Jumpin’ Jehosephat

When John set up the Chroma S the other day, he decided to play safe by starting off on the lower recommended settings with a view to cranking them up, rather than the other way round. I’m glad he did.

I was sitting in the office having a nice chat with my boss about the miracle of jellyfish reproduction (look it up, it’s fascinating), when a sudden involuntary contraction of all my major muscle groups propelled me right out of my chair. In the milliseconds that followed, a huge surge of adrenaline flooded my system and the words “Jesus Christ!” exploded from my lips. Only then did I register the cause. It was the phone ringing. The boss was carrying on normally, so I deduced that no-one had tampered with the ringer settings on what has come to be known affectionately by my colleagues as Moira’s Big Phone. It seemed that with greater battery power behind the ear and some amplification action in the high frequencies, I was now embarking on a new, and literally terrifying, voyage of hearing aid discovery.

Trembling, I took the call. To preserve my dignity in front of the boss, I used the phone with the deaf lug rather than demonstrate the handset too high up the head and squealing hearing aid thing. As usual, I also did the desperate toggling on the Amplify button during the first vital seconds of the call, missing all useful conversational cues. Fortunately the caller was even more aurally challenged than me and was looking to speak to my boss anyway.

With the students still on holiday, the rest of the day was mercifully quiet, and on the way to meet the spouse for a pizza, I popped into M&S to treat myself to some stylish socks. The ‘M&S Singers’ copyright-free version of ‘There She Goes’ by The La’s was playing in the background and, disconcertingly, the reedy notes of one singer’s voice seemed to be drilling straight into my auditory cortex. As I sampled the heady delights of the sock display, the La’s impersonators reached their tinny climax and some familiar squealing and bleeping noises suddenly stopped me in my tracks. In a movie soundtrack of the scene, an unrelenting low-frequency note would now be commencing a slow crescendo. Sensing something awful might be about to happen, I hurriedly joined the long queue at the till and started feverishly adding up the cost of my purchases to allow me to get rid of some more never-ending spare change from my purse. I was just neatly stacking the final few pennies, when a terrifying noise assaulted my left eardrum, triggering another explosion in my adrenal glands and causing me to jump like a deranged puppet. Several times.

Never before has the In-Store announcement “Ladies and Gentlemen, this store will be closing in ten minutes” had such a profound effect.

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3 Responses to “Jumpin’ Jehosephat”


  1. 1 not quite like beethoven April 9, 2010 at 8:34 am

    “Only then did I register the cause.” 🙂
    Your post reminds me of why, recently, it occurred to me that “deaf” might more accurately translated as “free of hearing” rather than “hard of hearing”.

    • 2 moiradancer April 9, 2010 at 9:30 am

      LOL. I must say, I haven’t fully appreciated the devastating power of the human startle reflex until this week. I shall be much happier when it’s only triggered by the likes of military jet planes passing overhead and nuclear explosions

  2. 3 kentigern April 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    ……oh, and yer flaxen haired long jumping nieces?

    (A-L this is a joke)!!!!!!!!!


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