– Dan, I must confess that since moving to Mayotte, I’ve become more murderous. Just as well I don’t have a rifle – I’d be on my balcony taking pot shots at all those kids roaring past on souped up scooters. Can you comment on that?
– YES, OF COURSE! Ha, ha! Startled you, did I? Only joking. OK, I’ll try and talk normally. What was the question? Oh, yeah, scooters. I love ’em! And so many of them, that’s the charm! Makes up for that slight lack in terms of sheer decibels. I mean, if I was in charge, I’d replace all scooters with chain saws. Have everyone running round with Black & Deckers on full blast – brilliant! But I guess they’re not too good for getting from A to B.
– Hmm, I think we can be thankful you’re not in charge. Most people would say you’ve got away with too much already.
– Depends where you are. Some places, they’re cool. Ever been to Mumbai? Them horns, man! Amazing! I mean, Indian drivers get me, you know? If only everyone was like them. But the E.U. – what a bunch of spoilsports. Vaccuum cleaners 80 dB max? I’m like, what?! Seriously? Where’s the fun in that? And aeroplanes – there’s just no point to them anymore. Bring back the Concorde, I say. Those were the days!
– Try saying that to the people under Heathrow’s flight path. These are just pest control measures if I may say so. You’ve been allowed to run rampant since industrialisation, surely you can’t be surprised there’s a backlash.
– Not really, no. It’s an age thing, though, isn’t it? Kids love to pump up the volume, fuddy-duddies want “a bit of peace and quiet”. Well, I’m with the kids here! Clubbing every weekend, 110, 120 dB, that’s the spirit! But the fuddy-duddies fix the rules so it’s a constant struggle these days. You win some, you lose some. I’m not too bothered, though, on the whole I’m doing OK. Thanks to those scooters, largely. I’ll be worried the day they go electric, but we’re not there yet by a long chalk. And I’ll always have some individual supporters who do a great job with ghetto blasters, guard dogs barking nonstop all day, that sort of thing.
– And you also have recourse to some highly questionable methods. Tinnitus, for example. Very sneaky, that is.
– Ha! Well, you gotta be cunning sometimes. I mean, you get some extremists who’d like to eliminate me entirely, so I need some way to fight back.
– Speaking of which, I’ve got someone here on the phone who’s agreed to have a debate with you about silence, which he values very highly. He’s actually a Trappist monk.
– Oh, cool… HELLO, TRAPPIST MONK! NICE TO SPEAK TO YA! ARE YOU RECEIVING ME LOUD AND – oh, he’s rung off. Too bad. Nice idea, anyway. If he wants to get back in touch, he can always give us a shout.