There is a house at the southeast corner of Bedford and North 4th street that is constantly buzzing. Whenever I walk by, I always hear a ridiculous high-pitched sound coming out of it. The sound is so high pitched that it's painful to men but women can barely hear it.
Someone told me and I think I read it somewhere, that most men hear treble while most women hear bass. I've done a few experiments and found that it's true. I know that I usually find my feet tapping to the treble. I've given this some thought and I think it makes sense that humans have evolved this way because it makes deep voiced men enjoy or at least notice the sound of high voiced women and vice versa. I checked on the internet but couldn't find anything, so I had to do some research for myself. Of the first 6 people I tested, it worked out perfectly with 3 men hearing and disliking the sound and 3 women not hearing anything.
After that experiment, I thought about my evolutionary theory and wondered if it worked if you were gay. Thinking that gay men want to hear men and that lesbians want to hear womenI was sure I was wrong and pulling a Chavalier de Lamarck, but something made sense about itand so I called my friend Steve who was kind enough to come out from Manhattan just to check it out.
What did he hear? An annoying buzzing. Afraid that my theory was ruined, I thought that a little more research was needed. I then tested my two friends Alex and Kevin who say they aren't gay, but I'm not so sure. Since they'd caught wind of what I was up to, they were both a little grumpy but nevertheless acquiesced to giving it a listen. They too said they heard the buzz. Unfortunately, I don't have any lesbian friends that live in New York, so at this point I concluded my research.
Anyway, with the hopes of getting to the bottom of the house buzzing mystery, I typed up a letter to the residents of the building and dropped it in their mail slot. In what I thought was a pretty charming way, I asked them what the deal with the buzzing was. Even though I was being super polite and friendly and gracious, and not at all sneaky, they have yet to get back to me. Anyway, I'm afraid this means that I never got to get to the bottom of this mystery. The only clues we have might be the two signs that are built into the formidable fence that surrounds the house. "Don't Pick the Flowers" and "Don't let your Dog Pee on the Bushes" are charming little reminders for all of us strolling by.
I suppose our other clue might be that the residents, or the owner, don't want to have men (who can hear the annoying buzz) loitering around the building. That certainly isn't very friendly. I suppose we should say, "Different strokes for different folks," but then again, I can't. What would happen if the entire block started pumping out these anti-man waves?
To give you a gist of how annoying the sound is, I think I'd be able to handle about 30 minutes of it before going ape shit crazy. What if a mob of women grabbed me, tied me up, and forced me to listen to it? It would be kind of hot but mostly not.
As long as that doesn't happen, I'm actually glad I stumbled upon the buzzing and now I have a fun little game to show my friends. And, in a way, I like that it's still a mystery, and I enjoy mildly disliking the residents.
-- Oliver Turner
[email protected] | August 2001 | Issue 17
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