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Whu'd You Say?

The "Mosquito Noise" is all the rage over at the Rifftrax blog, raised to consciousness by my BFF Mike Nelson. It's an extremely high tone which is supposedly heard only by teenagers, aimed by shopkeepers out at the streets to keep the dagnumbed kids outta there. So everyone over the age of 20 has been fearfully downloading the noise in order to confirm that they are, in fact, not old.

Although it's supposed to be inaudible to anyone over the age of 30, I am pleased to report that I can, indeed, still RAWK to single, highly annoying tones, boooooyyyyeeee!

This also explains why I was standing in my classroom one day and heard this sound and my head shot straight up like a dog's, all, "Can anyone else hear that?" One student copped to the noise as his ringtone. When I was done ripping up at him for violating the "all phones off unless you or an immediate family member is in labor" rule, I asked him why he had chosen something so hideously annoying. I mean, on the scale of audial unpleasantness, it falls at least in the lower registers of the Fran Drescher range. He mumbled something about me not being supposed to be able to hear it. Which I also heard.

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (11)

I am thrilled to report that I will be 39 next month, and that I am still (barely) able to hear the mosquito! Of course, I had to cheat a little. I had to turn the volume on both my computer AND my speakers ALL THE WAY UP in order to be able to (barely) hear it. However, my ears are indeed still ringing from it.
As the school year winds down to its final weeks, I find myself wondering how effective it would be on third graders? Maybe I could stop using my "teacher voice", stop taking away recess, which they so desperately need, and stop making phone calls home. Maybe all I need is the dreaded mosquito!

April 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWiserlemmingAZ

It is the same high-pitched noise TV and older CRT computer monitors (the big box-looking things as opposed to the new flat panel screens most people have these days) emit so most people have automatically tuned it out by the time they are 30. I once saw a news spot about kids using that as a ringtone. They played the noise and even the show's host couldn't hear it.

April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDanTheSoldier

I am so so sad. I hear everything, and yet, sadly, I could not hear that. :( Guess at the ripe old age of 33 and 1/2, I am officially old. *sob

April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKris

Guess all those Metallica,Guns & Roses, RHCP & Soda Stereo live concerts have finally taken their toll on poor old me :-(

Well, as I once read in an interview to an extreme marathonist, the whole point is NOT to deposit a pretty unspoiled carcass to the coffin, but to end your life screaming "Wow, what a ride!!" :-)

April 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

They played this - constantly - on the morning radio show I listen to. Being 40-somethings, none of the show's personalities could hear it, and since it's a "classic rock" station, I'm assuming they assumed it wouldn't bother most of their audience.

Me? At 25, that sound is torture. Everytime it went off I was in absolute agony.

RPJ - Exactly right. What's the point to life if you're going to die unspoiled anyway? :)

April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy P.

Yay! I still hear it! Time to go watch cartoons and/or play videogames!

April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFlip

Update: My third graders are indeed stopped dead in their tracks by "The Dreaded Mosquito". I played it this morning in the classroom. The kids stopped as though they'd been tasered. Their heads all whipped around as they frantically tried to locate the source of the noise. It was like watching an episode of Meerkat Manor!!!!! I had to admit to being the one who caused it, because I couldn't stop laughing.
Three of my boys thought it was "fun" and begged me to "do it again!!!!!" I'm guessing they'll grow up and find work in some noise-intensive job.

April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWiserlemmingAZ

I heard it, though I'm fairly good at catching annoying sounds, since I hate silence.

It doesn't matter, though. "The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air" is on Nick At Nite, and the other weekend I heard Duran Duran's "Hungry Like The Wolf" on the oldies station.

So no matter whether or not I can hear dog whistles or not, I'm screwed.

I can hear it! But, I also tried the 16KHz sample (without turning up the volume) and had to look at my pc to be sure it was playing. Perhaps my speakers are just not good - or perhaps my early-thirties-and-counting ears are wearing out, too....

April 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Southerner

A lot of people in my classes have this ringtone- most of our teachers can't hear it, but it sure does get old after a while.

I can't hear the mosquito, but can easily hear the ringtone, which when compared to a tone generator, is about 14.2 khz. I am 44.


May 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTimW
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