Posts Tagged 'bizarre incidents'

How to end up having your hearing aids surgically removed

nutty hearing aid nibble

If you wear hearing aids and glasses, don’t leave your hearing aids near a bowl of nuts or you’re just asking for trouble, according to this recent article in the Telegraph. Apparently, the short sighted man in the story ate his hearing aids thinking they were cashews, and had to have emergency surgery to remove them from his stomach.

Presumably, two cashew nuts were removed from his ear canals at the same time…


As I scuttled along a dimly lit side street in a desperate rush to catch the train home from work, I felt the familiar loosening of a shoelace, a scenario which only happens when one is in a hurry to catch trains. After weighing up whether I could run the last 200 yards using an exaggerated leg movement on the side contralateral to the flapping lace in order to avoid tripping, I decided to be sensible and stop.

I still had the 18:53 train in my sights, so I decided to cut corners by attempting to tie the lace without first removing my gloves. This, as always, proved to be a mistake, but I persist in doing it anyway in the hope that one day it will work and I won’t have to touch a dirty wet shoelace with my bare hands. Hope abandoned, I removed my now wet gloves, gave up on the 18:53 and tied the offending lace into a pulsatingly tight triple knot, swearing loudly as I did so. It was while I was crouched on my haunches in the pouring rain that I spotted a familiar beige object sitting in a pool of water amongst the fag ends at my feet, and my heart sank.

“NOOOOOOOOOO!” I shrieked, clutching a disbelieving hand to the left ear. This was all I needed now. To my surprise, a blast of feedback and the familiar scrunch of hair on mic confirmed that, bizarrely, I had just stumbled upon someone else’s hearing aid, and mine was still safely tucked behind the ear. Phew.

A closer look at the drowned and beheaded blob on the pavement told me that some poor soul was now walking around the west end of Glasgow, half deaf and wearing only their earmould and tube. There was every chance that they would soon be wondering what had happened to the other half of their hearing aid, and I can reveal that it was last seen in West Greenhill Place, beside the parking ticket machine opposite the Citroen Garage…

Did You Hear Something Just There?

“Oh my god! OH MY GOD! Come quick!” shouted the spouse. I had been having a nice relaxing afternoon at home after the gale force winds currently affecting Scotland had shut the Institute of Artistic Endeavour earlier in the day.

“Oh my god!” I said in agreement, after running to the window.

“Didn’t you hear the noise?” said the spouse, “It was horrifically loud…I thought there had been a car crash!”

I had to admit that I hadn’t heard a thing, but since the hearing aid had been having the day off in the bad weather too, there was no great surprise there. As I scanned the scene, relieved to note that the occupant of the car squashed by the tree was no longer in there, a sudden thought occurred to me. It occurred to the spouse at exactly the same time.

“Wait a minute…where’s the car?”

Fortunately, it’s the red one, but I don’t think our neighbours are going to be too pleased when they get home from work…

Up, Up and Away

It has been rather dramatic behind the scenes at Cookie Bite HQ over the last week or so, causing me to be a little scarce on these pages lately. Fortunately, all is now well, and at the weekend, the spouse and I retreated to the Buteshack for some much needed contemplative calm. We had been sad to have missed the previous weekend’s Baird of Bute Event, celebrating the 1910 flight of Andrew Baird, the Scottish aviation pioneer, but we were delighted to find that the Buteman newspaper had a special photo feature on the festival of all things airborne, including the much discussed hot air balloon flight.

When I got to the Letters to the Editor page, however, I was rather glad that I had missed out on the festival. It turned out that the high winds which had caused difficulty for the Edinburgh University Hot Air Balloon had also brought a touch of unexpected drama to the Kite Flying event. A concerned participant described from her own experience how it was marred for some people by ‘kite lines made from fishing lines catching on various body parts; One whipped round my ear; one round my friend’s neck, and I was told of one lady’s specs being pulled off.’  Apparently the incident was reported to Pat of Port Bannatyne Post Office, but he denied all responsibility.

I heaved a sigh of relief that my own body parts, including the famous left ear, had been well out of harm’s way at the time. I wouldn’t have fancied having to explain to the NHS hearing aid clinic that its property had been carried off by a kite.

