Just got back from an evening walk tonight round our adopted town’s annual fair. Bigger than last year and LOUDER. Painfully louder and together with a lot of strobing lights, and a massive milling crowd, I soon lost control of reasoned thought.
Some people would see that as a panic attack yet it wasn’t as such.
Aware of all the exits from the fair ground it was easy to work our way round the masses and gain the relative safety of the surrounding streets.
That’s a bit subjective as with all major events it attracts all sorts to the vicinity and not of the savory type either.
OK already in a state of . . . . Err I’ll say ‘flight or fight‘ here but as I was with SWMBO it would have been more fight than flight. Thus gently positioning her to where I knew she would be in relation to me, we walked past at least half a dozen “mixed race” loners in doorways and dark corners in the 150 yards it took to regain the main street.
Why say a mixed race”?
This is not a town known for its ethnic diversity so when you find yourself in the presence of 15-25 year old ethnically different males, obviously not taking part on the friendly atmosphere of the fair, it kinda makes it easy to pick out the good from the bad.
Yep, I was profiling again and quite shamelessly.
For those who are bound to object, TOUGH!
Only what were they looking for?
As usual the bars were over subscribed and the alcohol soaked were staggering out in that bonhomie (alcohol fueled, cheerful friendliness; geniality, and total incapacity of understanding the concept of threat) state of happiness that drunks exude.
Usually in groups but worryingly there were singletons who, obviously knowing the town well, were disappearing down the maze of little alleyways the town in riddled with.
I’m always looking for threats and the one that worries me the most is lone females in that sort of environment. I just can’t help it, a sort of protective genetic fault of mine is to look after the defenseless BUT tonight it seemed that all the “girls” were group animals and there were very few singles.
Only it seemed that the thin blue line (police) was everywhere tonight and the fair had laid on pairs of roving security to augment their numbers. Hopefully that will be enough.
Yet what triggered the initial reaction?
Noise. I loath high levels of noise now but with the stage effect colored smoke generators and the strobing lights, it was more than enough to disturb me.
One of the things I often reflect on is the music of disaster.
Doesn’t matter what, if it’s not the main event that is noisy, it sure as hell gets that way when the emergency services arrive.
Ever noticed that?
The meat wagon (ambulance) or Dennis (fire wagon) passing by with it’s blues and two’s going, the complex noise of the sirens, the speed, and when on scene, the radios, and MASS of persons milling round. Add the sound effects from recovery, the injured, and whatever, it can quickly swamp your concentration.
This sort of brings me back to Emergency PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and the few items I carry as standard.
An FFP3 mask, eye protection, gloves, and the all important ear plugs.
Noise above 80 db starts to get PAINFUL.
80 db factory floor, noisy restaurant, vacuum cleaner, screaming child sort of level.
90 db Motorcycle, lawn mower, chainsaw, and almost up to helicopter noise levels.
85-120 db can make you feel sick because it causes your stomach to produce excessive digestive juices.
Around these levels adrenalin production increases spontaneously and that can cause tenseness, nervousness, irritability, and anxiety.
Some feel giddy and disorientated.
At 90 db upwards you’ll get an involuntary narrowing of the pupils which causes a loss of color perception and reduces your night vision.
Your ability for complex thought drops as does your hand eye coordination. Your skills level will drop, you may start making mistakes, BIG ONES TOO.
Is it starting to make sense
why 50 cents worth of foam
ear plugs is worth carrying?