Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Your words ought to be worth the money....

"ghghghmmememtmywm?" "Can you repeat that?" A scenario that has been repeated millions of times since 1996, when my hearing started going down. For some undefined reason, I had calcification in the ears - both ears - and suddenly, the word "turning a deaf ear" had to be put in plural to accomodate my situation. Eleven years down the line, with two audiograms confirming the facts, I have eventually yielded to having a hearing aid. Not a band aid (Normal at my age), but a h-e-a-r-i-n-g a-i-d. So seduced by an advertising campaign put forward by one such specialist, I went to visit them last week. Which brings us to: "ghghghmmememetmywm?" "Can you repeat that?" The young lady asking was the receptionist at the hearing devices place. Maybe she is required to speak lower than usual so for people to know that they did not come in vain: If they can hear her, there's nothing wrong with their hearing. The technique is widely used by plastic surgeons in Lebanon, whereby they train their secretraries to ask the women who come in about another part of their anatomy which they are supposed to treat: "Oh, you're here for the breast enlargement?" - No, she's here for the nose job, but then the client will have second doubts and ask about the breast enlargement anyway. And so, there it was, a red shiny thing to be put in my ear. It was so akward to see the inner shape of my ear outside. Yes, including that malformation that makes the device go into such a weird angle, that - had it been a road - it would have taken a professional driver to be able to overcome it (I can see the caption at the bottom of the TV ad: Professional driver on a closed circuit do not attempt). The lab technician did specify that it was a six-channel digital device, but later I learned that neither CNN nor ESPN were among the six-channles. Bummer! The device however, cost me a fortune, and the man wanted me to put two of these at double the cost, and whereas the improvement is very noticable (Such as hearing myself walk, or the sound of the shuffling of the keys), I cannot but say that so far I do not know anyone whose words ought really to be worth paying that price for. Considering I have paid such a high bill to be able to listen, would you please spare me the "cheap talk" from now on? But I must admit that, in the evening, something strange happened, I actually said to our secretary: "Can you please lower your voice, I am ctually working on the emergency we have!" Yes, I asked someone to tone dwon their voice.... Never happened to me before. Oh, and one last thing: The device's color is red. Yes, not beige. Red. That was my condition to buy it.
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