The Search Ends Here

It is always interesting to see the search terms which lead people to these very exclusive pages. The most popular one, after anything to do with a cookie in it, is ‘pig wearing glasses’ which I try not to take too personally. Should it ever evolve into ‘pig wearing glasses and hearing aid’, I might start taking a bit more care of my appearance in future.

Occasionally, one comes across search terms which are intriguing to say the least, and I often wonder what the person was actually looking for and whether they ever found it. Just in case the person who was looking for ‘hearing aid chocolates’ last week never found them, I have made them the ones illustrated above.

Not surprisingly, after a little bit of searching myself, I couldn’t find any hearing aid chocolates. I did, however, come across a cautionary tale about eating chocolates in bed whilst wearing a hearing aid and, after reading it, I made a mental note never to fall into the same trap. The unfortunate subject of the story, an 87 year old woman from Idaho, mistook her hearing aid for a Milk Dud sweetie and attempted to eat it.

Needless to say, I was very careful to double-check that the Chroma S was safely behind my ear before dismantling the contents of today’s photoshoot and tucking into my lookalike chocs.


After losing the race to the last seat on the packed train yesterday morning, I reluctantly stood just inside the doors and braced myself for the ‘door closing’ warning beeps.

Beeeeeeeep went the doors as we prepared to depart.


At the next station, a well built and rather grumpy looking man got on and positioned himself directly opposite me.

Beeeeeeeep went the doors. Several times.



As I cursed the lack of an ‘OFF’ switch on the Chroma S, I noticed that the doors were not fully shut and that the grumpy man was leaning against them. Dare I tell him that he was stopping the train from moving with his outsize elbow? One look at his expression told me that this might not be such a good idea, so I hatched a plan to surreptitiously squeeze the doors shut with my hands instead.

“Excuse me, have you ever tried squeezing a set of train doors shut with your bare hands?” interjected my helpful Inner Voice. “If a hydraulic door closing system can’t shift that grumpy git’s elbow, I very much doubt that you can. You’ll look like a right eejit…” The Inner Voice was abruptly silenced before it could go on to elaborate further on my inadequacies, by the sight of the train driver knocking on the window to shout at the grumpy man. I was glad that I had decided not to fiddle with the doors just at that point, as I might now be being wrestled to the ground and handcuffed by the British Transport Police.

The driver returned to his cab in a bad temper and opened and closed the doors one last time to make sure that everything was working. The grumpy man, having learned his lesson, carefully leant away from them as they opened… before leaning on them again with his elbow just as they shut. There was another prolonged round of beeping as the driver repeatedly attempted to close the doors, causing hearing aid meltdown to begin in my left ear. I was starting to dislike the grumpy man and his big elbow intensely. Everything now sounded like it was reverberating through a gigantic cardboard tube, and I prayed that no one had a set of bagpipes on them, or videos of my exploding head would be gracing YouTube in no time.

Just as I was contemplating ending my torment by ripping the doors open instead of trying to shut them, the grumpy man suddenly released his big elbow to turn the page of his newspaper, and the doors snapped firmly shut.

Silence. Phew.

There She Blows

There’s been a bit of boiler trouble going on at Cookie Bite HQ recently, bringing back memories of the last major boiler incident. If only I’d had the hearing aid back then…

On a dark and stormy night in 2009, a phone call from the downstairs neighbours gravely informed us that sheets of water were running down the outside of their kitchen window. Nothing unusual in that, except for the fact it wasn’t raining at the time. A glance at the somewhat elevated pressure gauge on the boiler told me that something had gone horribly wrong.

“What’s that noise?” said the spouse, as I ripped open the door to the pipework and began fumbling about as if I knew what I was doing.

“What noise?” I replied.

“That kind of rumbling noise…it seems to be coming from the pipes…”

“Oh, shit”, I said as I realised that I hadn’t turned the stopcock fully off after I’d topped up the water in the boiler two hours previously. The system had continued filling to a dangerous pressure, and the safety overflow was what was responsible for our neighbours’ unwanted water feature.

“Got to get this stopcock closed quick, or we’re in trouble”, I grunted, applying my full bodyweight to the annoyingly stiff tap, to no effect. The rumbling noise was now loud enough to break through my hearing threshold and was making me somewhat edgy. I gave the tap one last desperate anti-clockwise twist, and finally felt it move. The relief was short-lived.

“Oh shit”, I exclaimed, “it’s come off in my hand!” I stared with disbelief at the now useless stopcock. There was now only one thing left to do. Panic, and swear a lot.

