Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Selectively deaf

with 2 comments

There is an old question asked of people who speak in a loud voice. It goes, “Where did you learn to whisper, in a sawmill?” Admittedly, things can get very noisy at the lumber yard, but that is just a gentle murmur in comparison to working in a few other places.

Sporting events are always good for volume. One team takes the lead and their fans go wild with silence from the other side. The lead changes and the screaming shifts. This is very hard on the vocal cords which is why you see so many fans breathing into raised brown paper bags.

There is an exception. At a horse race things can go from cheering fans to deadly silence when some nag with 50 to one odds comes from behind and crosses the finish line first. Then you can only hear the ripping of thousands of betting slips and only the cheering of the owner and the trainer.

Kids used to rattle the windows when they were playing or arguing or discussing the virtues of lime overy cherry Jello. I should know, my four munchkins could run down the stairs making more noise then a cattle stampede. But Boy have things changed. Now when the grands come over the give me a tacit greeting, head for the office, commandeer the ‘puter or whip out their iPads and play games. All the while with earphones embedded in their skulls. If a team of firefighters were battling a blaze in the next room they wouldn’t hear it.

Cats are supposed to be silent and stealthy. However, the Kilkenny Brothers are an exception to this rule. I cannot walk into the kitchen without being escorted by the two of them. They set up an ear splitting howl that can only be silenced by a generous amount of treats. Early in the morning is their playtime. The wrestling match and room-to-room chase makes Mount Vesuvius erupting sound like a champagne cork ‘pop’.

Back in the day when I was in the employ of Uncle Sugar the barracks room was a riot of noise. Radios blaring, guys shouting, the fellows from the Philadelphia area singing “doo-wop” songs, pandemonium reigned. However, at ‘lights-out’ all was silent. Then come the dawn the place exploded. The ‘Plat-daddy’ (platoon sergeant) would wake us up by kicking a steel, 55 gallon garbage can down the bay aisle. Trust me, that noise would wake the dead.

The newsroom is awash with noise. Hacks yelling into phones. The editors hollering, “Ten minutes to deadline!” The sports guys ‘yorking’ into their waste cans after their usual liquid lunch and their bookies call. You can multiply this by a factor of ten if the presses are in the same building and they start to print the p.m. edition. However, everything goes silent enough to hear a paperclip drop when some guy in an expensive suit walks in and announces, “I am an attorney with Dewey, Cheatem and Howe. I want to talk to the publisher.”





Written by harmonycounty

January 21, 2016 at 4:42 p01

Posted in Humor

2 Responses

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  1. Excellent read Jim ! What did you say ?

    Eldon Kilberger

    January 21, 2016 at 4:42 p01

  2. Huh?

    Jim McGowan Sr.

    January 21, 2016 at 4:42 p01

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