Monday, December 30, 2013

I Nominate

Tortuous tootling.

I don't think I've yet heard the Ecuadorian national anthem, the official one. But I have a thought, based on my experience here – let's nominate an unofficial one.

The car alarm.

Why? Because it's

  • Ubiquitous
  • Constant
  • Unvarying
  • Soulful

Only a national anthem (or a de facto stand-in) would be played so often, in so many locations, for so many occasions, and so faithfully. In fact, there seems to be one going off somewhere, at every hour, day or night, without fail.

You do hear car alarms always and everywhere, and there is only one version. It always honks, beeps, buzzes, and whoops, in the same progression, at one million decibels.

And the tune is played in earnest, with such sincerity, gravity, solemnity, and pomp that the only comparable music is indeed an actual national anthem.

And, most importantly, like a national anthem, the car alarm is completely ignored by everyone.

Unless you are trying to sleep.

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