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Posted: October 26, 2013 9:00 p.m.

Use noise to your advantage

It’s really hard to hear people sometimes, isn’t it?

With all the cars and cellphones and video games around us, the noise often overwhelms our hearing, and we don’t catch exactly what someone says. While this can be a big problem, I’m going to be one of those "glass half full" people today and talk about the bright side of a communications problem. I’m going to show you how to use noise to your advantage.

Say you’re in a doughnut shop, and it’s really noisy. The clerk behind the counter says something, but you’re not exactly sure what because some kid is playing a video game on his cellphone right next to your good ear.

Maybe she said: "Hi. What will you have?" But, she could have said: "My boss is watching me, and he said if I can get the next customer to eat three doughnuts, I can keep my job. If I can’t, I’ll be fired and become homeless! Please help me!"

It’s possible she said that, right? I mean, you couldn’t hear anything because of that kid’s annoying video game, could you? So, if you’re a decent human being, you’ll buy three doughnuts and eat them right there, so her boss can see you through the two-way mirror.

And if anyone yells at you for going off your diet, you can explain that you did it to keep a poor young lady from becoming homeless. What kind of heartless goober wouldn’t understand that sacrifice?

If you can’t hear someone, I recommend you always imagine what the other person was trying to say.

If you see your husband holding a mop and a bucket, but you can’t make out what he’s mumbling to you, just assume you’re being requested to, "Go to the mall, and buy a bucket full of your favorite cosmetics."

Or if your wife is yelling incoherently at you to get up from a nice nap on the couch, assume she’s saying: "Hurry! Go down to the car dealership and get a new convertible before they sell out!"

The alternative to guessing what someone is saying is to ask: "Huh? Whaddya say?"

That’s rude isn’t it? Do you want to be rude? Of course not. Rude people don’t get buckets of cosmetics and new convertibles. Those nice treats only go to people who can make sense out of a bunch of noise.

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David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Covington. He can be reached at davmccoy@bellsouth.net.

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