So, I have a new roommate and we’ve been bonding over our mutual love of Six Feet Under (remember that show?). We’re about a season and a half into our binge and I’m starting to notice this super annoying habit of hers: She snaps her gum really loudly while we’re watching the show, and she is ALWAYS chewing that damn gum. I don’t feel like I know her well enough to bring it up, but at the same time, we’ve got about 40 episodes left and it’s driving me nuts! What would you do?
--C’mon Feel the Noize Terre Haute, Ind.
I could tell you to buy a pair of Bose Noise Cancelling 700 headphones, but how would you watch the rest of Six Feet Under, and even more important, who’s footing the $400 bill for those babies? You could turn up the volume on your Amazon Fire TV or, better yet, have Alexa tell her, "It’s a stick of gum, not a bale of hay, girlfriend! ” You could even say you’ve been diagnosed with misophonia, a medical condition that triggers a flight-or-fight response to certain noises, and that you’re actually allergic to sounds. For those who are afflicted with it (and it seems you might be), the sound of gum-chewing fills them with murderous rage. People have been stabbed for eating a banana within earshot of a misophoniac! While that’s a real condition, I’m going to actually advise you to suck it up and say nothing to your roommate, or you’ll risk never finding out if David marries Keith in the final episode.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, ever wants to be criticized for anything, least of all noise pollution. I made the mistake once of making fun of Paul Stanley’s noisy shoes when I went to interview him at his Tuscan-style villa at the very tip-top of Beverly Hills. He opened the door to his baronial digs wearing requisite rock-star attire: tight 511 black Levi’s, a black V-neck T-shirt, and a pair of shiny black pointed shoes. They were really very spectacular shoes, their glossy mirror finish trapping flecks of the early-afternoon light on the surface. He caught me looking at them and said, a little defensively, “What? I like patent leather.” But it wasn’t that at all! It was that his shoes made the most annoying sound as soon as we stepped off the plush pile rugs and onto the hardwood floors.