The spouse and I trudged back home through the snow after the hearing aid fitting and, somewhat uncharacteristically, I didn’t feel like talking. Especially through a tin can. As I stepped into our hallway, the creaky floorboards sounded like firecrackers going off and I was utterly horrified. Worse still, I could hear the spouse creaking and rustling from his study 30 feet away. Noting that I was rooted to the spot and shifting my weight from one foot to the other in a strange dance, he came to investigate.
“What are you doing now?”
“We’re going to have to buy a house with a concrete floor.”
I creaked off to the kitchen to see how the lasagne was doing and was met by the sound of someone hoovering, but that turned out to be the fan oven and boiler combining in an unholy alliance. Seeking respite I headed for the living room and collapsed onto the settee. Dear God, the tapdancing woodworm were back but much louder this time. As I resisted the urge to throw the mantelpiece clock out the window, I realised for the first time why other people are always complaining about ticking clocks. On the one hand I was amazed by what I could now hear, but I didn’t see how anyone could possibly get used to this level of noise.
The lasagne, lovingly prepared by the spouse, arrived and we settled down to watch ‘House Wrecks’. Result. I could hear everything that was being said. This was more like it. But then another unrecognisable noise appeared. Aha, background music. I was starting to get the hang of this and then, just as I was getting cocky, the sound of something else I didn’t recognise wiped out House Wrecks for the best part of 15 seconds. My eyes were like saucers now.
“What the hell was that?”
Oh. My. God. To me, ‘car passing’ is a low rumble for 2 seconds as it goes by the window, but now it’s a big swooshing approach and a big swooshing departure as well. I had totally lost my appetite by now and as I crunched through the mushrooms in my lasagne, the hearing aid kept cutting out as if it was doing a Norman Collier faulty microphone sketch.
“What’s wrong with you now?” said the spouse.
“Aw, the bloody thing’s not working”
“For God’s sake you’ve only had it for an hour and a half and you’ve broken it already…hey, where are you going?”
“I’m away to see what it says on the internet.”
The internet didn’t say anything as it turned out, but a bit of judicious wiggling told me the tube had gone too far into my weary ear. I returned to my half-eaten plate of lasagne and decided I’d had quite enough for one night.