No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

I could barely contain my excitement when I found a brown envelope on the doormat with a sticker bearing the words ‘INSTITUTE OF HEARING RESEARCH’ on the back. The hospital stamp told me that this was quite different to all the usual stuff addressed to me with ‘PENSIONERS HEARING AID – FREE CONSULTATIONon it, and I ripped the envelope open before I’d even got my coat off. I eagerly scanned the contents with the frenzied excitement usually only reserved for checking the lottery results.

‘Dear Mrs Dancer’, began the letter, ‘I am writing today to ask you whether you would be prepared to help us in scientific research. Initially we would like to ask you to come into our clinic for a visit of about 45 minutes…’ I needed no further persuasion.

“Fetch me a pen”, I said to the spouse, “I need to get myself signed up for this as soon as possible. 45 minutes off work and a free taxi to the Royal infirmary…I’d usually need some sort of an accident to get that.” I read on excitedly in the hope of finding out that I’d get a complimentary cup of tea and a Bourbon biscuit as well.

‘If you accept, we will run a hearing test and run some short questionnaires about your hearing’. Oh no. I’ve always been able to do the hearing test in under 3 mins, so that meant 42 mins of questionnaire. I hate questionnaires. I’m so indecisive. Why couldn’t it have been something a bit easier like being strapped to a chair and having electrodes attached to my head while they played the sound of flushing toilets and bagpipes through the hearing aid? Or a nice simple task like being shown hundreds of beige colour swatches and being asked to choose my favourite. Being a hearing aid guinea pig was not going to be as easy as I thought.

Nevertheless, in the interests of science, I eagerly signed my consent forms and popped them in the postbox. Watch this space.

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2 Responses to “No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”


  1. 1 babs scott September 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Mine are a lovely shade of dark brown, originally they matched my hair and blended in quite nicely; but now that the greys are multiplying they are beginning to stand out quite a bit. By the way, don’t you just hate it when you take something over your head e.g. a jumper and your ears go witn it!

    • 2 moiradancer September 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      Great to see you yesterday Babs, and post will be coming up soon on our shared genetic legacy! Dark brown hearing aids? You Fifers are very spoiled, what with being allowed a colour other than beige and getting an aid for each ear…the Forth Road Bridge could be jammed with half-deaf Glaswegians if this gets out 🙂 And yes, the accidentally catapulting hearing aid is both a danger to itself and a deadly missile to anyone in the vicinity, in equal measures!


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