As I get older, it’s frightening to see the bodily functions deteriorate. My spouse has had poor hearing for years but I have now surpassed her. We are constantly shouting at each other. A stranger might think we are mad, but it’s just our normal conversational tone.
In a way, the loss of hearing is the most amusing of the sad losses of bodily functions. This week, I got a big laugh out of one of my miss-hearings. The Chief of the Coast Guard in the Gulf, who is overseeing the oil spill operation, is Thad Allen. It was only a couple of days ago that I realized his name was Thad when his name was scrolled across the TV screen. I had been thinking all along the commentators were saying Fat Allen. While he is a little on the chubby side, I didn’t think he deserved the name Fat. I’m sure glad to have that straight.
One of the problems that makes our situation worse is most of the news commentators are now women with high-pitched voices. They speak very rapidly with a high squeaky voice, so we hear only about 1 in every10 words. Long gone are the deep mellow voices of the Walter Cronkites of the world. It makes the news a mystery when we only get fragments. It’s just as well, because the news is so bad.
We are finally going to have to break down and get a hearing aid. We are missing too much of what the grandkids have to say. We will have to shuck our vanity and wear one of those devices sticking out of the ear canal. At least they have gotten smaller and the wires are gone. Many of the young folks are now wearing those huge telephone gadgets permanently implanted over the side of their face, so maybe we will be fashionable.
My father who lived to be 93 always had poor vision. Once, when he was developing bad hearing and also had a sinus infection, he remarked that he just needed a new head. I’m about to that point, but in my case I would require a complete body transplant to be half way normal.
Meanwhile, on the porch, I will just crank the TV volume up a few notches and move a little closer. Sometimes, it is an advantage to be hard of hearing and frequently a little amusing when you think someone is named Fat rather than Thad.