Monday, January 13, 2014

Tactical Squawking

I was preparing dinner when I heard the noise. I would write it here, but you see, it was the sort of sound it's impossible to spell. Imagine several very ill hawks attempting to sing in a choir, with a dying car engine as accompaniment. As you can imagine, it was a very disturbing noise, both due to its awfulness (is that a word?) and its unexpectedness.
The noise continued in sporadic bursts from my brother's room, where he usually sits quietly at his computer (quietly being the key word here), working on digital art or battling his friends in Team Fortress 2.
I chopped up a bell pepper. QUAAARRWWK!* went the noise, echoing down the stairs.
"What's he doing now?" my mom sighed over the carrot she was grating.
"I don't know! He's so weird!"
KRAAAAEERK! The salad spinner vibrated from the force of the sound (or maybe I'm just being melodramatic). I sliced the radishes with more violence than strictly necessary, venting my exasperation on innocent root vegetables. AEERRRK!  A timer went off, drowning out the next few screeches. Then, just when I thought he'd stopped: ZZZWEEE! EEEEAWK! QUAAAAWH!
We looked at each other, my mom and I. And even though I'm not very good with the social stuff, I knew an unspoken question hung between us. I even knew what it was: What the heck is that ungodly racket?
KKREEEEEAH! I stalked into my brother's room.
"What are you doing?" He was playing a video game; I don't know which one. It was the kind where you run around and shoot people before they shoot you; an online one, with voice-chat.
ZWAAARK! "I'm distracting the other team!" he explained, screeching again. The other players stopped, forgetting to shoot. He smashed their heads with a frying pan.
"Aren't you also distracting your own team?"
"No, they know what I'm doing."
Completely forgetting to yell at him, or even tell him to shut up, I walked into the kitchen and metaphorically died laughing, though not before explaining the awful racket was actually a form of sonic warfare. My mother was not amused, but she didn't see it the way I did: while we were downstairs thinking what is that bozo doing? he was upstairs devising an innovative new strategy.
So the moral of this story is: The mentally different do a lot of things which make absolutely no sense to neurotypicals. When someone does something weird or annoying, before you yell at them, find out their reasoning. Also, don't use voice-chat or my brother might screech in your ear.

Epilogue: It has now been a week since the invention of Tactical Squawking. It is no longer funny. In fact, it's becoming annoying. But considering that's its purpose, I'm not going to complain (though if it keeps up, I might have to change my mind).

*Would you look at that, I managed to spell it after all.