It was a Thursday night, and there was a hockey game on TV. I stopped watching it just before 10:00 when the Sharks were losing 2-5 to the Kings. I still don’t know what was the final score. Anyway, there had been some loud shouting and laughter coming from another unit in my condo complex, and I assumed they were watching the game. I expected that the vocal ejaculations would end soon. I was right, but not for the reasons I had imagined.
My upstairs neighbour opened her window and yelled out “If you have a mental illness, you should make more noise!”
What? I actually furrowed my brow, and I never do that because it makes wrinkles. I have no idea what she meant, but her tone was clearly angry. Surprisingly, even though her words made absolutely no sense, they had the desired effect. The partying parties ceased their jollity.
But why did she say that? It was very odd. Perhaps she meant:
• If you make more noise, I will assume you are mentally ill, or
• If you are mentally ill you have my permission to make more noise, or
• Your behaviour is so inappropriate and will assume you are mentally ill, or
• Would all the mentally ill people in the complex please make more noise, or
• It would not be wise of you make more noise because I will come over there and berate you.
I don’t know. What I am now confronted with, though, is the realization that something so illogical could have the desired effect. Apparently, I’ve been approaching conflict mediation wrongly all this time. Damn. In future, I will just say something totally meaningless in a very indignant tone. I can think of a few public figures I could use as role models. Yeah, that’ll work.