Mankind's Precious Gift To God | Decibels

Photography by Simon Bowen

Who among God's rich bounty of flora and fauna doesn't appreciate the sharp report of flaming hydrocarbons as they explode past a tight, perky valve seat, surge down a short length of steel tube and resonate directly into boardrooms, bedrooms and burrows all across this great nation of ours?

Honestly, how many nights have you lain awake dreamily with your ber-hot significant other, passing on wild, animalistic diversions so that you might more fully concentrate, Erv Kanemoto-style, on the sound of bikes miles away? The pillow talk is priceless: "Yes darling, the mixture sounds sweetly stoichiometric, but there are perhaps a few degrees too much advance, no? Now spoon me, you big hunka man."

Combustion is a fleeting miracle, like shirtpocket fusion, though perhaps a bit more common. The innocent joy of decibels brings people together and bridges jagged gulfs of culture and class. I ask you, what heavy-equipment operator hasn't been shaken from his ear-plugged workaday reverie by the feel-good rumble of a V-twin laying down a tsunami of sound every bit as powerful as the meatrending depleted-uranium slugs of an A-10's Vulcan cannon?

Or how about the frail preemie baby in the silent world of an incubator that raises its tiny pink fist in solidarity with the visceral shriek of a self-absorbed hooligan making a three-gear glory-blast through a hospital zone?

Yes, in His wisdom, God gave us the miracle of combustion. And, in return, we've given Him the gift of decibels. True, bacteria are a lot quieter, but are they anywhere near as much fun? For all of our sakes, let's hope not.

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