Continuing to enact my textbook demonstration of why I would be temperamentally unsuited to land an aircraft if the captain had a heart attack, I turned aimlessly in circles with the heels of my palms clamped to my temples until the spouse found a pair of pliers. The rumbling noise had now reached an alarming level, and an image of an aerial view of a pile of rubble in the evening news bulletin flashed through my mind. I snatched the pliers and began the delicate operation of trying to turn the remnants of the stopcock to the shut position without snapping anything else off by accident. Dripping with sweat, I finally succeeded. Phew. I had saved us all from disaster.

Strangely, the rumbling noise was still going on. Then all of a sudden, a sharp click was heard, followed by silence.

“Oh…” said the spouse apologetically, “…I forgot I put the kettle on before the phone rang.”

Empire of the Biscuit

Boredom is a terrible thing. During a tedious afternoon stint at the computer the other day in the office, I realised that the solution to my lack of motivation was a cake. A mandarin Danish pastry, to be precise. I scrabbled together the required £1 in loose change and hot-tailed it to the refectory.

When I got there, the sight of a lone student sweeping the floor in semi-darkness told me that closing time had arrived. I made my way efficiently to the cake display and surveyed my options. The display was bare apart from the last black cherry Danish pastry and a couple of sad-looking Empire biscuits with holes in the icing where the jelly tots should be. Hmmm. Tough decision. I don’t like black cherries and the only bit of an Empire biscuit I like is the jelly tot on top.

“Excuse me”, said the student uncharacteristically audibly, as she swept her brush round my feet in a symbolic gesture aimed at speeding up my thought processes.

It worked. I decided that a black cherry Danish pastry was better than no Danish pastry at all, and I reached swiftly for a paper bag to put it in. My arm brushed the ‘PLEASE USE TONGS TO HANDLE CAKES’ notice and I decided to ignore it in a huge display of anti Health & Safety bravado.

“Excuse me”, said the sweeping student again, as a giant hairball interwoven with unidentified fragments of refectory detritus threatened to engulf my feet. I wondered briefly if the missing jelly tots were in there, before abandoning hope and turning my attention back to my Danish pastry. Another set of lights clicked off. Feeling a bit under scrutiny, I reckoned I’d better comply and use the tongs after all. I clamped them firmly to the pastry and ushered its sticky loveliness gently into the protective caress of the paper bag.

Quite how it managed to fall cherry side down in the pile of floor sweepings at my feet I’ll never know, but the unseen string attaching the cake tongs to the counter may have had something to do with it.

Things that go bump in the night

At 4:40am this morning, I was lying awake contemplating the dark recesses of my mind when there was a loud bang. The sound location part of my brain helpfully narrowed down its possible origin to two very specific places: 1. somewhere inside the house or 2. somewhere outside the house.

The spouse had been peacefully slumbering up till then, but perhaps reminded of the time when a similar noise in the middle of the night made him jump to the unusual conclusion that I had shot myself after an argument, he sat bolt upright in the manner of someone bursting out of a coma in a horror movie.

“What’s that noise?” he said, ” I heard it through the earplugs…someone’s breaking in.”

While I fumbled feverishly amongst the detritus on the bedside table for my glasses, the spouse was already making his way heroically to investigate. As I poked my head nervously out of the bedroom doorway, a fleeting reflection of a man’s silhouette in the hall mirror set my heart pounding until I realised that the spouse had headed for the kitchen, not the room next door as I had thought.

By the time I reached the kitchen, the lights were on and the spouse was scratching his head in puzzlement. All seemed to be in order. Then, as I averted my eyes from some unseemly goings-on in a flat across the lane, I spotted something under the kitchen table. It was a wine stopper which turned out to have blown itself out of a bottle of corked cava awaiting its return to the supermarket for a refund. Phew.

Always look on the bright side

Now, if only I’d seen last night’s episode of Big Brother before Monday’s ill-fated migrainous voyage to hell, my outlook might have been quite different. I am reproducing BB Josie’s immortal words of wisdom here so that they may bring comfort to anyone who might be feeling a bit down after a bad day at work, bad day at the football, being robbed of a prize at an award ceremony, etc, etc.

Josie, in velvety West Country accent: ” Whenever I’m feeling a bit low, I think I could have been that woman that had ‘er face totally ripped off by a chimpanzee.”



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