Misericordia di Earache – by Andy Shepherd


Clearly, on the face of it this isn’t going to be an interesting blog post.  I mean, how much is there really to say about the volume of ambulance sirens in Florence?  Not much admittedly, but the chances are that if anybody has ever said anything to you about it before you probably couldn’t hear them on account of severe hearing damage.  And so, we’re reduced to this.  Legally deaf and only able to coherently communicate through the written word. Not that I’m trivializing the purpose of the ambulances, you understand, or even suggesting that they lower the volume of the siren.  In fact, I’m not suggesting any kind of reasonable solution.  Just whining about a problem and being entirely unhelpful and unproductive in doing so.  So in short: Ambulance sirens in Florence are really, really loud and there’s nothing that any of us can do about it.  There you go, I told you there wasn’t much to say…

In closing, I thought I’d offer a short list of completely unfeasible solutions (thus not contradicting what I said a second ago about not offering reasonable solutions):

1. Sabotage

Pros: About an hour of silence before they fix them all again.

Cons: Very time consuming.  Technical expertise required, unless a simple clogging method is used.  Would most likely lead to at least one manslaughter charge.

2. Mass protests (You know.  Like the one’s the kids with the megaphones and sheets painted with slogans do every so often)

Pros: Erm, none spring to mind.  Chance to get outside for a little while?

Cons: Probably very difficult to garner enough support for it considering what we’re talking about is a minor annoyance rather than a genuine problem.  Again, would probably lead to some kind of arrest.

3. Sternly worded letters to the Mayor, Prime Minister, President, President of the European Commission and Secretary General of the U.N.

Pros: A fleeting feeling of self-importance.  The chance to show off to your friends by telling them you’re “in communication with Ban-Ki Moon over the issue and are working together to try and find a resolution suitable to all parties.”

Cons: Waste of paper.  They definitely wouldn’t give a toss.

4. Just putting up with it (I seemingly have contradicted myself now.  This is a perfectly reasonable solution).

Pros: Really, really easy.  Everybody is already well practiced in doing so, meaning no special training is required.  The only option.

Cons: No change in situation.  Increased hearing damage for all.

So, that’s that I suppose.  I was planning on doing five suggestions, but it all got a bit too silly.  If anybody comes up with anything else, feel free to comment (presuming he few people who do read manage to get past the first sentence)…