Posts Tagged 'hearing aids and glasses'

Excuse Me

“Mind if I do a bit of work on this air conditioning unit?” said a man in overalls, as I waited in a hastily acquired empty room for a student to arrive for a tutorial. I did mind, but the man had a job to do.

“Will it be noisy?” I asked.

“No, only if I start singing”, came the reply. “I’ll be quiet as a mouse.”

I turned back to the computer and continued sifting through emails to the accompaniment of some loud metallic clanking and bashing. After a few minutes I was beginning to feel somewhat irritated, but then suddenly the noise stopped. I looked up hoping it was all over, but a question was on its way.

“Excuse me, do you wear *CLANK* by any chance?” said the man, giving something one last bash with his hammer and drowning out the object of his enquiry.

“Do I wear what?” I said, dreading what the missing noun was going to be. Chanel No.5? A bra? A built-up shoe? It couldn’t be a hearing aid, because people generally only mention those in jest, assuming you couldn’t possibly be wearing one.

“Glasses…do you wear glasses”, repeated the man.

“…Er, contact lenses”, I replied hesitantly, wondering whether the man had been watching Twelve Angry Men and spotted the lop-sided imprint of my glasses on the bridge of my nose, or the groove dug by their left leg in my overcrowded behind the ear space.

“Why do you ask?” I asked.

“It’s just that you’re hunched over that computer with your face right next to the screen. Makes you look blind. Thought you might have forgotten your glasses.”

I thanked the man for his observation, and although I was slightly disappointed that he wasn’t as observant as Juror No. 9 in Twelve Angry men after all, he had inadvertently uncovered the reason for my recently cricked neck.

Mrs Potato Head

Until the other morning, my fabulous new fashion statement glasses had been languishing, unworn, in the back of the bathroom cabinet. Three unsuccessful visits to have them adjusted had made me start to wonder what fearful cranial asymmetry was causing them to sit consistently crooked on my head. I decided I’d better assess the situation myself, in order that I could return to the opticians for a fourth time, fully prepared.

Using my highly trained artist’s eye, I examined my noble, if slightly elongated, head in the mirror. I noted the large forehead, which a friend had insightfully pointed out as a sign of my intelligence, as he tried to get back into my good books after wrongly estimating my age as 50 plus. Next, the ears. I compared the size of the pinnae first, and noted with interest that there’s a big ear and a less big ear to match the big eye and the less big eye. It struck me for a brief moment that people with symmetrical features must get really bored with their appearance and that it must be really frightening for them to see their face reflected in a Christmas tree bauble for the first time. No such difficulty for me, but despite my charming facial idiosyncrasies, the points of attachment of the ears to the head just didn’t seem wonky enough to explain the quirky trapezoid relationship of my new glasses to my face. Hmmm. Time for some DIY adjustments.

First, I removed the hearing aid. Absolutely no difference. Then, I pushed the left leg of the glasses down hard on the big left ear to level them, but they popped straight back up again. Then I pushed the frames upwards on the other side but they slid straight back down again. After pointlessly repeating this several times, I gave up. It was now clear what was required: a built-up ear on the right hand side.

I tucked some hair behind the right ear to prop the glasses up, and wedged the hearing aid purposefully in place on the left. Satisfied that I could now appear in public without being mistaken for Eric Morecambe, I set off for the opticians to get some professional assistance.


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