No shit, Sherlock

I’ve always known that I’ve not got particularly sharp hearing. In pubs and restaurants the spouse is always commenting on music that’s playing and whilst I can certainly hear that there’s music, I can never tell what it is. I last had a hearing test in primary one and it was the audiological equivalent of someone sneaking up behind you with a shipping siren to see if you jumped. Now that I think about it, though, there are several things that really ought to have alerted me. Unfortunately my infinite capacity for wonder at all things perceptual blinded me to the bleedin’ obvious. Take the phone: I’m right handed but have used the phone in my left hand all my life because I feel can’t hear properly when I use it right handed. The logical and obvious conclusion would be that the right ear is faulty, but I’ve always attributed it to a miraculous ‘all in the mind’ quirk of perception coupled with the need to keep my right hand free for doodling purposes.

Then there’s the sight. Having spent my whole life worrying about being extremely short-sighted, clearly I’ve been very pleased with the relative quality of all the other senses. A journal extract from 6 years ago should have rung some alarm bells, however. It describes how, having been cruelly stripped of my contact lenses during an eye test, I stepped in my handbag and fell over the bin on my way back from the sink to the chair, a taxing distance of approximately 1.5 metres. I then had to keep asking the now invisible optician to repeat everything because, as I noted, “It’s really weird…I can’t hear what people are saying when I don’t have my lenses in”.


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