Robert, a father of a teenage daughter, shook his head. He wasn't sure why he did it. He was fully aware that none of the girls noticed it, let alone acknowledged his presence. He placed the wood-fired pizzas on the table behind them. Another pointless exercise.
"You're welcome!" he thought, as silent as the "Thank you" he received. He could have been any dad, or mom; in fact almost anyone over 40. He used to sigh at their behaviour, now he could only laugh.
There they were, five teenage girls having a sleepover. All huddled together on this cold, stormy night. It was bonding time with close friends.
Yet there was near silence. No verbal chats, giggles or gossip. All you could hear was the clickety-click of blurry thumbs. He was convinced that some of those messages were sent to one other. The radio was playing right next to them, yet they sat with earphones plugged into their phones, no doubt listening to the same station. The only visible form of communication was when a popular song was playing. They would jump up and screech with delight (As it had, no doubt, been HOURS since they had last heard it.). They would dance around the living room, singing out loud (Mostly the right lyrics.). Not in the least bit distracted by the occasional crackling and buzzing noises breaking up the song; not uncommon during this type of weather.
And then, the second the DJ's voice cut in, they returned to the assumed positions; earphone in ear and phone in face.. Robert instinctively gave another shake, took his own pizza and headed for the kitchen.
A few slices in and the storm was gaining momentum. The wind was forcing the rain to slam against the window. The distortion on the radio was more frequent and starting to drown out the music. None of the girls had bothered to turn down the volume. This didn't surprise Robert at all.
He opened his mouth for another bite as a constant stream of distortion suddenly blared out the speakers. The slice fell to the floor and he jumped out of his chair. He peered out the kitchen entrance. There the girls sat, motionless, staring at the nearest speaker. Even some phones had been dropped. Given that Robert had sat through an earthquake without a text message being affected, this was very rare.
His second shock came when the word "DAMNATION!" was shouted, repeatedly, above the crackling. Still the girls didn't flinch.
Then it was his near heart attack experience. Out of nowhere, the deafening sounds of five screaming teenage girls actually managed to drown out the radio.
Robert ran over to see if they were okay. He stopped halfway as they all jumped to their feet and started dancing, screeching various permutations of how awesome this new song was. They danced to a beat that the panicking dad couldn't hear.
By the following week, "DAMNATION!" had already shot up to sixth on the charts.