Noise Abatement Society


The Noise Abatement Society 

The Noise Abatement Society, or NAS, was formed in 1959 to combat, in the words of its late founder John Connell, “the forgotten pollutant”.  This great man, my new hero, campaigned tirelessly and dedicated much of his life towards the cause of cleaner, noise-free air.

But, despite his commendable work, I still find that my house is really, really noisy. My kids rarely communicate at an acceptable volume. They screech, they shout and they scream. That’s the way they get things you see.  

Worse, they always seem to do this at the most inopportune time.  The radio will be on and Celtic will be linked with some Spanish superstar. “Celtic are reported to be in advanced talks with Spanish international…WAWAWAWAWA …AHHHHHHH … ERCHHHHHH”. And I’ll never find out who it was. And Celtic will never sign the guy. And, for that, who am I supposed to blame if not the shouty, pesky kids?

I’m convinced that our next evolutionary step will be a mute button. Not just for kids, you understand, but also for adults. And only certain people, probably only NAS members, would get control over the mute button.  So, while I wait, patient as ever, on this gene-pool mutation, I’ve just applied to join NAS. 

Maybe if they let me in they’ll also send some sort of badge which will give me some authority over my kids. I’m envisaging some kind of star-shaped, sheriff’s style badge with NOISE ABATEMENT SOCIETY blaring from it.  I will wear it at all times and when things get rowdy I will simply point at it and they will recognise my power. And they will be seen but not heard. This is my plan.

The NAS do not believe in “unnecessary noise”. Neither do I.   

Here’s a letter I just wrote to them. I await a response with bated breath.


December 28, 2007

The Noise Abatement Society
Flat 2,26, Brunswick Terrace,


Dear Sir or Madam:

Firstly may I apologise for the impersonal tone of the above salutation. I mean no offence but I had no idea as to either your sex or your name.  I hope you will forgive me this and that, as our relationship develops in the future, we may refer to each other by Christian name.

I’m sure you are a busy man/woman so I will proceed now with all due haste. Not to put too fine a point on it I wish to apply to join the Noise Abatement Society. Or NAS, as I call it. Let me explain my position. 

I am the father of two lovely, but, alas, very screechy, young girls.  They make the most frightful racket around the house. Don’t get me wrong, I realise that the young must express themselves. It is an essential part of their development. However, I wish they would express themselves less loudly and less often.  Especially, it must be said, during sporting broadcasts.

They are, believe it or not, having a significant effect on the quality of international players that, my team, Glasgow Celtic are able to sign. This is making it almost impossible for Celtic to compete at the top level. I realise this must seem strange to you but I assure you of its veracity and we can discuss it in detail when we meet in person. 

Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that as merely their father I have no authority to shush them up. Or should that be down? Anyway that’s where you, the NAS, come in. I need help.

If you will accept me as a member and send me the relevant noise abating accoutrements I feel that this may give me the power and authority I require. Especially, I’m thinking about some sort of badge. It’s not important, I’m sure, but is there a badge? 


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