Dave Simpson: Me? Hard Of Hearing? Impossible!

Columnist Dave Simpson writes, "The sure way to tell when it's time to go get your hearing checked is when your spouse yells at you to go get your hearing checked. That's when."

Dave Simpson

January 08, 20244 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

“Nobody's going to get down off their horse to look at your (insert thing you're sensitive about here).”

That's a bit of homespun wisdom we use at our house, to calm the fears of someone who is nervous about something.

Sometimes it even works.

Like when you get an awful haircut. Days after my most ill-advised haircut ever, the boss at Cowboy State Daily said we were all getting our pictures taken to go with our columns. So there I am in that little cameo shot with my biography, looking like Alex Murdaugh after the prison buzz cut. Luckily, my daughter took a couple pictures of me (with hair) at a bar and with my dog, and the boss mercifully uses them.

Bad as that haircut was, nobody got down off their horse to notice.

Nobody chose to make a point of my hair when I got that “Number Two” cut (appropriately named), and ended up looking like my wife's old high school science teacher. (“I'm so sorry” one of her high school friends posted on Facebook.)

There is one guy at exercise, however, who still ribs me about that haircut. But he didn't have a horse to get down from.

So anyway, for the last couple years I've been convinced that everyone I know has been mumbling and low-talking, probably just to irritate me. When my wife would stick her head in the refrigerator mid-sentence, and I couldn't hear a word she was saying, I figured it was her problem, not mine.

Me? Hard of hearing? Impossible. My hearing was rated “superb” a mere 50 years ago.

Then an old friend told me that the sure way to tell when it's time to go get your hearing checked is when your spouse yells at you to go get your hearing checked. That's when.

So I went and got my ding-dong hearing checked, and darned if I don't have a “moderate impairment,” and maybe everyone isn't mumbling after all. And maybe I ought to be able to hear my wife even when she's talking to me with her head stuck in the refrigerator.

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

So, for $1,600 and the rest from my geezer insurance, I now have swell hearing aids that a guy sitting on a horse couldn't spot in a million years, much less climb down to comment on them. They look like little black bugs hiding behind the top of my ears, that you'd never see unless I got a Number Two haircut again (not gonna happen), and what looks like a piece of clear fishing line sticking into my ears.

You wouldn't notice them unless you got up close to peek in my ears, and I can't remember the last time someone did that.

It's been a pretty easy transition so far, with the audiologist (nice guy) making adjustments so it doesn't sound like I'm listening through a beer can, and the noise from the ice maker in the refrigerator isn't startling me anymore. The rumbling of heat ducts is noticeable, as is road noise. But for the most part, I'm saying “What?,” “Say again?” and “Pardon?” a lot less often, to the relief of clerks everywhere and my beleaguered loved ones.

And my spouse isn't yelling at me to go get my hearing checked. (When she does find it necessary to yell at me, however - for the usual married stuff - she comes in REAL CLEAR.)

People still talk way too fast, which is a problem, but nothing you can stick in your ear is going to solve that. Seems like lots of  folks talk faster than I can listen these days, but I'm not taking the rap for that.

So, if your spouse is yelling at you to go get your hearing checked, you probably ought to go for the sake of connubial bliss. And if you have a moderate loss like I do (too many concerts, power tools and chainsaws), rest assured that nobody's going to get down off their horse to notice your hearing aids.

And if the din gets too intense with your new bionic ears, here's a tip:

You can always take those rascals out, and get some peace and quiet.

 Dave Simpson can be reached at: DaveSimpson145@Hotmail.com

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.