Scream/Keep Calm
Roger Bara

Sudden loud noises. It’s quite horrendous; I go into what I can only describe as total shock and I let out an involuntary yelp, sounding like a little child on a ghost train.

If something falls onto my kitchen floor, and the sound reverberates, it’s followed by a little scream as my senses go into overtime, however briefly. It doesn’t even have to smash, just make a sudden unexpected noise.

It’s the same everywhere – in the car, if something falls off the back seat and makes a big thump, I’m off again, which is particularly concerning when driving.

If somebody is behind me, without my knowledge, and then starts speaking, I can beat Fosbury’s world high-jump record.

Hitchin Station, UK
Hitchin Station, UK

The first crack of thunder can have the same effect, although the rest of the storm is fine for me, as the noise is expected.

In fact, on reflection, the noise doesn’t necessarily need to be unexpected. Looking back at my early years, I do remember the ghastly feeling while waiting for my train home from school. The station had four tracks running between the two platforms, the middle two were for express trains. Now I love trains, I love watching them, always have. And as I would see the approaching express, a wonderful anticipation would envelop me. But when it passed through the station, the noise of steel on steel at 100mph would send shockwaves up and down my entire body, only relenting after the last coach went by. If I had screamed, nobody would have heard.

Living in a war-zone would be my ultimate nightmare. I’m bad enough when a car backfires on the road behind my house.

What makes me scream?

Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

Sincerely, I don’t consider myself a brave man. There are things in life of which I am terrified. Some may be weird, like flying. I am still anxious when I fly, which is a pure thrill. There were times, years ago, like in the early 2000s, I almost panicked when flying, all the way from take-off to landing. Even thinking of an upcoming flight was something scary to me back then.

I remember flying from Tokyo to Moscow in August 2002. It was Boeing 747 JAL, a giant double-decker sky vessel. I still admire this plane! After a long nine-hour flight, it was finally going to land. As I understood, there was some traffic jam in the skies over Moscow, so we had to make several circles around the Sheremetyevo airport.

God, it was scary!

Moscow Airport
Moscow Airport

The pilots switched off the autopilot mode to make those circles. The giant plane was shaking up and down, left and right. On the screen in front of me, I had a camera view looking vertically down. Completely horrified, I was scanning the land below, trying to access our vertical speed and, if it was excessive, in my opinion, at what point we were going to crash!

I must admit that I didn’t scream, but at some dramatic point, when Jumbo went down some uncounted number of meters one more time, I produced some sounds.

Those sounds were not an expression of joy. I’d say it was a clear sign of panic. Well, I wasn’t the only one to make noise, as several passengers were doing the same. At some point, I was almost sure we would crash. What a dreadful flight! Sure, back in the USSR…

Finally, we safely made it to the airport. I was happy to walk on solid ground again.

P.S. On board was a JAL engineer on vacation; he was flying to Europe via Moscow. Upon landing, he murmured: hetakyoso! It was his assessment of his fellow JAL pilots’ performance operating in the hand mode.

What makes me scream?

Photograph of Dean Lewis

Scream? Truth is I never scream. But there is a certain S word I let fly when I stub a toe or smash a finger. Always the same word and always automatically. I suppose that’s a bad habit because I’ll most certainly do it somewhere where I shouldn’t. I’ll have only myself to blame, you know.

On the other hand I scream inside all the time. Some things just drive me absolutely batty. My go to phrase is “Oh come on!” They never do. I’m starting to suspect some of these people don’t even know who I am.

My list of things that make me absolutely bonkers:

  • People who will not park between the lines
  • Being mean to animals (uncool!)
  • People who are clearly thinking of rebuttals before you have even made your point. Why bother talking with you?
  • People who will not wait their turn in line
  • Rolling your eyes – it just flies all over me
Restaurant Kitchen

Oh, I could go on all day. OK, people who go on all day! As you can see, I’m a Princess and tolerate little from the lower life-forms around me. BUT I do try not to show it. 

I think being respectful and polite is a big deal. Some confuse me for weak because I try to be nice even when the person to whom I am talking is a jerk. This is a philosophical thing but there is no excuse ever for not being kind, even when “he has it coming.” I don’t feel like that makes me weak but it absolutely makes me misunderstood. I’ll not change.

Ever meet people who think that if they are right, they can and should be complete asses? Like if the order at the restaurant isn’t right or if you made a mistake with some job. In my twisted sense of right and wrong, the person doing the yelling quickly becomes wrong, even if they have started out in the right. While the person doing the yelling will confuse me for weak, I would ask who has more self-control?

So no, I’m unlikely to ever scream.