Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Do you hear the people sing?
An embarrassing incident at the hospital today.
I was walking the corridors from one section of the campus to another with a staff member beside me when suddenly, quite unexpectedly, the strains of 'Les Miserables' filled the air. We had just left an area where computer technicians were making adjustments to cupboards filled with coloured cables and IT equipment. I assumed they had set off the hospital's PA system.
It is not unusual for music to be heard over the hospital's PA system but the music is normally wordless and either classical or Muzak in style; not the strident strains of Hollywood/Broadway musicals.
The staff member and I looked around in surprise at this unusual intrusion in the otherwise quiet environment of the corridors and we wondered at the source of the music which at that moment seemed clear because we were walking under a loudspeaker. 'Les Mis' continued to fill the air as I travelled an elevator alone up four floors where staff looked curiously my way as the rousing choruses continued.
I returned down the four floors and moved internally through an adjoining building and still the music and singing continued. Waiting patients showed obvious signs of surprise at this unusual broadcast in a hospital.
At this point I should point out that I lost total hearing in one ear following nerve damage about fifteen years ago and since then I have had difficulty determining the direction of the sound that I do hear. I was beginning to wonder when the technicians would realise their mistake and shut down the broadcast when an embarrassing thought began to enter my mind. It occurred to me that the music might be following me. I pulled my iPhone from my pant's pocket and to my horror it was the source of the music. Somehow my iPhone rubbing against my body - settle down, readers - had caused the Music App to activate and it was me who was stirring the people to rise against their masters across four floors and two buildings of the hospital campus.
I dreamed a dream and it was an embarrassing nightmare.