I'm not a grumpy old man, just an out of synch hippy

Thursday, 20 December 2012


The Deafening Sound of Silence
It goes in one......


I developed tinnitus about 5 years ago. I caught it from Jimi Hendrix in 1969. At least, I hope it was him rather than the overloud discos at whose margins I fretted at the time. Getting a bad hangover from stale beer is twice as annoying.

I became very tense, couldn’t sleep for two months, and drove my wife crazy as I tossed, turned and groaned. I finally got a tinnitus relief programme from a doctor in LA. I normally avoid programmes - they sound like something you have to do in prison. I followed the exercises religiously. “Exercises” isn’t the word: they were easy (like relaxing your jaw ten times) and no-one could see me doing them, the lack of both attributes being the reason I don’t jog.

It worked. I slowly learned to live with the ringing. I turned the sonic threat into a neutral or even welcome sound. Surf was up in my sandy Thai beach. Friendly aliens had picked me as their human contact before bringing peace on earth, not before ray-gunning everyone on “Celebrity Big Brother” as a special thanks to me. An oven was warming up for a chicken roast (Honey Chicken: lightly brush the bird with Soy Sauce, baste in butter then spoon over honey 15 minutes before removing. It’s delicious.)

That chicken saved my marriage.

A few nights ago our upstairs neighbours were away. We knew because their teenage daughter held a party. It sounded like a street that was being dug up and simultaneously being subjected to an air raid. Chikachakachikachakakkkkkkkkkchika. And that was just the conversation.

I tried relaxing my jaw and doing the chicken trick. It didn’t work. Those kids had no appreciation of my brilliant recipe. I doubt if they’d tone it down for canard a l’orange and tarte tatin.  I tossed and turned and groaned. Luckily so did my wife.

I’m going to contact Dr M. We’re going to work on a programme which cuts out the real outside noise. I’ll be able to muffle the police sirens by flaring my nostrils. And win the Good Neighbour award.

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