Funny Things from Yesterday: I had my hearing tested

Robert N. Tidwell, Sr.

Several years ago, I was told that I could not pass a flight physical because I could not hear. I don’t know why they thought that, for every time someone said, “It’s time to eat,” I was first in line. Folks can tell by looking at me that I haven’t missed any meals.

No need in going to a doctor unless you are sick, so I did not have further tests run. Anyway, I could still hear it thunder and still had not missed being called for a meal.

Several years passed and I was at Auburn University one weekend for a continuing education class. The college had a screening test set up for high blood pressure, diabetes and hearing. I passed all but the hearing test. The person running this test got really excited and said that I couldn’t hear. She emphasized that I needed to have my hearing tested by a specialist.

Since that test I began to notice that I didn’t hear well in a crowd or noisy places, so I decided I was ready for a specialist. So, I made the appointment.

The first step was a visual check of my ears. After several minutes of checking this the nurse sent me to the next step. I asked, “Were my ears clean”? The nurse said, “Clean as a hound’s tooth.”

The next step in checking my hearing was in the isolation booth. They put me in a little black soundproof booth with a window in the front. There is nothing to look at in there except a few white spots on the wall. After entering this booth, I was given a set of earphones, like the ones the radio operator wore in WWII war movies. The lady doctor whispered in a microphone to see if I could hear her. Next came all the different little tones, and I had to raise my hand every time I heard one.

After a few tones, the doctor whispered in the microphone and said she was needed in the other office and she would be back shortly. There I was, counting white spots on the wall in the black isolation booth.

I noticed the doctor came back and took her seat on the stool. She must have turned that hearing apparatus wide open, for in a booming loud voice she said, “Sorry I had to leave, Mr. Tidwell. Can you hear me now?”

I must have jumped 6 inches off my stool and then I noticed the doctor had a smile on her face. I know she did that on purpose.

As it turned out, I can’t hear high frequency sounds. So, when it is time to eat, I hope a man with a deep voice says, “Chow time!” for I’m afraid if a woman with a high-pitched voice says, “Dinner is served.” I could miss a meal.


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