Recently, while visiting with some ‘old” friends in Wisconsin while vacationing there, we somehow got on the subject of hearing aids.
I think it happened because Fred says I complain about his hearing, and his hearing is just “fine”, he says.
But, our friend, Ludlow E. Barry, knows he can’t hear without some help.
This couple lives on a large lake. They set their dock on the water as soon as the lake thaws, usually about late April. The water is cold then, and stays quite cold until the middle of June.
Ludlow, our friend of many decades, was moaning to us about his new hearing aids.
“Gee, no one told me when I was fitted for hearing aids a few years back that they needed to be replaced every four or five years. So I got fitted for new ones to the tune of about $4,000,” he complained with his usual sense of humor.
In the meantime, he explained that he had noticed his neighbors had erected a Purple Martin house on their dock, and it looked quite attractive.
He really liked it! He thought, “I can do that!”
So, Ludlow bought a post, and positioned a new Martin house on the post. He affixed the pole support to the dock.
It looked pretty good, he thought.
“I couldn’t help but admire my carpentry skills… except I noticed that the post was leaning.
I thought, “I can tweak that just a bit!” I stood back on the dock, and in the process of loosening the support at the base of the pole, I felt it start to tip. As it began to fall sideways, I grabbed at it, lost my balance, and tumbled over the side of the dock into the frigid 53 degree water!”
Ludlow is not a small man. He is not a ballet dancer either.
We laughed. This was quite a funny story.
“Imagine. The first thing I thought of was my new $4,000 hearing aids. Then I remembered my wallet and cell phone in my back pocket. Oh, and I thought of the Rolex- type expensive watch on my wrist which was a gift to me from my company when I retired.”
Ludlow is not an ostentatious fellow. In fact, he was quite appalled to think that he had that kind of expensive equipment on his person.
“I caused a small tsunami as I landed. And I think I went under for a bit.”
He then clambered out and must have looked like a drowned rat. And of all things, about $10,000 worth of sensitive digital devices were now drenched and probably useless.
“I felt foolish, and I immediately waded to shore; freezing, sopping wet and humiliated.”
Upon slogging into the house, Ludlow was met at the door by his totally horrified wife.
She had missed all the action, and remarked in an alarmed voice, “What if you had hit your head, or what if the post would have fallen on you? I would never have found you in time!”
She was grateful that he was all right, and he felt sheepish.
Quickly, they pulled the batteries out of each gadget, and placed the different digital objects on a towel. Ludlow’s new hearing aids were probably history.
“And guess what?” he asked. “That was three weeks ago. I can’t believe it, but they have worked fine since that time.. The hearing aids, the watch, and the cell phone are all operating and not showing any signs of problems.”
Time will tell.
And what happened to the birdhouse?
Ludlow pulled it out of the water, and threw it on to the wood pile.
That’ll teach it a thing or two!
Judi Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and her views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. She can be reached at email@example.com.