in micro-fake seconds.
Double Bluff Blame Radius (DBBR)  – When the simple answer will do, like “I overslept,” the range of other excuses put in its place. Measured in height of snow.

For a second, it sounded reasonable. My son woke up later than expected due to the fact that the blaring alarm that woke up a hibernating bear two states over, was not his alarm, so his mind tuned it out. This was not unlike what all of us experience. Being so exhausted that we don’t hear an alarm. He assigned this experience as the work of a rogue alarm, coming from his sister’s room next door. One which had the audacity of drowning out his alarm, the one 18 centimeters from his head. He therefore, heard nothing. Typical of the wave concept of interference, at a certain angle and the doors acting as slots, sound can cancel other sound. One alarm canceled out the other alarm. Let’s go with that for a few paragraphs.

So, there are some interesting laws of sound at work, that I do not understand. I did not realize that when it comes to audible sound that those blessed with decent hearing can hear, there is a volume-independent priority in the alarm world. That after months of getting used to your annoying screech-machine, you will therefore not be able to hear any other alarm unless you are expecting to hear it. Alarm loyalty at work.

I hear; therefore, it is.  I don’t hear; therefore, it is not. Prophetic.

I guess every tired parent that deserves to not hear an alarm from time to time, knows the concept of selective hearing when they are shockingly asking their children to not stuff empty food wrappers in the couch, or encouraging their children for safety reasons, to cut down (to zero) on juggling pumpkins while walking backwards into a street. So is it that far-fetched? Not really.

What is surprising is this was a case where my wife and I as parents were not the ones being ignored. It was an alarm clock, so that is progress. He is finding not only third parties to not hear, but it is migrating into the realm of inanimate objects. He is ignoring a clock…and assigning blame while doing so.

But there is more to it, he is ignoring sound too. Convincing himself that not only was the deafening sound not real, but that it had nefarious intentions. It was taxing his closed ear drums AND had the agenda of blaspheming his sacred alarm clock.  He described it as if he was saying “my sister’s alarm clock ate my alarm clock.” As if I should have called the authorities to investigate. I did not.

So tomorrow, I will have to review all wake-up protocols. Alarms, door slots, angles, volume, and intent. Maybe like cordless phones, I need to assign a frequency to each clock.

Or go back to pulling their covers off their body. 

- Doug Glanville

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