Monday, June 27, 2016

“Advantages of a Hearing Loss for Writers.” By Big Jim Williams

I’m not totally deaf, but I do wear hearing aids.
Just as one needs glasses to see better, or a crowned tooth to chew a tough steak, one may also need hearing aids.
However, such devices are expensive, do require batteries, but, as an extra benefit, keep bugs and small birds from nesting in your ears. There are other benefits, too.
What does this have to do with writing fiction? I’ll explain later.
When someone never stops yakking about religion, politics, sports, or the price of ice in Iceland, I often casually reach behind my left ear and turn off my hearing aids. It saves me from listening to a boring conversation that’s about to put me to sleep. Is it more polite to turn off my hearing, or to fall asleep nose first in my bowl of clam chowder? Those mollusks died to fill my belly. The least I can do is eat them, while ignoring my lunch partner’s flapping tongue. Tuning him out also helps my digestion and saves on Tums. I occasionally glance at my friend across the table while I slurp chowder and watch my oyster crackers soak up the succulent liquid like an old sponge.
My companion only requires an infrequent nod to keep him chattering. He’s now explaining the sex life of crabs, since they are somewhat related, I assume, to clams. I keep hoping he will eventually “clam” up (pardon the bad pun), but never does.
I add hot Tabasco sauce to my chowder and mix it in with my index finger. My fellow eater is so engrossed in what he’s saying he never notices what I’m doing, not even when I lick my finger.
Occasionally I turn my hearing aids “on” to hear another subject I have no interest in. I catch a word or two, try to add my thoughts when my buddy stops to breathe---but if he won’t let me talk, it’s back to my “off” button and silence.
Aids, if “off,” can also be stuffed in your head so you won’t hear a nagging wife or mother-in-law, or religious zealot who wants to save your soul from hell. Carrots work, too.
I thought about replacing mine with an old-fashioned ear trumpet, but haven’t, since ear trumpets don’t come with “on/off “ switches.
Although my friend is still talking and my hearing aids are off, I can always hear him when he says at lunch, “I’ll get the check.”
I nod and smile. Yes, there are some advantages to having a hearing loss.
He thinks I’m a great conversationalist. However, other than “Hello” and “Good-bye,” I haven’t uttered a word.
I’ll do anything for a free meal.
I should mention that because of my hearing problems I can write The great American Novel with fewer distractions: ringing phones, bill collectors pounding my front door, barking dogs, low-flying airplanes, or dripping faucets. That drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, sounds like a line from Edgar Allan Poe, but isn’t.
I’m still looking for an ear trumpet, not to stick in my ear, but in my talkative buddy’s mouth, unless he continues to buy lunch.
None of this is true. I made it up. Just buy me lunch and we’ll talk about it.
Finding me isn’t easy, since I’m in the Witness Protection program for writing that bad clam pun. But it’s sure nice and quiet, just me and my computer; ideal for writing fiction.

Big Jim Williams is the author of the Award-Winning book, CATTLE DRIVE, and the recently released, JAKE SILVERHORN’S REVENGE, both published by High Noon Press. It’s rumored he lives in a cave somewhere in Southern California. He says all fiction writers are really professional liars, somewhat like politicians, bragging fishermen, and publicity agents. He admires writers Mark Twain, Bret Harte, and money.

Te Amazon link for both the ebook and paperback of "Cattle Drive" is :

@HelpingHandsPre CHECK OUT the #YouTube video for Big Jim Williams "Jake Silverhorn's Revenge" #WESTERN #Suspense

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