Chapter 1. Screaming


In the park, kids can scream all they want, as far as I’m concerned; however, it hurts my ears. The penetrating pitch and the volume both hurt. I know it can grate on loving parents’ ears, too; “Use your inside voices, please”; so why do kids do it? There’s survival, of course, because such screams can penetrate distance, forests, anything in between, but in a park kids scream when survival is not a concern. Our daughter seemed to scream for the joy of it. After all, it is a super power, and what other powers do kids have?


Could we train our kids to scream in harmony? It would take music lessons, and two or more. But, say, screaming in a key of F-minor could mean “We’re lost; where are we?” Screaming A-major would say, “We’re just having fun.” D-minor, “Somone’s picking on me.” C-minor, “I’ve hurt myself,” or “I’m bleeding.” Children in a group could be trained to scream different notes so that parents at a distance could identify their own.


I have no qualms about people in terror screaming. If something frightens you, then scream. I disagree only with whatever frightens you. Scream if you will for pleasure, as on a roller coaster, or scream at rock concerts (think Elvis), but, because your life may depend on it, you should reserve your best screaming for when you really need to.


Surely, if you can’t kick an attacker in the groin, or judo-throw a thug across an alley, if you are facing overwhelming force such as a gun pointed directly at you, or a gang of goons, and if there’s a chance that anyone within hearing could run to your rescue, then by all means scream, scream for all you’re worth. The theory that sperm whales can disable giant squids with sonic blasts has not been scientifically verified, but there’s good support for screaming as a defense against human predators. In these cases, I hope you can scream loud enough to pierce everyones’ ear drums but your own.


See the chapter on cheering. People can cause serious damage to the hearing of family, friends, and fans by screaming at events, though people do it anyway. Scream for joy, scream for fun, scream as the spirit moves, but softly. The Beatles complained, for all the people screaming, that they couldn’t hear their own music. Do I need to sit you down to tell you that yelling and screaming doesn’t really help the players? Even if screaming could influence a game, it wouldn’t be worth it, and, no, it can’t.