Tuesday, 4 May 2010

What happens when the woofer goes wrong

An evening at my grandparents can often turn into one of hilarity and hysterics and this Saturday night was just that. After finishing a buffet of delicious mini pizzas, quiches and other party food bits that everyone loves due the connotations they hold of Christmas, my grandparents, mum, aunty and uncle and I retreated to the living room for drinks.

Whilst listening to ‘Magic’ and drinking hot chocolates, my grandad (despite being deaf and needing hearing aids) was insistent on the fact that he could not hear the woofer. ‘The woofer?’ I hear you ask...

Well two weeks prior to that evening my uncle had installed his old television set at my nan and grandad’s as he had moved in a newer, younger and much flatter model into his home. After the worries of whether or not this 36 inch Sony monstrosity would fit between the shelf and fire place in their bungalow, the set was erected, DVD player, video player and Digi-box, the whole shebang intact. Not to mention the six speakers that created surround sound for my nearing eighty year old grandparents whose television habits included the daily news and nature programmes! Can you imagine the deafening noises of birds and elephants trailing out their windows? And of course, there was the woofer.

I had heard of a speaker before and even a base but until Saturday a woofer was not in my knowledge of vocabulary. After establishing that in fact the woofer wasn’t working as no base noise could be heard nor vibrations felt, and my grandad being one that hates leaving something until it’s fixed, my uncle decided to settle the matter by playing the first ten minutes of ‘Gladiator’ which would enable him to tell if the woofer was in fact, functioning or not. However this wasn’t until we had heard the word woofer at least fifteen times within two minutes...

“Rose the woofer’s not working, I can’t hear the woofer.”
“What, the woofer’s not working?”
“I can’t hear it”
“Maybe the woofer’s not turned on.”
“But I wired it up all right. It was working the other day.”
(Grandad bends down to listen if the woofer is working, with bum above head)
“Well I think we’ll defiantly hear a woofer now!” (You see my beloved grandad is notorious for, ahem...woofing)
“Where’s the button to turn it on? I can’t find the blooming button.” (My uncle had yet again forgotten his glasses)
“It’s the one that says ‘Woofer’.”
“Is it working?” (Nan bends down to see if she can hear it)

And this continued for a full five minutes!

Once the right button had been pressed and we endured Russell Crowe on horseback and a headless man, we established that “YES, the woofer is working!” And at this point we had tears of laughter from how many ‘woofing’ times the word woofer had been used!

So I now know that a...forgive me... woofer is actually “a loud speaker driver designed to produce low frequency sounds”. What I’d now like to know is why an earth my grandparents needed a damn woofer in the first place?!

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