Listening to the Apocalypse

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A sudden silence hit the Earth. If anything it was worse than the noise. For a while nothing happened…

…Then there was a slight whisper, a sudden spacious whisper of open ambient sound. Every hi-fi set in the world, every radio, every television, every cassette recorder, every woofer, every tweeter, every mid-range driver in the world quietly turned itself on.

Every tin can, every dustbin, every window, every car, every wineglass, every sheet of rusty metal became activated as an acoustically perfect sounding board.

Before the Earth passed away it was going to be treated to the very ultimate in sound reproduction, the greatest public address system ever built. But there was no concert, no music, no fanfare, just a simple message.

“People of Earth, your attention, please,” a voice said, and it was wonderful. Wonderful perfect quadrophonic sound with distortion levels so low as to make a brave man weep…

…The PA fell silent again and its echo drifted off across the land…

There was a terrible ghastly silence.

There was a terrible ghastly noise.

There was a terrible ghastly silence.

Douglas Adams, from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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