Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Can you hear me NOW!..

Hi..I'm Sling,..and I'm hard of hearing...
Not deaf mind you,but for most of my adult life,I just haven't been able to hear as well as most folks.
I'm guessin' about 40% loss in my left ear,and not so bad in my right ear...10% maybe.
The point is,that I get along just fine.

Oh,I may turn to the right when a sound comes from the left from time to time,but not so's I'm likely to get hit by a train or anything.

What trips me out,and what continues to amaze me,is how other people handle this when dealing with me.
Usually when I'm meeting someone new,and it appears that some kind of lengthy conversation might ensue,at a convenient pause I'll tell them,"I'm sorry,but I really don't hear very well",..and make a motion to my bad ear.
Invariably,..this is what they do.
Lower their head..lower their voice!..and speak directly into their shirt pocket!..
"oh,..i said mumpf smungle framistat"....
???..WHAT?..Where the hell does that come from?..
I just told you essentially,and as politely as I could, to speak the freak up,..and you act like I'm trying to drag friggin' State secrets out of you!..

Still,this is not as disconcerting as the responses I get from people I see every day,and have even known for many years.
The attitudes range from minor annoyance on their part..."Oh,..Nevermind!"..
To downright hostilty..."Jeez!...are you DEAF!!!
Well,...I thought I explained to you that you need to talk directly to me,and speak just a tad louder.I mean,'s not like this is something new.

I was hard of hearing yesterday...
I'm hard of hearing today..
And I'll be hard of hearing tomorrow...It doesn't get better with age,and I'm not likely to grow out of it.

Knowing this,why do they continue to try and talk to me while power tools are roaring?
Do they think I can hear them better if they turn their back to me,and ramble on while walking into the next room?..
Are these people descended from the folks in that old joke,that decided to surprise Helen Keller by re-arranging her furniture??..Gimme a freakin' break.

Here's an Idea!..Talk to ME!!..or don't talk to me.
Frankly,I don't give a damn which.

I think I'm going to handle this differently in the future.
Next time someone that knows better tries to converse with me from across a crowded room,I'm going to track them down,get dead in their face,and tell them,..
"Listen up Sparky!..I've told you a hundred times I don't hear well,and it just doesn't seem to be sinkin' in...
Good god man!...ARE YOU DEAF??"...


At 5:52 PM , Blogger rosemary said...

When I was a nurse, for whatever reason, I talked louder to my older patients than I did to the younger ones. Or if they spoke Spanish I just spoke louder English that they still didn't understand. So, you would not complain about my volume and I am making the assumption that you lost part of your hearing from listening to that devil music, rock and roll....or from one handed jolly music...or does that cause warts?

At 7:34 PM , Blogger yellowdog granny said...

back in the late sixty's i worked in a nightclub..witb big ass bands playing every night but monday..judas priest..they were so loud..the bartender would literly put his mouth on my ear and scream in it for me to hear him..we used a lot of sign languages too..and i know it's the reason why i can't hear a damn thing till this day...the tv is always turned up full blast..I can't hear music on my computer..and if i had a dime for every time i said..what..huh?...can you repeat that...speak up...jeez..and at the library where everyone whispers..oh my Goddess, I would just tell them..hey, I'm deaf speak up...they would lean in closer and whisper louder..arghghgh...maybe we should get tshirts that say 'speak up'...

At 8:34 PM , Blogger booda baby said...

Every third club musician or drummer I know is deaf and if you don't figure out how to change your methods, you won't be having a whole lot of conversations with them. :( I'm just thinking of S. - great, great drummer. Deaf like a something really deaf. We were going to have a benefit and raise some cash to have one of those thingies installed in his ear, but what with him being a drummer, he got distracted by weed.

Would you like us to start a fundraiser for you? You've got a lot of years/ears/Christmases left - a little hearing might be fun?

At 9:20 PM , Blogger Mom said...

My, my dear Sling. You are sounding a bit testy today. Would you speak a little louder, dear? I can't quite hear you.

