One of the side effects of partial deafness is that sometimes ‘what you said was not what I heard.’ Throughout the years, there have been many humorous mishears and, retrospectively, I should have documented them but, alas, most of them are forgotten. There are three I do remember however and, as they say in California, I would like to share them with you. Here they are:
Scene 1, at home, just before lunch, granddaughters present.
Me: What are we having for lunch today?
Carol (my wife): Leg-of-lamb pasta.
Me: That’s novel. I’ve never heard of leg-of-lamb pasta.
Carol: Leg-of-lamb pasta! I didn’t say that. I said leak-and-ham pasta.
Scene 2, in a crowded kitchen at my daughter’s place. Jim, my daughter’s partner’s father, was present and trying to hold a conversation with me speaking through other conversations about other things. Like me, Jim is hearing impaired. Here’s what happened.
Jim: … mumble mumble politicians are mumble need experience of mumble…
Me, interrupting: Jim, I can’t hear you.
Jim: No, nothing to do with the EU.
Scene 3, in a test centre at my local hospital. I’d had some tests that required the insertion of a cannula into a vein in my arm. After the treatment, a nurse came to remove the cannula. She spoke good English but was originally from somewhere in Africa and had an accent.
Nurse, removing the plaster holding the cannula in place: Are you on black Guinness?
Nurse: Black Guinness, are you on any?
Me: Er, no, not that I know of. What is black Guinness and is there a white Guinness?
By now, the nurse had realised there I had misheard what she had said, and she started to smile. Then, bending very close to my ear, she asked the question again, very slowly.
Nurse: Are – you – on – blood – thinners?
Me: Oh, blood thinners not black Guinness. No.
And with that, she stood back, placed her hands on her hips, and roared with laughter. I joined her in the merriment. It was a moment of levity and light-hearted jollity among all the seriousness of whatever else was happening in that department.