Yield: The price of better hearing | TheFencePost.com

Yield: The price of better hearing

Nevah and I bought me an expensive Christmas gift that, so far, we're both enjoying. I've worn hearing aids since nine years ago when a bout with labyrinthitis destroyed most of the hearing in my right ear in an instant. As soon as I could after that episode, I bought a pair of hearing aids and I've worn the same ones for nine years — never lost one or had to replace anything but the batteries.

Over time, old age affected the hearing to a degree in my "good" left ear and hearing in my "bad" right ear continued on a downhill trend. So, finally, Nevah and I decided to see what new hearing aids might do to improve my hearing.

I went to a different hearing specialist, ol' Dr. Aural Testor, and after an extensive battery of tests, we decided to go whole hog and opted to buy a set of new age, battery-less, digital hearing aids. In 10 days, the expensive, sleek little critters arrived at doc's office and he fitted and calibrated them for each ear.

I have to admit that my new hearing aids allow me to hear better, but they are so sensitive that they pick up tiny sounds that I used to not hear. Why, I even heard the dollars softly fluttering out of my bank account to pay for the devices.

Ol' Nevah welcomes that I can watch TV now without having to blow out her ear drums. I've quit saying "huh?" as much as before. I'm told that after a few weeks of use, Doc can apply more fine tuning to get even more out of my remaining hearing. We'll see about that.

So, I guess I can chalk my new hearing aids experience to "so far, so good." Oh, and did I forget to mention — they're expensive. I still wonder how a smart phone with enough computer power to send a man to the moon and back can sell for $100 and hearing aids cost more than 40 times that much?

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I'm living with an understanding that you can't put a price on better hearing, even if it's not perfect.

•••

Friends from Iowa sent me this winter Ole and Lena joke. I think this joke will pass the political correctness censors.

Ole and Lena lived in a small rural town in northwest Iowa. They were sitting down to their usual cup of morning coffee listening to the weather report coming over the radio. "There will be 3 to 5 inches of snow today and a snow emergency has been declared. City officials say to park your cars on the odd numbered side of the streets." Ole got up from his coffee and replies, "Well, okay." Two days later, again they both are sitting down with their cups of morning coffee and the weather forecaster intoned, "There will be 2 to 4 inches of snow today and a snow emergency has been declared. City officials say to park your cars on the even numbered side of the streets." Ole sips his coffee and replies, "Well, okay."

Three days later, again they both are sitting down with their cups of coffee and the weather forecast blares over the radio, "There will be 6 to 8 inches of snow today and a snow emergency has been declared. You must park your cars on the … " and then the power went out and Ole didn't get the rest of the instructions. He says to Lena, "What you think I should do now, Lena?"

Lena replies, "Aw, Ole, just leave the car in the garage today."

•••

Deep in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains, a hillbilly's wife went into labor in the middle of the night and the old country doctor came to assist in the delivery.

Since there was no electricity, because the family was living off the grid,

the doctor handed the father-to-be a lantern and said, "Here. You hold this high so I can see what I am doing." Soon, a baby boy was brought into the world.

"Whoa, there," said the doctor, "Don't be in such a rush to put that lantern down. I think there's another one coming." Sure enuf, within minutes he had delivered a baby girl.

"Hold that lantern up, don't set it down there's another one!" said the doctor.

Within a few minutes he'd delivered a third baby.

"No, don't be in a hurry to put down that lantern, it seems there's yet another one coming!" cried the doctor.

The redneck scratched his head in bewilderment and asked, "Doc, do you think there's a chance that the light from this lantern might be attracting them?'

•••

Here's a rural joke from probably 80 years ago. An old blacksmith realized his back wuz giving out and he would soon have to quit working so hard.

So, he advertised in the local paper for an apprentice and picked out a strong young lad to fill the job.

Now, the old fellow was crabby, exacting, and impatient. His first instruction to his new apprentice wuz, "Don't ask me a lot of questions,"

His second instruction to his new apprentice wuz, "Just do whatever I tell you to do."

Later on that first day, the old blacksmith took a cherry hot iron out of the forge and laid it on the anvil. "Get the hammer over there," he instructed his apprentice. "When I nod my head, hit it real good and hard."

The town began looking for a new blacksmith and preparing for a funeral.

•••

Here are my words of wisdom for the week. I'm at an age when I enjoy my wild oats with prune juice and All-bran. Have a good 'un. ❖