At 9:43 PM , Blogger hello, my name is danny. said...



so what was it you were saying?


i promise that if we ever meet in real life i will remember TO SPEAK A LITTLE MORE LOUDLY...AND TO YOUR GOOD EAR EVEN!

At 11:03 PM , Blogger Middle Child said...

Are your deef man... like me or does everyone just mumble these days? So many have'nt got the spine and energy to open their mouths and TALK CLEARLY GOD DAMMIT.

I hear one of my daughetrs clearly all the time. The other as well as one sister, I have to ask over and over to speak up...but they bloody mumble too...

still somehow seems to be some fault in being unable to hear as crisply as previously.

Our hearing without head banging music etc begins to fail from age 8 believe it or not and that all of us people.

At 2:19 AM , Blogger Oliver said...

I hear you brother. I mean, I hear your low tones. I am high tones deficient. Too close to too many stacks of Marshall amps in the 70s I guess. Would I trade those moments when I worked my way to the stage to hear Pete Townsend up close and personal. Naw.

At 6:16 AM , Blogger billy pilgrim said...

i'm deaf in which ever ear is facing the lovely mrs myshkin.

it works out well.

At 6:59 AM , Blogger Doralong said...

Living with someone who has a nearly identical hearing loss- you have my sympathy. But I have to tell you, some days the volume on the damn TV is enough to make me wish I was going deaf, not him..

"Honey- the people 2 miles down the road might not be into this movie, could you PLEASE turn the damn thing down!!"

At 8:05 AM , Anonymous Tater said...

I just nod like I understand, and then go back to what I was doing. If it was something really important, I know they will get back to me shortly, with a much louder tone to their voice. Until they do, I just mumble "whatever, motherfucker...speak up if you want something accomplished, otherwise do it your damn self."

At 9:52 AM , Blogger sageweb said...

Sling, you need to work with me. Put a bunch of aerospace workers in a room everyone is yelling as if an airplane was behind us. Just habit..I guess.

At 10:10 AM , Blogger Kimberly Ann said...

I have been having a progressively harder time hearing conversations, which at my age is somewhat surprising. What is even more surprising is the frustration this brings out of my husband who is....wait for it....deaf in one ear. Go figure.

At 10:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mostly I'm just happy that you said, "mumpf smungle framistat".
Cuz those are Fairy words (:

At 3:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

(responds to Sling's post using sign language.)

At 4:22 PM , Blogger Allan said...

All the good comments are already posted.

At 4:54 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

I'm totally losing my hearing. If the fan on the oven is running and someone says something to me from the other room I'm all "I can't hearrrr youuuuu". And yet, somehow, I'm the only person who is awakened in the middle of the night by whatever.

I blame rock music.

And I'm ok with that.

At 5:00 PM , Blogger Sling said...

rosemary- One handed jolly music? jolly music takes both hands! :O

yellowdog G.- Years of bein' behind the bar,the military,and industrial machinery have taken a pretty good toll on me.I hear music just fine with my headphones,'cause it pipes it straight to my brain.

booda baby- Gee,..if I had a hearing aid I might hear people..I think that could prove worse.

mom- You know I am feelin' a little cranky...I SAY I AM FEEL...oh,..nevermind.

Danny- Holy crap!..You don't have to yell..;)
I mean,..really..I'd be happy if people would just face me when they are talking to me,and speak clearly.

middle child- My grandfather was severely deaf,but could hear with a hearing aid.As kids,we would just automatically speak louder when we talked to him...not yelling...just louder than normal.
I think that's why I have a hard time understanding why people don't seem to want to speak up.

Oliver- That's exactly my situation!..It's funny how I can hear some things normally,and some,not so much.

billy pilgrim- HA!..I confess,sometimes it's like my daughter claims,..
"He only hears what he wants to hear!"
It can come in handy. :)

doralong- Boy,I been there with the TV thing,and I can understand that it might annoy people...Now I have my own room with my TV about 5 feet in front of me,and I listen to music via headphones,so as not to bother.

tater- EXACTLY!!..Actually,there are certain people I know that talk so much,they never really know if you're listening or not,since they wouldn't allow you a word in edgewise anyway..So the head nod thing works quite well.

sageweb- Who knew you aerospace guys were such a rowdy bunch??

kimberly ann- That is surprising..I'd have given anything to deaf in both ears when I was married.

