Sunday, April 03, 2011

Audiospecticalitis - Is There A Cure ?

As I may have mentioned a few times recently, like over the last 5 months, it's hot and sunny and gloriously palmtreefied here in Buttonwood Bay, south of Sebring in the Sunshine State known as Florida.

Yesterday I was sitting outside on the new front patio area (on a nice soft comfy padded swivel chair actually) watching the world go by, seemingly just populated by seniors on bikes, golf carts and other modes of transportation.

I myself and I was wired for sound, as Sir Cliff once sang about, as I was listening to BBC Radio 2 on my phone which is still an experience I find hard to come to terms with. I love it when 'Sally Traffic' comes on with all the news about jams on the eastbound M25, breakdowns on the M1 just north of Watford and loose cattle on the A65 near Long Preston causing frustrated motorists to pull into their nearest pub and order the biggest steak on the menu.

Top of the food chain, Ma !!!

It's a world away from here as now that most of the snowbirds have gone, life here creaks along at an even slower pace and the area seems half empty. Less vehicles on the roads, many more parking spots at restaurants and no waiting for service. Smaller lines for the restrooms too !


Anyhoo, I was sitting outside, like wot I said, and this being a very friendly park, everyone waves at everyone when they pass by. Now I was catching the rays (cause I'm like, a cool dude) and so I'd removed my glasses with their flip up sunglasses attached and was half asleep and almost done to a crisp in the hot afternoon sun.

Now at this point you need to be aware that without my glasses, I make Mr. Magoo seem like a soaring eagle as everything beyond 3 feet is a blur as is everything less than 3 feet.

So as the traffic report ended, I opened my eyes to return from the gloomy news from Blighty and vaguely saw a golf cart cruising by. I saw blurred movement and heard a voice from the blurred driver of the blurred cart and assuming he, or she, was also waving, I waved back - all the time fumbling for my glasses which, because they too were blurred to me, I couldn't find.

Finally my fingers made contact, on went the glasses and I could then shout 'hi' at the cart and driver who had by then both left my zip code and were half way to the swimming pool.

The incident got me to thinking.

If, like me, you have worn glasses since fetushood (and before you spellers out there have a pop, fetus gets 19.3 million results on Google compared to 7.5 million for foetus so there...), you'll agree that for some unknown reason, we NEED to have our glasses on to speak to someone or even listen to someone. That infers that without our glasses, we cannot speak or hear which it a very odd medical fact indeed and as no one else seems to have devised a name for it, I'm calling it audiospecticalitis. Catchy, no ?

I did hear the cart driver saying something but could make no sense of it till I'd found my glasses and then it was as if I'd put on a translation device and everything became clear to me, aurally as well as visually.

In a moment of varifocal clarity, it suddenly hit me why glasses are placed on our ears and there was me thinking it was just to have the lenses handy for your eyes ! Not a bit of it. If it was as simple as that, the lenses could be lowered on a pulley system from the back of our heads but no.....they perch on your ears so you can HEAR better with them on.

This will make sense to any glasses wearer who gets a phone call through the night. Does the light go on first ? No silly, as you don't need to have light to answer the phone.

Do you grope for your glasses and if you knock them off the nightstand do you still lean down and find them before answering the insistent phone call ? HELL YES !!!!

There ya go. More proof if more was needed. We glasses wearers need to be wearing them to speak and hear properly.

Audiospecticalitis. I'm telling ya. I'm on to something here and I see a Lancet article in my future.

I'd say I'd stumbled onto something here but I can't. I'm wearing my glasses.


Ruth said...

I bet it's not the same for contact lens wearers - the fumble in the night to put your lenses in would make answering that insistent telephone impossible. And there is no frame connecting with your ears.

As for those 19th century pince-nez - I bet people wearing them were deaf most of the time.

Daphne said...

Yessssssssss! I think there is Nobel Prize material in this blog post AND it made me laugh and that's not true of most Nobel Prize-winning oeuvres.
None-glasses-wearers just can't understand that I can't hear without them. You have neatly outlined an absolute truth. Never mind the Lancet, I think New Scientist will be on the phone in the morning. As soon as they've got their glasses on, of course.

Jennyta said...

Glasses with flip up sunglasses? They still make them?? :)

Silverback said...

Yes, Ruth, it's a well known fact that all contact lens wearers are in fact deaf. That'll be for my doctorate though.

Daphne my award cupboard is groaning as it is so I've no space for a Nobel. Maybe if he ever stops groaning, I'll let Gervais out and THEN there will be room.

Flip ups are as hard to find as a good Country and Western song so I tend to get a few when I discover a seller. I also tend to leave them all over the place and they're never to hand when needed. I once used felt tip on my lenses but a Boy Scout helped me across the road. (almost true story)

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