This evening I read about the Reichstag fire in the London Review of Books, and otherwise lay on the sofa being idle. My wife was out at an art fair, my daughter was (mostly) asleep and I was resting in preparation for tomorrow’s early start and run around MacRitchie Reservoir. Finally, when my wife returned to find me in the epicenter of lassitude with all the baby’s toys still littered across the floor, I sprang into action.
I began to delete old audio recordings from my phone.
There is some interesting stuff hiding there, that I’d quite forgotten existed. As in, there’s a recording of me singing a song about having an onion for an eye, to the tune of the Spanish National Anthem, in Spanish. I’m trying to figure out how to set this as my ringtone, because it’s almost certainly unique.
There’s also a recording of La Serpiente Negra, crying as we drove through San Francisco last year. The howling of a five month old is quite different to that of a ten month old; I think we’d forgotten the particular high pitched, almost strangulated noise that she would make when upset. She’s louder now, and just as ear splitting, but perhaps slightly deeper. When she’s older, perhaps I’ll use this as her ringtone. Again, sort of unique.
The best sort of ring tone is one that’s quite loud, capable of cutting through ambient noise, and also easy to distinguish from everyone else’s. It’s no good having a loud ring that’s the same as every other person in a railway carriage, unless you want to be driven increasingly mad (or drive others increasingly mad) over time. Back in the day, when you could make your own ringtones on 1990s era Nokias, I had an atonal series of screeches that was easy to identify across the office, while everyone else still kept the default ringtone. I was never confused.
I’ve done the same at the office, but with a built in ring on the desk phone that is so horrible every time I get a call it’s almost drowned out by the sounds of my colleagues grinding their teeth. At least I know they’d never use it, which is better than answering my phone every time somebody adjacent to me gets a call.
Creating a new ringtone on a Nokia now is a bit more involved; you have to record it, save it to your computer, change the file type, reupload it to the phone and then use another app to turn it back into a ringtone. If I could program, I’d solve this problem myself, but I have other pressing duties, like lying on the sofa and eating crisps.
But now it’s close to time for bed. Until tomorrow, then…