ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Oh dear. A week, as they say, is a long time in politics, but it’s an even longer time in hissing hearing aids. Ever since allowing myself to be persuaded by Clinic O that the abominable static noise emanating from the circuitry of my newly acquired Danalogic i-FIT 71 aids might be something which could be conquered by the neural plasticity of my auditory cortex, ie I’d get used to it, I’ve somewhat regretted it.

Although it is a marvellous coping phenomenon that my brain fashions the hiss into the phantom noise of a shower when I am in the bathroom, and the noise of a deep fat fryer when I am in the kitchen, its creativity is stumped when I’m in silence. In quiet surroundings, the hiss sounds just like an annoyingly hissing pair of hearing aids. It’s loud enough to mask other high frequency sounds, and I’m worried that an escaped rattlesnake could sneak up behind me undetected.

Demented in the empty office at work on Wednesday, I sought solace in the perfect place to escape from the hiss. The studio. “Budge up!” I said enthusiastically to a student, who had been reclining comfortably on the sofa with her book until my unexpected arrival with my laptop disturbed her. I listened for a bit to make sure that the soundscape was to my liking, then sat down to attend to my daily mountain of emails. Ah, this was more like it. The hiss was slightly less audible. The studio was only half full of students, but they were working in groups so were producing plenty of chat. I was slightly disappointed that there was no loud music, but was heartened to hear the reassuring rumble of the extraction system overhead. The noise of 60 feet of exposed industrial ducting was going some way towards drowning out the hiss but was not eliminating it entirely. I was on the verge of asking someone to open a window so that the noise of the nearby motorway could help out a bit, when an even better solution presented itself in the form of some impromptu furniture moving by students. Several chairs and desks were dragged mercilessly back and forth across the bare concrete floor, producing a rich variety of soothing scraping and grinding noises. Ahhhh. That’s better I said to myself, I can’t even hear the hiss now when I listen out for it. Maybe they were right at Clinic O after all!

Then it all got spoiled. Without warning, a heavy 6 by 4 foot sheet of mdf was knocked over by accident, causing a very loud bang. Although the bang itself was extremely acoustically satisfying in the bare concrete space, it was followed by a pregnant silence as everyone waited to see if there had been a casualty. This was all the hiss needed in order to sneak back in to my consciousness. Ssssssssss. Then to my relief, a round of shrieking and laughter began, followed by a purposeful bout of hammering to fix the damage. Phew.

The studio door banged open and shut with a pleasing regularity throughout, and every so often, the plumbing let out its usual foghorn blast every time a tap was turned on. As I basked in the racket, I reflected that the only thing that could possibly make the ambience more perfect for masking unwanted hissing noises from hearing aids, was the sounding of the twice weekly fire alarm test.

“Can I talk to you about my project?” said a student who had just wandered into my field of vision.

“Certainly”, I said, hoping there was going to be plenty to look at.

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5 Responses to “ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss”


  1. 1 Vickie Ramage March 11, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Oh, it drives me up the wall! ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss… CONSTANTLY. I’m not having these anymore, I’m making them give me new ones. I’m easily irritated the best of times… I hope you either get used to it (doubtful) or they give you better ones!

    • 2 moiradancer March 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      ssssssssSSSssssssSSSSSssSSSSSSSssssSSSssssssssSSSssssssssss! That’s what happens when I speak…

      • 3 Vickie Ramage March 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm

        By the way, how do I get used to my voice with aids? I’ve found I talk quieter and people can’t understand me. o.o

        sssssssssssssssssssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssssssssss*crackle*sssssssSSSSSSSSSSSssssssssssss…

  2. 4 cyborginafield March 12, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Hey, Oh I remember having those masking aids, I lasted about 3 hourssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss then I threw them back at the audiology department.

    Learnt to live with yer tinnitus, haha easy to write down I know but better than those hissing aids. Relaxation is a good one, breathing properly ……and wine!!
    S x


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