The Parmelee Post: Rebellious Refrigerator Routinely Exceeds Proposed Wind Noise Decibel Limits | Humor | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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The Parmelee Post: Rebellious Refrigerator Routinely Exceeds Proposed Wind Noise Decibel Limits


Published June 10, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

  • Dreamstime | Bryan Parmelee
A Vermont family has grown increasingly concerned about a certain cold-hearted household appliance that appears to have a complete and utter disregard for what state regulators consider to be acceptable noise levels.

The Wilburson family of Deerfield told the Parmelee Post that they are unsure what to do about a household refrigerator that is perpetually louder than the wind turbine sound limits proposed by the Vermont Public Service Board.

“It wasn't until I borrowed a friend’s decibel meter that I discovered our fridge operates at a steady 45dB,” explained family patriarch and enjoyer of cold beverages Melvin Wilburson. “That’s right, the cocky little prick thinks it can just hum along at 10 decibels louder than the proposed nighttime limit for nearby wind turbines.

“What am I supposed to do — unplug it at night just so I can get some sleep around here?” he demanded to know. “Do you have any idea what that would do to my sandwich game? I’m not going to start eating lukewarm salami just because my fridge suddenly thinks it's a badass.”

All four members of the family Wilburson claim they’ve had trouble sleeping through the night ever since discovering that their fridge has no intention of respecting what could soon become the strictest wind sound limits in the country.

“I obviously understand that our refrigerator is not a wind turbine and is therefore be exempt from wind development regulations,” said family matriarch Catrize Wilburson. “But if 35db is too loud for a wind turbine 5000 feet away from our house then it's sure as hell too loud for an appliance that lives only 60 feet from where I sleep!”

Neighboring family and sworn mortal rivals the Chendersons claim the Wilbursons' fridge is nothing but a climate-controlled nocebo.

“Sometimes the psychological effect of a suggestion is enough to cause illness," explained Henry Chenderson. “Those damn Wilbursons never complained about that fridge until someone told them that 35dB was loud enough to ruin their quality of life. Our fridge runs at a constant 47dB and the only thing keeping me up at night is the thought of my grandchildren trying to survive on a planet that is 2ºC warmer than it is now."

Chenderson believes the source of the sound has a greater impact on individuals than the actual decibel level. "Hell, some people are willing to tolerate the sound of 115dB fighter jet engines if you simply suggest that it's absolutely necessary for their continued sense of freedom," he added.

Still, the Wilbursons maintain that the fridge is slowly ruining their life.

"It's not even just the constant noise, but the overall aesthetics as well," complained Catrize. "It started wearing this leather jacket that is supposed to increase insulation and make it even more efficient, but it clashes with my vision of an ideal pristine kitchen landscape."

If the new rules do go into effect, the Wilbursons worry they may have to stop using the fridge and wait until engineers develop a quieter more efficient model before purchasing a new one.

"I just hope things don't get so warm that we risk losing our entire food supply in the meantime!" Melvin said.
The Parmelee Post is a weekly series featuring tough investigative reporting on news that hasn't happened.