What a wonderful gift being able to hear is to the human soul. From music to conversation to sounds of nature and the voices of children at play, all are a wonderful addition to our lives.
There is nothing that makes me smile more than a cart full of noisy kids at the local store and the look of utter frustration on a mother's face. I always tell them, “this too shall pass and you will wish them back a million times when they are grown.” Of course they think I am a crazy old man who can't recognize sheer lunacy when he sees it, too.
When I talk about sound, I’m always reminded of that old Simon and Garfunkel song, “Sounds of Silence.” If you could hear through my ears, you would never hear “silence.” I am plagued by a hearing impairment called tinnitus. So even in the calmest moment, there is a constant ringing in my ears like a thousand locusts whirring away on a hot summer day in the Ozarks. For those of you who have never heard those insects, it’s almost as bad as four teens whining about nothing to do on a cold winter day.
Coupled this condition with too many days on the railroad with train whistles and Ol’ Dutch can’t hear. I have learned, though, to read lips, which comes in handy in crowded rooms as I can tell what people are saying across the room in private.
I know who is pregnant by whom, who is having an affair, the latest recipes and even some insider tips on local investments. All of which are handy little pieces of information to have.
The world has caught on to Ol’ Dutch lack of hearing and I am often invited to try the latest and greatest hearing aids on the market. I once was offered a “free” hearing aid until I went to the consultation. There, they informed me that my “free” one would actually cost $16,000, so I had to inform them that I would much rather have a new boat as hearing is not important to fishing. And, people say money cannot buy happiness!
Now few things motivate Ol' Dutch like hunting season so when it came around this year and I found I could not hear a bull elephant running through the kitchen, I decided something had to be done. So being of conservative nature, I turned to the one source of truth: The Internet.
A host of accessories were found to be available on there and finally looking at a hunting site, I chose to try the Walker Game Ear. These had great testimonials from people like me and if a hunter tells you something you know it’s probably true. Well sometimes.
I waited on UPS to deliver them with bated breath--well some kind of breath--and finally they came. Wearing them out hunting that evening I was suddenly exposed to a world I didn’t even know existed.
The birds were singing, squirrels were chattering and the wind sang lullabies in the treetops. Just as I was enjoying the day, a cow let out a bellow close behind me scaring me half to pieces. And as the evening wore on, every twig that snapped for miles around was amplified to my once virgin ears. I heard a woman ordering food at the DQ in Monte Vista, private conversations between husbands and wives in town and a jet that I was sure was on final approach to my elk blind.
The darker it got the sounds became more ominous and leaves rustling became hungry bears stalking my position and a log breaking was sure to be Bigfoot after my soul.
Now some would say ignorance is bliss and Trixie has always said “Ol' Dutch has plenty of bliss.” I am not sure if that's a compliment or not?
The Bible does say, “Faith comes by hearing,” so maybe if I wear these things enough something good will happen to me. But this New World is a scary place for Ol' Dutch.
So, if your hubby seems aloof and his hearing is bad or selective, spend the $29.95 and see him go from a docile, ignorant, peaceful man living in a world of quiet bliss to a nervous, wound-up, scared hearing person.