Last week, I had my annual physical. I was sitting in the waiting room filling out a form
Titled, “A SIMPLE TEST TO SEE IF YOU HAVE A HEARING LOSS.”
Here are a few questions, verbatim:
“Do others complain that you watch TV with the volume too high?”
My wife comes into the bedroom while I’m watching Colbert and says, “I can’t believe how loud this is.” I know she is saying that, because I can read lips.
“Do you have to sit up front in church to understand the sermon?”
I’m Jewish, but when I was a kid in Hebrew school, I cut class all the time. Even when my hearing was perfect, I didn’t have a clue what the rabbi was talking about.
“Do you have difficulty understanding women?”
The questionnaire says some loss is so gradual you don’t even know you have a problem unless someone brings it to your attention. Gee, I wonder who that would be?
“Do you have trouble understanding children?”
Babies? Not a word. Toddlers? Not a problem. Teenagers? Not a clue.
“Do you know where sounds come from?”
This is a trick, like the “tree falling in the forest” question. Here’s another: If your spouse is complaining about something and you can’t hear the griping, is there still a problem?
“Can you hear people in another room?”
No. That is the main reason I went into another room.
“Have others mentioned that you don’t seem to hear them?”
Maybe, but I was probably in another room at the time.
“Do you avoid family meetings because you can’t understand the conversations?”
No, I avoid family meetings because in the words of Hoosier humorist Kin Hubbard, “There is plenty of peace in a home where the family doesn’t make the mistake of trying to get together.”
“Do you have ringing in your ears?”
Occasionally. But I realized the noise meant there was someone at the front door.
I showed my wife the new smartphone I just bought. “What kind is it?” she asked.
“It’s 8:30,” I told her.
That’s an old joke. But my wife never heard it.