Huh? What? Didja say something?
I, apparently, am hard of hearing. It was confirmed by my just-as-good-as-an-MD friend Michael. Fact: I listen to the television too loud. Fact: Sometimes I don't hear him when he's talking to me. It must have been difficult to break the news...these things always are.
Michael thinks it has something to do with a combination of experimental drugs, heavy metal music, and bad hair. I did some research, and deafness isn't listed as a side effect of bad hair...but that doesn't mean he isn't right. My own theory is close to his. From around age 15 to 25, I spent an awful lot of time in front row pits at preposterously loud heavy metal and rock shows. In fact, the way I remember it, I may have had my ear pressed against the gargantuan bajillion-decibel 30-foot amp at the edge of the stage. Often. And once, during a Ramones show in 1996, I think I lost hearing in my "amp ear" for about a week. And am pretty sure it gradually came back, but who knows?
Then there's the Ear Candling Incident of 2002. I've recovered sufficiently from the trauma to be near open flame/burning wax/stick a q-tip in my ear again. But this too might have something to do with why people shout at me ("are ya DEEF or somethin'??"). Very unpleasant.
I'm already on my way to overcoming my disability and achieving independence, according to Erin. She thinks I have developed a bastardized version of sign language to compensate for my deafness. It doesn't translate well here, but suffice it to say I have no trouble communicating without actual words.
Kids, let this be a warning to ye: Keep your heads away from the amps, never stick anything in your ear that's on fire, and watch the spray direction of your economy size can of Aqua Net. Oh yeah, and don't do drugs. Right, no drugs. END PSA.