Once upon a time, when I was young and stupid (‘as opposed to old and stupid’ – oh yes, how droll), I worked in what I can only describe as a hangar.
It was, in fact, a massive industrial space that, as the manufacturing equipment for this particular industry had become, through advances in technology, much smaller than it once was, had become empty and thus had been allocated to the, conversely, much larger sales, marketing and PR functions that served this particular industry player.
When I say ‘hangar’, I’m not really joking. It was huge, and filled with a warren of partitions, containing around 150 drone workers like me, all trying to keep themselves to themselves, whispering into their ‘phones, and trying to stamp their individuality on their cubes with the addition of amusing signs and magnets and pictures of their dogs.
On the other side of the hangar from me, sat a girl who we shall call Sharon. (Before you accuse me of being a lazy bastard, I’m calling her Sharon not because I can’t think of anything else – Beelzmeralda, for example – but because it’s very close to her actual name.) And Sharon was from Essex. (There you go again. I’m not being lazy – the girl who was not really called Sharon, but close, was not really from Essex, but somewhere quite nearby and equally maligned.) (And indeed, malignant.) And every now and then, on average three times a day, Sharon would go off like an air raid siren.
It would start with a staccato ‘Naow!’ (Which is ‘no’ – but phonetically. That’s how she pronounced it.) It was loud enough to carry to the farthest reaches of the hangar. You could sense everyone stopping what they were doing – pausing in anticipation.
A couple of moments later, you’d begin to sense a sound building at a level below hearing. It was a feral rumbling, which all too quickly built into a vibrato squeal – ‘Yorr!’ You’ve got to work with me on this. If you’re doing this at home, bear in mind that while the sound was ‘Yorr!’ – it built and built like this – ‘Yyyyyyyyyyyyy-orrrrrrrrrrRRRRRR!’
As soon as it had come, it was gone. Silence, while Sharon drew breath and then, stronger, more tremulous, deeper and louder- ‘Avin’!’ Again, remember, if you’re doing this at home, it was more ‘Aaa-vvinnnnNNNNNN!’ Another minsicule pause and then a bellowed ‘Ay!’ (‘Aaaa-yyyy!)
(By this time, everyone on the floor was willing Sharon on. We knew where she was going with this, and we wished her well. We admired her lung capacity and we understood the sentiment. Sometimes, if she’d not gone off for a while, one of us would volunteer to go and relieve the pressure by walking over to her cube and complimenting her hair or her dress sense.)
The final act – after the briefest of pauses, into which the silence rushed like water into the lungs of a drowning man – Sharon let rip with a barrage of sound of a depth and intensity that those who heard it for the first time were barely able to comprehend – ‘Larf!’ (Only, again, it was more ‘Laaaaaa-rrfffffffFFFFFFFFF!’
I hadn’t thought about Sharon for years, until I came across this mockery.
‘PR-Historiography, A Functional-Integrative Strata Model And Periods of German PR History’.
You’re having a laugh.