They drive you mad. Our eco-friendly fridge let’s you put about three items in before it starts beeping to demand that you close the door. The timer on the microwave beeps loudly (and doesn’t stop). So does the one on the oven. The electric induction hob beeps if any pan touches the control panel. You can find yourself cooking with quadrophonic beeping erupting simultaneously. And because three of the items are the same make, they have exactly the same beep so you can’t work out whether it’s the microwave, the hob or the oven.
Then you get in the car. Karen has a Suzuki Splash, and when you take it out of the garage you have to negotiate the drive in reverse. It doesn’t just beep at you to put your seatbelt on but beeps with increasing volume and speed. The thing is there’s a hedge along the side, and I can see much better without the seat belt on. I’m in my own drive. When I get to the end, I’m often going to stop and get out to let the family on board. I don’t need a seatbelt. Why can’t they disable it when you’re reversing?
Don’t even ask about the computer’s beeps.
Next door they’re building a new house. For health and safety reasons every digger and other motorized equipment on the site beeps loudly when it’s reversing. They start at 7 a.m. The beeps are to warn builders to get out of the way. At 7 a.m. I couldn’t care less whether they succeed.
So for recreation and to cover the noise, I’ll turn on the radio. Oh, no! They’re playing the old novelty song, “Beep! Beep!” by The Playmates.