What’s that you say? No, I have no bananas

by Ken Carpenter

I’m beginning to become concerned about my hearing. My wife Joy was complaining about cold feet the other day and I suggested getting some insulated footwear. She replied that she had some “wiener boots” but had not felt like digging them out.
I contemplated her answer for a minute, rolling the words around my tongue and searching my memory banks, which by the way are as faulty as my hearing. I finally gave up and asked her what I thought was an intelligent question.
“So what do you have against your boots?” I asked, my curiosity piqued.
“Why do you ask?” she replied, “There is nothing wrong with them.”
“You must have something against them to start calling them wiener boots.” I said, “Wiener is not a very complimentary adjective.”
“No, but winter is,” she cackled, “And so is deaf if you are describing a post.”
“Hmmfff,” I snorted, my sensibilities not quite as numb as my ears.
I wasn’t really very surprised, for time and time again I hear things that do not make sense. Normally I am able to cogitate for a while and decide what it was that I really heard, but not always.
Many years ago, around the time my hormones started to rule my body, my thoughts and my judgment, I fell in love with rock and roll. My parents were mortified, because I had been able to distinguish every country singer on the market since before I started school.
It didn’t matter. When you are a teenager, mortifying your parents is almost as gratifying as choosing your own music. Besides, rock and roll was and is better than country, or anything else except maybe the blues.
The problem is that when you are young, music can only be enjoyed when it is loud enough to rattle the innards of your brain. A young person’s brain is easily rattled anyway, and a little extra rattling always seems to come in handy. The thing you don’t consider at the time is that you will live with the effects of the brain and eardrum punishment that you are receiving for the rest of your life.
I was also in the Army from 1971 to 1974 and hearing protection was unheard of. Shoot a few hundred rounds out of a M-16 with earholes open and you will know what ringing of the ears really is.
Of course, if someone told you such thing when you are young enough to utilize the info you would scoff at him or her as being an old fuddy-duddy who has no clue. I would have, and my volume cranking 19 year old is no different. I doubt if any are.
So now I live with the aftereffects of my old sins, which combine with a healthy dose of just plain old to confuse my ears, my memory and my judgment.
Gee, it’s a little bit like it was when it was hormones that were doing their best to confuse my perception of the world around me.
I think it is just a simple matter that every stage of our life will throw little roadblocks in our path, whether it is hormones, old sins, or plain old boneheadedness.
We can probably expect everything from wiener boots to the kitchen sink to pop us in front of us, just in time to confound us when we need it least.
Sheesh, I think I’ll go listen to a little music, something disruptive and mindless that my parents would not approve of.
Old habits die hard.

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