Scar Tangled Bladder

Last fall I had a hearing test—and guess what? I have significant high-frequency hearing loss. All those years standing next to a drummer playing bass in Rock’n Roll and Blues bands finally paid off. I couldn’t hear an army tank land on a bed of wrinkled sheet metal.

Those of us with severe hearing loss eventually get tired of sayin’—huh? , what? would you mind repeating that?, etc. We grin, nod our head, and try to fill in the blanks based upon the few utterances that we do understand.  The bad news is we often indicate “yes” when the correct answer is “no” and make ridiculous statements when we misinterpret phrases such as, “Ford shocks” for “pork chop.” Some say this ability qualifies me to become a foreign diplomat, Supreme Court Justice, or star in a reality show on History Channel. I’m open to all options.

This week’s Friday Flash Fictioneer photo is courtesy of Lora Mitchell. To read other stories,  or learn how to participate, visit our hostess, Ralphie Wisoff-Fields blog, and click on the little blue InLinkz critter to find links other author’s blogs.


“Isn’t that beautiful?” She yelled to be heard above the fireworks.

“Yeah.” He studied her expression in the flash of each new explosion.

“Would you like to share some cotton candy?”

“Naw, I’m not interested in the bearded lady. Why don’t we get something to eat?”

“That sounds good.” She bit her lip to suppress a smile. “There’s a hot dog stand with huge pretzels over on the midway.”

“Yeah, they claim she has huge muscles, but she’s just overweight. I wonder about the facial hair, though.”

“Maybe it’s from all the pretzels.”

“You’re right. She’d make a great wrestler.”



25 Comments on “Scar Tangled Bladder

  1. Dear Ronnie,
    Once more you’ve made me laugh. I’ve been part of that conversation a time or two. And no, I’m not the one with high frequency hearing loss. You never cease to crack me up.


  2. Just got home and read yours first. As always, it’s funny without being hurtful, something I really appreciate. I’ve been in this conversation before and sometimes it just because it’s noisy or I’m on the phone with a bad connection. Just today, my daughter said something that I immediately knew I hadn’t heard correctly but what I thought I heard was really funny. Do you ever find yourself just watching someone’s mouth as they talk so you can tell what they say? I do this sometimes with our younger daughter’s Japanese teacher.


  3. Oh, I used to have these conversations with my sister because she went to too many rock concerts. Now she has hearing aids. Before then, she would come up with the most interesting phrases!! It was always entertaining, but frustrating for her. Well done here!


  4. As usual, you gave me a laugh. You nailed this topic in one take. As someone who spins to face kids who may or may not have utter profanities, I can appreciate the hard of hearing issue. I hear the sound, but the words often sound much different than those uttered. It reminds me of the old joke, explaining a mans black eye, he said his “Wife had said shut up, and he thought she said stand up!”


  5. Not only that, her fused corpuscles and racial stare would have made her a great embezzler! We’ve all had conversations something like this; this piece could have gone on longer for me piling on misconception after misconception. Great premise for we old guys about whom the only thing “hard” anymore is our hearing …


  6. Great idea! Endless possibilities with this idea. My father-in-law once giggled when I told him my uncle had died. I’ll never forget the look on my step-daughter’s face. 😦 You always come up with something original Russell.


  7. Another direct hit, Russell. You never cease to amuse me, and I think we’ve all been on one side or other of this conversation.


  8. Russell, when I read this I was grateful that my eyes have yet to follow the lead of my ears. Thanks for clarifying that it was indeed “an army tank land[ing] on a bed of wrinkled sheet metal” that I recently mistook for Celine Dion singing “O Holy Night”.


  9. Hi Russell,
    Huh? Could you write that again. I wasn’t paying attention the first time. I can hear pretty well, but my attention span is about 10 seconds. Which is why flash fiction is perfect for me. I’m impressed you were a rock star. Just finished reading bios of Gregg Allman and Keith Richards. You might enjoy them too. Story reminded me of a joke. Can’t share it here. Will try to remember to send it to you for your collection. Ron


  10. “I’d love to Hear from you” I enjoy that irony, in light of your story. I

    pushed my mom kicking and screaming to an audiologist. I got tired of conversations like the one you describe. I told my kids if it got that bad for me, all they would have to do is mouth the word “grandma” at me, and I would know it was time to go in and get my own hearing adjusted.

    Well done, as always!


  11. those auditory misinterpretations happen to me almost daily. it’s annoying, especially when i’m totally positive it isn’t me. other people just need to speak more clearly. well done.


  12. My first boyfriend was Scottish and I couldn’t talk to him on the phone as I hadn’t a clue what he was on about. Strangely the relationship didn’t last long. Great dialogue piece, and a great laugh too.


  13. I’ve got tears in my eyes from giggling at that. 30 years spent on manufacturing floor has dulled my hearing as well so I guess it’s not really funny, and yet, I am still smiling.


  14. Russel, your stories are as entertaining as your introduction. You set the humor bar very very high and never disappoint. I am still laughing!


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