Monday, July 15, 2013

Shout, Shout, Another Thing I Can Do Without

Hick received a call from his doctor's office this evening. He only picked it up because he happened to be walking by the phone at the time, to awaken a napping Genius and goad him into helping Hick unload his truck so he had room to haul more junk. More about that another day. I couldn't help overhear the confidential medical record conversation. Seems Hick had dropped in to the doctor's office to give some blood for a lab test while he was on vacation. The results were not good. They were SO not good, in fact, that Hick came home telling me that the staff could not even give him a result. The measurement was off the charts. That's when he confessed to not taking one of his medications on a regular basis. The doctor sent him down to the hospital lab a couple towns over for further testing.

Tonight's call was to alert Hick to the fact that his lab results were in, and everything was JUST FINE. He questioned the messenger. "So I'm going to live? Huh." How come the office results showed that he was whistling past the graveyard, knocking on Death's door, and barging right in while Death was still slipping into his Grim Reaper uniform? Of course they had no explanation. But Hick and his informant made plans for him to drop in and discuss renewing prescriptions at the end of the week. You'd have thought he was planning the Invasion of Normandy, or that my mom and I were planning a rendezvous to exchange leftovers, such was the intricate dance of details bandied about over the land lines.

It's not that I wanted to eavesdrop on Hick's health details. I couldn't avoid them. Not with a pillow pressed firmly over my head (no doubt a long-running fantasy of Hick's), not with jet-engine headphone ear-protectors, not with my ear canals hermetically sealed with soundproof cement. Hick is a telephone loud-talker. I'm sure you all know one. A person who has not yet entered the golden age of information.

A telephone lets a person miles away from you hear your voice. It's magical. You don't have to shout so they can hear you through the compression waves that sound uses to travel through air. There's a talky thing that converts your voice so it goes through a wire and comes out a heary thing on the other end! You'd think Hick would be aware of this newfangled technology. But he's not. He's like that neighbor...of Doolittle Lynn, when Doo took Loretty out of Butcher Holler and moved her clear across the country to Washington state, where she sat on the front porch of their shack with her two toddlers, kicking the washing machine, writing songs on that guitar Doo bought her instead of a wedding ring...who had to walk to the edge of the field and yell that Loretty's mommy had called to say her daddy died. That's because Loretty didn't have a phone. Thus the hollering. It's not necessary with a phone. Not even with a tin-can-and-twine phone like we made as kids.

I won't go on about the mechanisms and physics involved with cell phones. But I WILL tell you that you do not want to be closed up in a Tahoe with Hick when he talks on one.


  1. My third graders use a "Whisper Phone" I made with PVC pipe. They whisper in it, and they can hear what they're reading...but it doesn't disturb their classmates.

    Perhaps Hick needs to use one, and he'll damage his ears with his "whispering." Then he'll get a taste of his own medicine.

    (I know the song but not the group's name. You win ANOTHER round.)

  2. My Mom always talked extra loud when she called her sister in California...well it was 3000 miles away so...

  3. I happen to know a loud phone talker, he also has the volume set extra loud so that he has to remove a hearing aid to use the phone. This way I can be involved in both ends of the conversation with out having to use the speaker mode.

  4. At least everyone can now breathe deeply knowing Hick is fine.

  5. Happy to know Hick's second lab results were better.

  6. Let it all out! These are the things I can do without!
    COME ON! I'm talking to you.

  7. Sioux,
    That reminds me of a really good story concerning a whisper phone, but I don't know if I should unbag that cat here. Believe it or not, I try to shy away from most school stuff.

    I believe the band is Tears For Fears, though I'm not fan enough to be sure. I was quite disappointed, Madam, when you failed to sniff out the Bread in the "It Does Matter To Her" post. That thing was chock full of references. Don't tell me that you were never subjected to The Best of Bread album. My apologies in doubting your musical prowess if that's the case. I do remember something about you going to college at a later date than I. So maybe Bread was not part of your daily scholastic musical diet.

    Exactly. That's their reasoning, the loud-talkers.

    See? He's doing it out of consideration for you! What a selfless fellow, He Who loud-talks and loud-listens on the phone.

    Yes, their oxygen level will be fine, but their decibel level may be compromised.

    I think it's a matter of the lab actually knowing what they're doing, and the office staff perhaps using outdated or wrongly-calibrated equipment.

    Maybe you could give private lessons to Sioux in her weak musical genre areas. Don't expect cash. She is a fudge-barterer.

  8. Oooh, if a picture paints a thousand words then why can't I paint you?

    I had my fill of Bread in junior high...I must have been dense and missed all those references. It don't matter to me...

  9. Sioux,
    What kind of half-baked excuse is that? Surely you are not trying to block out your junior high memories. The best years of everyone's life. I think you are loafing on the Bread lyrics.