Ol' Dutch has suffered many a year with a hearing loss and it’s a quiet world where I live.
Doctors have told me that people who suffer from such a malady can get it a myriad ways. They say it can be anything from shooting guns, loud music, loud industry sounds, train whistles or any other loud noises.
Now Ol' Dutch worked on the railroad for many a eon and some people would say it was all those train whistles across 2.3 million miles riding a train, but, I have found the real source of hearing loss among men. Marriage.
No matter what married couple I talk to it seems I get the same story from the woman of the relationship about how the man either cannot hear or maybe chooses not to. My not so lovely ex used to say I had selective hearing and maybe there was some truth to that as it kept me from hearing too much from her.
I am around a lot of people in the RV parks who have been married 40, 50 and even 60 years and they all tell the same story. Old John just cannot hear Joanne and so she ends up taking care of a lot of details for him since John didn’t want to do them anyway. There is the truth that Old John could hear just fine before he got married so there has to be some correlation there.
Several weeks ago my good friend Susie Q gave me a hearing aid. Now Ol' Dutch has been approached many a time to buy one but being part Scotch I realized that I could buy a boat or new gun for that kind of money so I suffered in silence. And the fish, elk, deer and bear could care less if I can hear or not so it’s a win-win deal.
Perhaps that kind of silence is what people really need to find, anyway. You see if a person only hears half of what it going on around them life is really twice as good.
You only hear half of the insults people may throw your way, half of the news which is mostly bad, half of the complaints of those around you and half of the requests for favors from your friends and neighbors.
When a person stops to think about it, this is a great way to reduce the stresses in life by -- you guessed it -- half.
Suddenly, long winded sermons become bearable, kids who are crying don't drive you up the wall, dogs barking next door are not a problem, politicians don't seem half bad, spouses become bearable and friends’ requests for a loan are magically reduced in number as you just don't hear them.
Why just last night Trixie and Ol' Dutch were up on a mountain bear hunting and on the way out in the darkness night, Trixie kept whispering something about a “tree.” Now I didn't want to spoil it for her and tell her I have seen trees before thereby lording it over her so I just smiled and kept walking.
Little did I know that “tree” was really “pee” and she about wet her pants before we got to the truck. So there are downsides at least for Trixie living with the hard of hearing but that is her cross to bear for choosing someone as good as me.
After all who else would take her on a date bear hunting over a dead elk carcass in the woods on such a gorgeous evening? She ain't gonna get that in California with her fancy friends, no sirree Bob.
That kind of thing only comes about from true love. She did remark that the forest was full of Gremlins and eerie sounds as we walked out in the dark which is EXACTLY why Ol' Dutch prefers to live in silence.
No telling how many bears have almost eaten me or Bigfoots have tried to abduct me but Ol' Dutch just walks along in silent ignorance of the ghouls around me, happy as a pig in a mudhole.