Toby, the Stupid Dog

It was cooler this evening, cool enough to walk the dog. I told my husband as we tidied up the kitchen, “I think I’ll take the dog on a W-A-L-K.”

Fiona took her Going for a Walk stance. She braces herself sturdily on all four feet and cocks her ears, while also letting her tongue hang out of her mouth. Sort of a “ready for anything” or perhaps “I may be goofy, but I’m strong” sort of look.

I had no idea she could spell.

However, I took Toby. Toby is our stupid dog, but it was his turn. We went out and ambled along, enjoying the faint traces of movement in the air and the temperature, which might have been less than 90. The cicadas were very loud. I was writing recently about noise pollution. There is a chart online that connects decibel levels with common experiences. This decibel level is equal to whispering, for example, and that one is what you’ll find at a rock concert.

They move on next to less common experiences. This is the decibel level of a typewriter. That is standing three feet from a jackhammer.

So I was walking along, trying to decide whether the cicadas were as loud as the sound three feet from a jackhammer. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced three feet from a jackhammer. I like the phrase, though. It’s used, in the chart, as a noun phrase, an expression that describes a thing. Like “three feet from a jackhammer” has the same level of reality as a typewriter.

Some charts give you choices. French horn not that familiar? Okay, it’s the same as a blender. Does that help?

So I think the cicadas were about the equivalent of applause in an auditorium, which you may be interested to know is right between a telephone dial tone and a train at 100′.  OSHA would require hearing protection.

Toby and I weren’t out there long enough to require hearing protection, just long enough to enjoy the evening and come home feeling well satisfied with the world.