>Do I Have To Shriek About This?

>I heard about these weird devices called the mosquito. They’re supposed to emit a high-pitched sound that is irritating to teenagers, but the rest of us have had our hearing naturally degrade so we don’t even notice. I thought it was kinda weird, and if I were a teenager, I’d probably feel offended that some store owners were choosing to repel me like some kind of unwanted rodent, but never really gave it any thought. Now I hear that somebody in Guelph has chosen to install one of these, but is too cowardly to admit who they are. There’s something about that whole thing that seems wrong. If teens are such a problem for you that you went and spent money installing a device to keep them away, you might as well stand up and say who you are. Plus, they’re going to figure it out when it starts squealing.

But I got thinking. If this sound is painful or annoying to teenagers, what will it do to dogs’ ears? If it is extremely distracting to my dog, could it end up being dangerous for me? If it’s in an alley near an intersection, will the sound reach Trix’s ears while we’re trying to cross nearby?

Hell, what will it do to me, and other people whose hearing is more sensitive? I notice high-pitched noises more than your average bear.

And they keep saying that really, they’re not trying to stop teens, they’re trying to stop loitering. Well, I’ve got news for ya. Have you ever walked around downtown Guelph and noticed how many adults hang about aimlessly there? Is it going to stop the weird Italian guy who hangs around down there yelling “Free Pizza?” I don’t think so. Something tells me his hearing has sufficiently degraded. I’ve heard that his teeth have. Is it going to stop the fully-grown dude who came up to me after I bought something from the LCBO, chased me down the street, constantly insisting that that bag was tooo heavy for me, let me carry it? I don’t think so. He creeped me out so much that I took a cab home…which was two blocks away at the time.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel pretty safe in Guelph. But what I’m trying to say is I’m afraid this sonic teen-repellent thing may not solve the problem, and have unintended consequences for completely innocent people that don’t fit the demographic. Plus, it might discriminate against completely innocent teens too!

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