1 of 3  

At this point, it’s a matter of principle.

Sure, I could simply put this laptop on mute, or just indiscriminately close out all the browser tabs, but that’s not the point— this really should not be so difficult. Let me be clear: I intend to find you, browser tab, and close you and your noise out with extreme prejudice, just as soon as I get my cursor on you.

Whichever one you are, browser tab, I must say, it was impressively irritating, the way you began your covert broadcast with the low simmer of a woman’s murmur, ostensibly trying to seduce me into entering her live webcam show— a sleazy babble that did not at all jibe with the opiate-like saxophone stylings of John Coltrane that I had going on.

The sudden commingling of Webcam Girl with the tinny voice of an overly excited man attempting to sell me a digital prophylactic of some sort— MacGuffin’s Anti-Virus Software, I believe— was a cruel and ironic thrust, given the fact that you have yourself come upon me like some kind of invisible, anything but silent killer-of-a-cacophonous disease. Well, enough is enough. I am going to sit right here, expand every single one of the 23 browser tabs spread across the bottom of this screen, and figure out which one you are.

I must confess, I am not completely without blame in the case of this dissonant plague that has visited me. There have been, for instance, in my recent browser history, the websites “,” “” and “,” none of which are exactly known for their savory nature, and all of which have certainly been known to saddle visitors with any number of unwanted additions to their internet experience, mystery audio well-included.

I am not without sin. I acknowledge this.

Still, that program change you made just now? The switch to Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Want To Wait?” Now you’re just being sadistic, browser tab. What reason could there possibly be for playing this song? We’re approaching a decade now since Dawson’s Creek went off the air— a decade that most of us have spent trying to get that scourge of a song permanently out of our heads. You are driving me to the brink of a very special episode of laptop destruction, browser tab, leading me to suspicions of a manufacturers’ conspiracy intended to increase sales.

It wouldn’t be nearly so bad if there were at least some sort of visual signifier of the audio’s source, as is usually the case with these things. Say, video to go along with the audio, or even just the presence of an audio player itself. But alas, I am seeing no such thing, and this is honestly beginning to feel like some kind of nightmarish, sonic Where’s Waldo.

Annnd…the Dawson’s Creek theme is now playing on loop, flavored by the wind-chime jingle of incoming instant messages, along with the click-click-clatter of a keyboard being tapped, presumably by the unseen webcam girl going wordlessly about her business, in what has now become a regular jam session of mystery ruckus.

I don’t want to wait, for this life to be over...

Over and over, sums things up nicely right now, browser tab. You are a deathless cricket chirping outside a bedroom window, inspiring murderous, villainous Disney dreams of Jiminy assassination, sans any conscience as guide.

In a moment worthy of a Rod Serling voice over, I have now closed out all the tabs, and found that still, the audio remains. I have checked behind the couch and beneath the bed, searching perhaps for a Lilliputian band featuring Paula Cole and a scantily clad webcam professional attempting to solicit an extremely displeased miniature John Coltrane, all to no avail. I will soon have no choice but to attribute your drone to a digital djinn-in-the-Dell, a curse placed on some ancestor of mine by an angry voodoo priest far ahead of his time, or some other, similar practitioner of the Dark Arts.

If unplugging the laptop still does not silence you, browser tab, I intend to contact the old lady from Poltergeist via Ouija Board, in hopes that she can work the same magic for me that she did for Carol Anne, et al.


Jason Edward Harrington


1 of 3