Hat- Whatever you do,don't repeat those words while eating pie!!...Hat?

JP- You need to practice yer sign more buddy..Unless of course,you actually want wolverines to store liverwurst in your socks.

lorraine- Background noise is the worst!
It's like I can't hear two things at the same time.
..and clearly I can't hear scoundrels stealing my bikes and propane off my front porch.

At 5:05 PM , Blogger Sling said...

allan- OOPS!..I didn't hear you the first time..

At 5:18 PM , Blogger hello, my name is danny. said...

I'M SORRY SLING. i'll stop shouting now. ;-}

At 5:36 PM , Blogger Sling said...

danny- ...what was that middle thing you said?

At 5:40 PM , Blogger hello, my name is danny. said...


*turns and walks away mumbling nasty comments about people with bad hearing*

At 5:46 PM , Blogger booda baby said...

Does JP get a prize for just about the funniest comment ... I hesistate to say EVER. That's what those ellipses that drive people crazy are. My emoti-hesitation. Oh. But back to JP. Maybe not EVER, but for a lot of minutes.

At 5:58 PM , Blogger Sling said...

booda baby- Absoulutely! (...)<---I like parenthesis too.
JP wins a years supply of liverwurst!

At 6:51 PM , Blogger Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

Well damn. Now I'm feeling bad for all those times I've rolled my eyes at my husband for saying "what?" after I've imparted some amazing bit of knowledge towards the back of his head. Okay. So he's a little bit deaf, too. I get it. You deaf guys sure can cop an attitude, huh?


At 7:21 PM , Blogger Sling said...

kari- I want to thank you especially for your comment.
You know,how often do we hear,"We don't communicate",or,"Everytime I talk to you,you just ignore me"?..
All kidding aside,I really do want to hear what people are trying to say.
The fact is,my most satisfying conversations take place here in bloggertown,where I can listen with my eyes,and hear with my heart.
I'll bet Hubby would love to chat with you anytime,..face to face.

At 12:27 AM , Blogger Willym said...

There is nothing worse than a whole room of commenters mumbling. Speak up the lot of you!

At 9:37 AM , Blogger apositivepessimist said...


Our smoking spot is on the side of the building that also has the train line running past it. ALWAYS amazes me when the conversation doesn’t stop when a freight train comes roaring through. Must be something that one gets used to. I can’t hear a fucking thing but I do see a lot of gums flapping as the conversation carries on around me.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a surreal world.

At 11:19 AM , Blogger Sling said...

Willym- Oh,..I've told them a hundred times,and they still won't speak up.
I'm pretty sure lorraine and Hat were talking about me the other day.I couldn't hear what they were saying,but I caught them pointing at me,and laughing.

Apos- See!..I think you should be allowed to smoke in God's waiting room,where the old farts can hear what is being said.The oxygen masks should protect them second hand exposure,..right?

At 4:22 PM , Blogger CS said...

I think my hearing is pretty average, but I have a riend who is a low talker, and I mostly just figure if I can't hear it, it wasn't all that important to start with.

At 6:25 PM , Blogger Sling said...

CS- On the one hand,I don't really care for "loud" people.On the other hand,there are people so soft spoken,that I doubt anyone could hear them.
I guess I just want too much.

At 4:24 PM , Blogger Monica said...

when people don't act right, you should just start mouthing the words to them and see what happens.

At 4:33 PM , Blogger Sling said...

monica- HAH!..I've done that. :)

At 6:09 PM , Blogger more cowbell said...

Sheesh. People are idiots when they feel uncomfortable.

At 8:20 PM , Blogger Sling said...

more cowbell- I think that's basically what it is.They don't want to draw attention to themselves by speaking more loudly.


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