Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Was That?

I've noticed lately that my hearing is not as sharp as it once was. For instance, when the whole second grade classroom is abuzz and some cherub whose voice doesn't ever raise above a lisping whisper says something to me, I have to bend to her level and say, "What was that?" repeatedly. If a train is hustling by I often can't hear my idling car engine. Likewise, when the phone is not pressed directly against my left ear (my "good" side), I often miss parts of the conversation from the other party and have to uh-huh and mmm-hmmm my way along until I pick up the gist of what I missed. I've gotten along just fine with what hearing I have left until last Sunday. Now I have cause to pause.

J and I were on our way home from a Transfer Station run when she suggested swinging by a fast food place and indulging in one of their inexpensive hot fudge sundaes. Any time the world fudge is mentioned I am all for whatever it is I need to do to get it. Besides, it was a beastly hot day and ice cream sounded like a bowl of heaven so off we went. We pulled up to the talking order board and when the scratchy voice asked us what we wanted, J leaned out the window and said, "Two hot fudge sundaes, please."

"Do you want double fudge for an extra dollar?" inquired the board.

J looked at me. "Double fudge?" I asked. J nodded. "Sure!" we both said at the same time, I to J and J to the talking board.

"Pull around," said the board so we did.

At the window, a young fellow handed J a small paper bag. She passed it to me and I looked inside. Surely our sundaes could not be in there. Just as I suspected, they weren't. What was in there were two apple pies.

"These are apple pies!" I exclaimed. J looked at me with raised eyebrows. She whisked the bag from my hand and gave them back to the fellow saying, "We ordered hot fudge sundaes, not apple pies."

"Oh, the sundaes are coming," he said with a smile. "You agreed to the pies for an extra dollar. They're our special this week."

J's eyebrows crept up another notch. "We did?" she asked me. "Did you hear anything about apple pies?"

"Double fudge," I said enunciating each syllable, then "Apple pie." No way did double fudge sound like apple pie, even if I dragged the syllables out. I shook my head at J. "Nope," I said. "We agreed to double fudge. Who eats apple pies with hot fudge sundaes?"

"We don't want the pies, thanks," she told the window guy, but he handed them back to her saying that since they couldn't put them back we might as well take them and he'd deduct the dollar from our bill.

"Stranger things have happened," he intoned, his own eyebrows rising for emphasis.

All the way home we puzzled over the misunderstanding. Who could mistake double fudge for apple pie? Apparently two hot, tired, more-than-middle-aged, on-the-twenty-year-plan old bats like us because between them, those sundaes didn't have enough fudge to qualify as a single serving, never mind double. It was all very disconcerting.

I've been practicing the two phrases. If I speak through a paper towel tube with a piece of saran wrap held tightly over one end and I mumble, you might mistake one for the other, but you'd have to be hard of hearing in the first place.


Molly said...

Makes you think of the teacher's voice on Charlie Brown! Shame the pies meant you got jipped on the fudge!

Pauline said...

Molly - that's what we thought, too, though for a fast food chain pie, they were pretty tasty. Must have been all that fat!

Sue J said...

I hear ya sister! Well almost, and I have to do some lip reading.The edge has gone so far off my hearing that the kids are asking if the ears are painted on. I will get myself some ear trumpets one of these days.

Pauline said...

Sue - my kids ask me if I've thought about getting hearing aids. I priced them and said nope.

goatman said...

Hearing is tricky! I am getting to where I can hear but cannot make out some of the words. I always thought that when one got older the volume of the voices decreased, but for me it seems that some of the frequencies are not detected leaving a kind of gibberish sound.

Just don't know how to deal, but deal I will.

Sue J said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Pauline. Hearing aids are free when you make it to the age pension here. I really should get off my bum and get some. To be honest, there are times when I quite like being a bit deaf.

Pauline said...

Goatman - I find that background noise interferes greatly when I am trying to listen to individual voices. My brother, who finally broke down and purchased hearing aids, hates them but needs them if he wants to participate in conversations. I'm not quite to that point yet.

Sue J - me too! I doubt my insurance would pay for hearing aids - I may have to resort to one of those units that magnify hearing and look like a hands-free phone receiver.

Friko said...

Pauline, you were done!

Even somebody with good hearing could mistake the one for the other. No, somebody made a mistake. It was NOT your hearing.

Eh? What was that you said?

Pauline said...

Friko - J and I discussed that possibility. It was much more palatable than thinking we'd both misheard the woman!

Ruth D~ said...

Hahahaha. You are so funny. And I hear ya...speaking metaphorically, that is.

Ruth D~ said...

Hahahaha. I hear ya... metaphorically speaking, that is.
You are so funny.

Peter Bryenton said...

Uoy oucdl wyasl renla ot pileadr.

Pauline said...

B- that made me laugh out loud, once I figured it out!

JeannetteLS said...

I'm all for Friko's approach. Lately I have decided that people just don't enunciate as they used to. Their speech is sloppy. My hearing is fine.

... or not

Tabor said...

Double pies? Or my guess is the dude was messing with you!!