Ignore, mute, destroy!

Why is it I always get the crisp eater? (To my friends in the US, read ‘chips’ for ‘crisps’, otherwise this is just going to get confusing!)

It doesn’t matter where I am – i could be in a room with a hundred other people, or a railway carriage with just one other person, but no matter what the circumstances, fate will contrive to ensure that the person sat across the aisle, or two seats behind me will be the despised crisp eater.

Apparently there have been scientific studies conducted that have found there are particular types of noise that are far more irritating than others – the particular sounds themselves vary, but crisp eating racks right up there at the top of the list. Put me in a room with a crisp eater, and within a very short space of time I’ll be having murderous thoughts towards them… And it won’t be a quick death either: We’re talking long, slow, painful death by cruel and inhuman means!

And the crisp eaters know exactly what they’re doing too. Anyone, myself included, who’s ever chowed down on a packet of Cheese and Onion will have completed it in record time – the hands moves robotically from bag to mouth, then returns for a new load, and the cycle continues until the pack is empty, at which point we tie it in a neat bow and sigh contentedly, idly considering whether we should permit ourselves the indulgence of another pack. However, that’s not how the irritant crisp eater munches… Instead, they take a single crisp, which is transferred to the mouth, where is slowly and indulgently crunched in a manner that is incredibly satisfying to the eater, but stupifyingly annoying to the unfortunate listener. Then they pause dramatically, before repeating the whole thing over, and over again. A packet can take aeons to finish, by which point you’ve either committed ritual suicide, or stabbed the offender in the eye with plastic fork!

It’s horrible!

It’s one of those occasions that I truly do believe that SL is better than real life, because SL allows you to be so much better equipped to deal with annoyances – both little and large – than you ever can in the real world.

In fact, we’re spoiled for choice in SL: Mute, ban, eject, report, derender, block, hide, ignore, jelly-babify… And with the latest batch of enhancements, we can be even more selective in the way that we manage intrusions and annoyances than ever before. It’s fabulous… Unfortunately, it’s restricted to the virtual world, and sometimes I wish that it wasn’t.

Imagine how amazing it would be if you could turn off the sound to the fleet of lawnmowers and hedge trimmers that destroy the peace and tranquility of a sunny, summer afternoon? What if you could mute the particle fog and cooking smells of next door’s barbecue, so that your washing can smell of fresh air and flowers, rather than burnt burgers and sausage? The irritating customer or colleague who always interrupts at the most inconvenient time to discuss something irrelevant – wouldn’t it be great to just send them an ‘unavailable’ message and fob then off until some other time? And, of course, the crisp eater… Oh, to have a tool to ban, mute and eject them in any situation, or maybe just send them into orbit, out of the clutches of gravity, to perish in the freezing night of eternal space until they learn their lesson. Wouldn’t that be good?

The trouble is, of course, with such powerful tools at our disposal, we could quite easily, and accidentally, cause ourselves a whole lot of unexpected trouble. Inworld, I’ve been known to inadvertently mute best friends, completely miss important announcements, and totally wreck my surroundings thanks to careless use of the tools available to me. That can be a bit of a pain in a virtual world, but making the same mistakes in the real world could have some very unfortunate outcomes, so under the circumstances, no matter how desirable such functionality might be, it’s probably better that we don’t have them after all.

It’s a pity, because it wouldn’t half make life a whole lot simpler and more controllable, but if you’re anything like me, having that sort of power at our disposal is just asking for trouble.

But it would come in handy at times…

Those crisp eater moments in particular!

s. x

Exterminate
Exterminate
Exterminate annihilate destroy
Exterminate annihilate destroy
Rotersand – Exterminate Annihilate Destroy

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