One of the perks of growing old is that the hearing starts to fade. For those of us who went to Jethro Tull and Doobie Brothers concerts, the fading started right after the show. I consider hearing loss a benefit for a number of reasons, but to preserve my health I won’t mention anything about not listening when my wife asks me to do something. My sweet, darling spouse knows just the right frequency to get all my attention. I knew before I said anything that a hole was being dug under me, but I’ll quickly change the subject before I get in over my head.
I really enjoy the things that I think people say to me, like “Did Jews take the Crash Cart?” for “Did you take the trash out” and “Get Nut Logs, Dip and Guns” for “Get hot dogs, chips and buns.” I’ve got enough wrong stuff to open an Emporium. If I don’t ask the speaker to clarify what they just said, I’m usually stuck with the weirdest images in my head. Great fodder for a writer, I must say. At a recent party I overheard the following conversation:
“How’s your poo today?”
“I stink; I might be hunting clowns with a cold butt in a snot bag.”
“Don’t sweat two ghosts to pee! Bats the past swing in seed!”
“Pit juice the nipples. Sit tight elven bean calories.”
“Do you shave a cat? Hive pot a bearable cat Mallory.”
“No, hunt my saber juice mopped fun.”
I tell you, I could listen to that kind of stuff all day.
If I’m in a setting where there are a lot of people talking at once, like parties, waiting rooms, grocery stores and such, I usually hear nothing but babble. By the way, I can speak babble in twenty six languages. Writing babble, however, requires extra doses of a couple of my medications. If I concentrate on what one person is saying in a crowd, and can see their lips moving, I can generally understand most of what they are saying, unless it’s in Farsi. I have trouble lip reading Farsi. Most of the times, however, I just like to hang out and let the murmuring wash over me like nippled pit juice.
In 1978, while driving a taxi in Decatur, Alabama, a drunk guy in the back seat once fired two rounds from a .357 through my windshield. Seriously. The story is far too detailed to put in this article, but the bottom line is that the sound popped my eardrums like champagne corks on New Year’s Eve. Since then I’ve had a hate-hate relationship with loud noises. If the dog barks next to my head or someone claps their hands near me, I suddenly get this really loud high-pitched sound that sends knitting needles through my brain. People say I look like Pinhead from Hellraiser. My wife likes to hang laundry on them. I like to blame my hearing loss on that incident, even though I know it was probably Queensryche and Metallica. Such sweet, painful memories! I could have an entire wing in my Emporium just for knitting needles.
Hearing loss is inevitable, but with a little imagination and a sense of humor, you can turn it into a constant adventure. Go to an ice cream store and hear the cute little worker ask, cone in hand, “Cow plenty poops?” The next time you check out at the grocery store, the cashier will probably ask “Did supine every fling Yuma booking floor?” Imagine the fun you’ll have when your spouse wants you to do the dishes. You can smile and say “I fed the fishes this morning, thank you.” And don’t forget to turn the volume way up on the TV, unless you enjoy listening to Farsi.
by Jay T Harding www.jaytharding.com