Last week’s column about the mysterious “hum” drew quite a response.
As reader No.1 punned, it was “humbling” to be in such esteemed company. Or should that be “humpany”?
“When I read your article, I felt a weight had lifted from my shoulders,” they continued. “I was going crazy last week in the middle of the night checking every room for the ‘noise’. To me it is more like a clothes dryer. Will we ever know what it is?”
Just like how energy policy is framed in this country, I reckon we won’t. But if it’s any consolation, for many weeks through summer I thought my “hum” was the neigbour’s air-conditioner being run mercilessly into the ground. And then when I kept hearing it through winter, I thought, man they are flogging that thing to death.
Now it’s spring and I still hear it, I’m thinking their energy target will be huge.
“Simon I too have this hum,” wrote reader No.2. “Thought it was coming from a truck idling down on the road. I lived out in the country near Singleton but my husband could never hear it. It took two years to come to terms with this noise and it still annoys me at times. Wish I didn’t have it but there could be worse things.”
Yes that’s true, we could be hearing Tony Abbott climate change speeches on endless rotation, which would be horrendous. Actually, I have been hearing that a lot lately.
“Finally someone else who can hear it!” wrote reader No.3. “What a buzz!
“At first I thought it was a truck coming up our cul de sac in the middle of the night, very unusual, so got out of bed to take a look......no truck. Then I decided it was the fridge, but no, nothing there, hubby can't hear it. It comes and goes, but mostly it comes, and only ever at night.”
Sounds a bit like the tide. Possibly of public opinion, trying to work out if we’re mad.
“Well you are not,” reassured reader No.4. “Because last week I had exactly the same experience. Loud humming noise not outside but only in one area of my unit. Thank goodness the person with me witnessed it also.”
Hear, hear, I say, literally, so long as that person isn’t Elvis. Credible corrobative evidence is important when you’re trying to prove you aren’t crackers.
Finally there was reader No.5 who rallied with a unifying show of support.
“Everyone thinks I am crazy: at least now I know someone else who is!!” they cheered.
“I thought it was a noisy sewer pump in use by Hunter Water. My husband thinks it’s a generator run by someone growing a crop of [fill in the blank] illegally.”
In my experience, people certainly think you’ve been smoking something grown illegally when you mention “the hum” – such is the scepticism we hearers have to “hum”p.
Typical of the tone was a friend who asked the other day with audible eye roll, “How’d you go with your ‘hum’ story?”
To which I said I’d gotten an overwhelming response – meaning in columnist language, I got A response.
To which he replied drolly: “Well you asked for it.” One day maybe he too will eat “hum”ble pie.