Tuesday, March 10, 2009

See No Evil, Hear Some Evil

Thank you very much for all the comments yesterday. Yes, this has improved my daily life just mere days from getting these hearing aids. But, as Otis pointed out I tend to write to a specific audience sometimes (i.e. those who know the real meaning of being wheelchair drunk) when I should be thinking on a macro level. So, if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting myself (you’re not missing out on much except probably strained neck if you’re not at least six foot tall) let me expound a little on the before and after of getting these ear amplifiers.

First, let me take you into the world of hearing loss.

/cue dream scene .wav

If you want a self-experiment of how someone with a significant hearing loss (not deafness, as that's a subject I hope to avoid) goes thru a normal day, take your good Bose or other noise canceling headphones and put them on for a good portion of the day or maybe a family dinner plus prepping the dinner. Sound should be muffled but not gone. The only way you know people are speaking to you, or understanding their voice is if they are facing you and you to them.

They embarrassed me in elementary school with a similar experiment with a spelling test given on a tape to my class with someone speaking with their hand over their mouth after 750ml of Mad Dog 20/20. I already hated the extra attention towards my disability yet these feel-good educators felt the need to shine the spotlight on something I learned to just live with. There were unheard taunts on the baseball field, hockey rink, and in the classroom. Maybe better that way versus growing up jaded towards those who didn’t wish to comprehend my lack of fluent conversation wasn’t due to inability to snipe off a joke or voice an opinion on Doc Gooden’s curveball being better then Clemens, but rather to not being able to hear the subject in the first place. This of course brings many cat claws on chalkboard moments when I would try to take three of 15 words in a conversation that I did hear and try to work off its context and end up talking about the Geography test versus coked and roided up pitchers.

And if I may, asking a chick in bed to repeat her passionate pleas four times in bed has the effect of trying to get off while wearing a bakers dozen box of Magnum condoms with a three inch dick after drinking all night. May have to ask the wife for some extensive experimentation on this point, and I’m all for the advancement of science and sex.

Now… with the bionic ears I hear 12 to 15 of those 15 words. Whispering no longer sounds like someone blowing air or Milli Vanilli attempting to wow an audience. Just this morning I listened in as my mom was telling Wyatt about making some of her semi-famous mouth watering oatmeal chocolate chip cookies this afternoon. She was whispering AND had her hand over her mouth, yet I caught it and got a bright smile on my son’s face when I told him to set a few aside for me.

Sure, its not foolproof, I still don’t have perfect hearing, and never will. There will still be times I miss something, but it pulls that sound closer and since this is a poker blog, these aids give me a +EV on whether or not I’ll hear the conversation in its entirety.

Best of the rest… if you have glasses with a strong enough prescription you see things but they’re distorted to the point that a naked Playboy centerfold standing 20 feet away might as well be Mama Cass. Sounds like a door shutting had a dull thud, versus the thud plus the click of the doorknob. A pen hitting the desk had no sharpness to its sound. If you’ve seen or read Stephen King’s: The Langoliers when the passengers are in the grey world where time had already past, and the pop was flat and the food had no taste, that is what sound was to me. There was no extra pop when I kissed my wife, no squeak of a new shoe on tile, no flavor to the speech I heard at the poker table while check-raising the G-Vegas crew this summer. Sure I could hear the southern twang, but the spice within the sound of Wes telling me about the Gamecocks and the history of Columbia or Shep describing these delicious homemade grits I could enjoy should I return to Greenville while at the Waffle House wasn’t there.

Upon my return to G-Vegas or Key West or Chicago or Vegas or home, those trips will have a little extra color to them now that my ears have been opened up to a new life. As stated its only been a few days and there are some adjustments to be made (all office visits are completely free for the life of the aids), and I’ll be keeping these new rose colored glasses for my ears because much like sex, once you’ve had a good time you’re going to want to have it all the time.


If I may say something, while listening to Mike and Mike this morning on the commute in, the discussion was fighting in hockey. They were lauding over emails from CALIFORNIA with opinions on the subject.

Let’s get this straight. Hockey in California =! Real hockey

Would you ask my Nordic ass about volleyball? Despite playing the sport at a fairly high level for a while, my knowledge of the sport would be small compared to say a middle hitter from San Jose.

Leave hockey discussions to those who know who Don Cherry, Bobby Orr, the original six, and what near frostbite from outdoor practices feels like after trekking to the rink thru the snow with your skates hanging from your stick.

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