Monday, January 16, 2012

GRATITUDE - January 15, 2012


It has been said that humor is derived from tragedy, not from joy.  I don't quite know how to describe it with more sugar on it, but that theory seems to be true.  

Why do people laugh when a woman walks into a spider web and freaks out, a businessman slips on a banana peal or a couple dancing at a patio party accidentally fall into the swimming pool?

The humor is not in a child celebrating a birthday (other emotions, just  not humor), but becomes a gut buster when the child slips and falls face first into the cake.

Given the large variety of physical challenges I have had in the past few years, a sense of humor has helped me deal in a positive manner with "uncomfortable circumstances."  Some of my favorite funny stories deal with radiation, sight and hearing impairment, etc.  I surmise that a sense of humor about ourselves is an effective defensive mechanism that wraps a magical force field around as a means of protection.

Here is a sad funny story about a deaf man.  Ask yourself, after reading it, if you thought it was funny...

I am that deaf man.  I can't hear worth spit...too many nights at rock concerts, standing in front of the speakers, etc.  So, to appease my families constant frustration over me asking "say again?"...I got hearing-aids (helps a little but doesn't fix it by a long shot).  They allow me to now hear that people are actually talking to me, but I still can't understand the words.  Low sounds work best (thank God for Bass guitars).  

Six-month audio check after getting the hearing-aids last week.  The test was to see if there was any further degeneration or improvement in my hearing.  So, I take off the hearing-aids and go into this soundproof room (which, is funny in itself, as in reality, it could be any room for a deaf person), they hook me up with headphones and close the big thick door, observing me through a large double pane window.

So, the experiences was like this:

"Mr. Welton,we are going to conduct a series of tests with sounds and words to measure the status of your hearing."  

The first set was words.  An auto-man computer voice made in Czechoslovakia would say random words and I would repeat back what I thought I heard.  Most of it was guess work.  Window pane was actually cellophane, etc.  I did not score so well.

The second set of tests was to test me on my ability to hear sounds at different frequencies; like the noise our refrigerator makes when I have failed to close the door wife can hear it clearly from the upstairs bedroom, but I can't and I am only two feet away.  

I was directed to raise my hand whenever I heard the sound.  I am settled in, closing my eyes, so I can concentrate and nail this set of tests.  Fairly soon I heard a faint buzzing sound.  I raised my hand.  a few seconds later I hear a high pitched squeal.  I raised my hand.  Then came a series of high pitched sounds, very faint, but I could hear them.  They were in a fairly rapid succession, so I pumped my hand in the air to keep up with the test beeps.  I was feeling good about this one.

"Mr. Welton, Mr. Welton!"


"Describe what you are hearing."

A series of high pitched squeals, some faint some stronger.

"Mr. Welton."


"We haven't started the test yet."

The advantage of the sound proof room was suddenly clear.  I wasn't so I would be distracted by other noises.  It was so I couldn't hear the technicians laughing their butts off at the sight of a little bald guy with a ponytail, in a sound proof room pumping his hands in the air at imaginary sounds before the test was actually started.

That is humor.


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