This is a lengthy comment to a blog posted by the
imminent eminent wordsmith known as Evil Squirrel. Squirrel’s blog “For whom the Beltones ... “ was a humorous look at the history of aids for the hearing-impaired and the advertising of the 1980s.
Squirrel, this is truly evil. Maybe even blatantly racist if I can find an angle. I love it! You’re yelling to the choir with this one.
As you may know, I have needed hearing aids since I was a kid, back to the days when they were the small portable radios with a wire and earpiece. It was damned humiliating for a young guy.
As time went by, technology upgraded me to tiny, all in the ear aids. They were invisible on TV so it was great for me since I wore my aids all the time at work — except when I did live shots. Then, I had to replace one of my hearing aids with the IFB thingy which allowed everyone to talk directly into my head. Everyone could — and did — talk at the same time.
Sometimes there were two or three dozen people talking and shouting into my IFB as I calmly did my live reports. And smiled.
Often (simultaneously), the other hearing aid would pick up frequencies from nearby radio towers. I had a myriad TV people shouting into my IFB while Air Traffic Controllers yelled into my hearing aid. I calmly delivered the live reports. Then I went out for a few drinks.
Marilyn actually saw and heard a tape of one of these live shots, The station had accidentally recorded the stuff coming in through the IFB instead of the sound track for the story. She was awed. How could I function during all the clamor? Looking back, I’m awed too. I’m an awesome guy. That’s why they paid me the big bucks (not).
I interviewed Eddie Albert when he was filming “Yes, Giorgio” in Boston. Eddie was sunbathing along the Charles River. He smiled when he caught a glimpse of my tiny hearing aids. Pulled his out for comparison. A lot of “WHAT?” went down that day.
Fast forward to the present, I have the current behind the ears model hearing aids. My hearing is getting worse.
Huh? Can you hear me now??”
I didn’t always wear my hearing aids on a regular basis. Back then, it was worse (much) than being called “four eyes”. One night changed my whole attitude.
My date had reached that critical point where you wonder if “it” will happen. The lady answered my query. I misheard her answer.
End of evening.