You’ll have to speak up!
Ever heard the saying “If a tree falls in the woods and there’s nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
I could be there and swear it doesn’t.
I could be sitting in the damn tree – I still wouldn’t hear it.
So, I’m pretty sure I’m going deaf.
Either that or everyone else is losing their voice.
Most people assure me their voice is OK, though, meaning the problem lies in my ears.
I mean, it’s not actually lying in my ears.
I hope you understand I don’t have things lying in my ears!?
I just have a problem… with my ears.
By the way, when you were younger, did your parents ever tell you that if you didn’t wash your ears you’d get cauliflower ears?
My parents did.
Naturally, for a child, the thought of cauliflower growing out of my ears mortified me. And so my ears remained clean.
Needless to say, I spent most of my childhood being generally impressed at people’s ear hygiene – based on the fact that nobody had a vegetable sticking out the side of their head.
So to sum up so far:
-I can’t hear properly.
-I wash my ears.
-I was subjected to some questionable parenting techniques as a child.
It’s been pointed out that I don’t always understand what people are saying to me.
In fact, not only do I not understand what people are saying to me, half the time I swear people aren’t even speaking. It’s almost like the world has decided to turn the volume down just to play a mean prank on me and my ears.
I have friendly ears.
They don’t deserve it.
I ‘EAR (GET IT..? EAR, instead of HEAR!? No? Ah forget it) that ears have feelings too, you know.
If you don’t believe me poke yourself in the ear.
We’ve all been in that awkward situation – when someone’s talking to you but you can’t hear a thing they’re saying, no matter how hard you stare at them.
(why do we squint when we’re trying to hear what someone’s saying? I’m pretty sure squinting does nothing for your earholes… And if you could squint your earholes you probably wouldn’t be able to hear as much, because your earholes would be smaller.)
Not a sausage.
So what do you do?
You basically have four options:
1. Just stare and hope the moment passes – this can get awkward (especially if they’ve actually asked you a question – try to avoid using this option during marriage proposals).
2. Let the other person know you didn’t hear them.
Be polite; say “excuse me, I didn’t quite catch that” or “sorry could you say that again?” Or, if you’re not feeling particularly polite, a sharp “WHAT” or “EH?” – Or any other grunting noise, accompanied by a wrinkling of the face, would usually do the trick.
3. The scowl and shake / The smile and nod.
As before, you still haven’t heard anything the other person has said, but now you’ve let them ramble on for so long that you can’t tell them you didn’t hear them.
No. That would be rude.
So, instead, you take a look at their face.
If they’re not smiling, or seem sad or generally displeased to be telling you… whatever it is they’re telling you – you frown, maybe make a “tut” sound, and shake your head to show that you share their disgust with, you know, whatever.
If they are smiling, or seem happy or generally pleased to be telling you… whatever it is they’re telling you – you give a half smile, maybe even a little chuckle, and nod your head in agreement (and then hope to god you haven’t just laughed at poor old Mrs Smith’s detailed account of how she lost her arms).
4. The stab in the dark.
Again, you don’t have a clue what the other person is talking about. But (you think) you’ve picked up on a few key words.
So you try to answer them – usually with a simple “yes” or “no”, but if you’re feeling confident you might decide to answer in more detail.
Beware, this is dangerous, especially if you haven’t heard the other person as well as you thought you had.
For example, a friend is asking you about the current financial crisis in the Eurozone, going into some detail about it (not that I’d understand that even if I could hear) and you take your ‘stab in the dark’ by saying…
How much of a tit do you look now!?
Imagine being in my position; having to choose one of those options every day.
Amazingly, though, when it comes to any sound that could be classed as ‘morbidly annoying’ – I can hear perfectly.
Take, for example, the scrap-iron man.
Do you know him?
He’s everywhere, like Jesus.
Unlike Jesus (who knows better than to mess with Stroppy Sausage) he drives up the street every morning, dinnertime, afternoon and teatime, blowing some sort of trumpet and screaming at the top of his lungs:
“ANY OLD SCRAP IRRRRROOOOON!?”
Funnily enough, screaming and blowing a horn at me doesn’t make me want to give you my fridge.
AND, later, when you come back, I, unsurprisingly, won’t have been on a magical adventure to the land of scrap iron, therefore, will still have no scrap iron to give you.
But rest assured, if I do ever have any, I plan to make it into a trumpet…
Wait for you to drive past…
Take a deep, deep breath…
And throw it at you.