13 February 2009

Stories for the newly hearing impaired

Well folks, it's Friday morning, which means it's time for me to grab my ear plugs and head down to the library for M-'s story time, where we all get to huddle on the outskirts of the crowd gathered in relative safety about 15 feet away from the (very nice) ringleader herself.

The first week, a few of the other 2-year-olds understandably plopped themselves down right up front when things started, but, being creatures who act on instinct at all times without care for others' feelings, they unsubtley hit the deck when the volume dial broke off at 11 and didn't let up.

It came right as I was wondering how they could take it while I was struggling all the way in the back of the tragically tiny room-- all three kids simultaneously threw themselves backwards (in that way little kids do) outside the blast radius of this woman's voice.

Every week since then, that radius has been marked out by a field 2-3 cushions deep, which this lady must lay out in the vain hope that she's offering plenty of room and comfort to that one special boy --half deaf in his one functioning ear-- who will drift in from one of the nearby parks, as foretold in the prophecy, beckoned to the library by the siren song of a children's book read at a volume that finally allows him to turn off his hearing aid.*

Lest you think she's just one of those rare perky people who's raring to go first thing every morning, I assure you she is far from it. Rather, I believe she simply has to keep shouting as loudly as possible in an effort to keep herself awake, or possibly not dead. Kind of like that stupid Jason Statham movie Crank.

I'm thinking of asking the police department if they might be able to rig up their speed-monitoring trailer to instead measure decibels, so I could drag it into the back of the room like a scoreboard. I might be able to make some side money** wagering on this...

Hopefully I can make enough to cover the ear surgeries.



* And then ask her if she might speak just a little more softly.

** By side money, of course, I mean my only money.

15 comments:

Kat said...

Maybe she has just had entirely too much coffee.

Middle Aged Woman said...

That's how Husband talks. All the time. 19-year-old-Daughter inherited this trait.

MamaNeena said...

Ah, so this is why you want that check, huh!?

Mrs. B. Roth said...

My mother has this trait, this utter lack of volume control or even awareness (she lives with us). Also, she seems to be incapable of softly closing cupboard doors (boom, bang, slam). I can't tell you how happy I am when she finally walks out the door to go to work in the mornings - of course, the kids are usually woken up by her unnecessarily vocal conversations with the kitties (because everyone know cats are telepathic) and door slamming ... at least the kids respect mommy enough to use soft voices early in the morning... (*whisper* mom i poopy!)

Mary said...

Is there a reverse megaphone which dampens the sound? Or could she pass out earplugs at the start of each session?

Miss Grace said...

Is she old? Not to cast aspersions on the elderly but, well, is she REALLY old?

Kim said...

Okay, this had me laughing enough to de-lurk. Very funny and, tragically, very relatable.

Renee said...

I think you should anonymously send her a picture of that one guy sitting in his chair being blasted by the sound of his powerful speakers. It's subtle.

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

I was under the impression that at the interview for library workers, they automatically tested for quality of "inside voice" and possibly even issued a bark collar for trainees. Apparently I was wrong.

Kori said...

Laughing out loud at Andrea's comment!

nonnasnonsense said...

off to the thesaurus to find another word for hysterical...

ok, this is the best i could come up with..that's uproarious.

and get this. the thesaurus says that amuzing AND side-splitting are synonyms for hysterical. am i the only one that thinks..FAIL??

i would much rather be hysterical (like this story) than amuzing (like this comment - hopefully).

Laggin said...

Wow. Things I don't miss about the toddler years. Story hour. It makes sex the the basement seem so much more palatable.

Not.

Karen MEG said...

Librarians can be very scary people. We have one who has frighteningly poofy hair; my daughter turns on her heel and screams whenever she shows up at story time.

Jake said...

Public libraries give me the creeps. They smell and I'm pretty sure the librarians live in a small dungeon under all of the books. Great blog you have here. Keep up the good work.

-Jake

beth said...

Eh, what'd you say? I'm a little hard of hearing due to years of taking my kids for loud library readings!