Sunday, 1 September 2013
Howard and Maude
It's all because of my hearing - or lack of it. Over the recent weeks I've been suffering from what can only be called a severe diminution in auditory perception - cloth ears. I first noticed this handicap when, whilst watching the TV, I saw the cat place his paws over his ears . Also the missus came into the room grabbed the remote from me, bashed me about the head with it and reduced the volume on the TV. That and a constant misunderstanding of what she, or anyone else for that matter , was saying convinced me that my hearing was not as it should be.
I, of course, self medicated, buying a proprietary product which as far as I can gather contains shark's piss, but is great at dislodging mountains of ear wax. Initially the signs (or sounds) were good. Introducing the said shark's piss into my ears produced the most satisfying "Snap, Crackle and Pop", resembling Antarctic ice flows crumbling into the Ross Sea. Unfortunately, the beneficial effect was temporary and intermittent. In the car, the "Cars" would be blaring comfortably out of the old stereo and the next instant near silence.
During this period of profound cotton wool ears, I had to take the minutes of a meeting. I did explain that as my hearing was slightly below par it would help if all the participants shouted extremely loudly when they spoke. They didn't. The resulting minutes, had they been verbatim would have made interesting reading. However, I used a skill developed at a very young age when at school and extremely short sighted but always sitting at the back of the class of guessing what the teacher was writing on the board. I, of course, had little success in guessing correctly but it did wonders for my powers of imagination and creativity. These I used to the maximum in constructing the minutes of the meeting I was meant to report on. My convincing, if somewhat inaccurate, narrative and the attendees poor memories ensured that my minutes passed without comment.
Finally, I found my way to my doctor's surgery. A cursory poke in my lug holes and I was packed off with a prescription for (virgin) olive oil ear drops to soften the impacted mass ahead of an appointment with the practice nurse the following week. I only hope this Tuesday's appointment will dislodge the blockage.
You see, I've always associated deafness with old age. Aged grand pa's with huge hearing aids and food splatted woolly jumpers. Grand ma and grand pa spending three quarters of an hour shouting at each other over whether there was sugar in the tea (but I wanted cocoa). Leading quite rapidly to their deaths and funerals.
Also this week the missus had a mighty fall. All because she doesn't wear her glasses, prescribed for her age related failing eye sight. There she was entering a shop off Oxford Street and she didn't see the second step.
She went down like a mighty oak fell'd. First her knee met the floor then her elbow and arm, her eye and finally her forehead: each impact leaving a most impressive mosaic of black and blue. I have to admire her. Had that happened to me I'd have high tailed it to bed and called out the emergency services - after putting in a call to one of those helpful ambulance chasers. Not the missus. What did she do? She came straight home and went back to work sitting in her studio, half naked because of the heat, with a wet towel or three wrapped around the affected bruises. It makes you proud to be British.
Which explains my recent musings on mortality. It didn't help that Sir David Frost fell off his perch yesterday. Mind you I always thought cruises were extremely unhealthy.