The good news first: I don’t hear voices when I’m alone. That is not a matter of course for someone like me. Again, what I am hearing amplified is a massive increase in beeping wherever I am. When I’m standing in the kitchen to fan out the entire spectrum of the same two and a half dishes in front of my wife, a rhythmic warning tone comes from the left after a few seconds. The fridge worries I might never be able to close its door again and the pork could suddenly tip over. The fact that I need open storage space in order to be able to perform my smooth movements better is completely irrelevant to the nervous frost box. You are forced to do what the electronics demand. Otherwise there is a risk of a nervous breakdown.

My name is Mickey Beisenherz. In Castrop-Rauxel I am a world star. Elsewhere I have to pay for everything myself. I’m a multimedia (single) general store. Author (Extra3, Jungle Camp), presenter (ZDF, NDR, ProSieben, ntv), podcast host (“Apocalypse and Filter Coffee”), occasional cartoonist. There are things that strike me. Sometimes even upset me. And since the impulse control is constantly jammed, they probably have to get out. My religious symbol is the crosshair. The razor blade is my dance floor. And just now it itches in the feet again.

It’s the worst in the car. How many voice messages have become almost unheard because the author had recorded them while parking and the infernal roar overlaid the precious messages? Since vehicles have been equipped with assistance systems that every Mars rover can only dream of, one is exposed to a cacophony behind the wheel as if one were an arcade operator in Lloret de Mar.

You can no longer achieve the nonchalance of a Steve McQueen in modern vehicles simply because the hysterical whistling when driving forwards and backwards suggests a kind of acoustic near-death experience that has nothing to do with the rather unspectacular parking in front of the bakery. Warnings are given in a wide variety of tones, until you yourself tend to whisper a casual “Hey, just stay calm” at the car with a Claude Oliver Rudolph timbre.

It’s not that motor vehicles didn’t send out very clear acoustic signals in the past. A tremendous rumbling always indicated subtly that one had underestimated the dimensions of one’s own vehicle. You also had to produce the unpleasant sounds coming from the cabin yourself. They did not apply to the driver of the vehicle, but to other road users who, according to the driver’s spontaneous analysis, behaved stupidly to stupid and consequently “earned a lot of money”.

Possibly the dictate of the equipment is evidence of a new culture of concerned paternalism. A sound that only wants good things for us, that wants to steer us in the right direction with its non-stop reprimands. In political jargon one speaks of a policy with a steering effect. A liberal would probably say: “Freedom is also the freedom to fly through the windshield with your skull first.”

Overwhelmed, we stagger through everyday life in which it hoots and beeps. The car, the microwave, the electric blanket, the toaster – everything shrills and alarms. There are said to have been people who fell asleep peacefully in their living room armchair and burned to death because they mistook the smoke detector for an overzealous Thermomix and no longer had the nerve to go into this sound in more detail.

And our fridge? If you ignore its warning tones, it ignites the next stage and starts flashing violently. Like the strobe lights in a large Dutch disco. He’ll definitely be playing scooter soon.

So if I don’t get in touch soon, the worried Fridge has given his owner an epileptic seizure. But he only meant well.