Do You Hear What I Hear?

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Freeimages.com/Lucy Bonakovska

Hearing bloopers—we’ve all had them. When we think we’ve heard somebody say something only to discover it wasn’t what they said at all! Here are a few of my bloopers over the years. It’s quite an earful to say the leash.

What began as an innocent visit by a friend’s parents almost ended up in a nudist camp. “My parents are coming this weekend,” Cheryl said one day. “It’s the only time they can come naked.” “But it’s winter,” I replied. “What does that have to do with it?” she asked. Suddenly, my ears understood. “Oh,” I said, “that’s when they can make it.”

You know the saying, “Hear no evil.” That’s especially true in church. An announcement by the pastor one Sunday had me seriously questioning his life’s calling. “The Annual Nude Women’s Camp will be held this weekend,” he said a little too brightly.  Say what? I flipped open my bulletin, my inquiring eyes scanning the column of upcoming events. When they stopped on some bold letters, I read “Annual Youth Winter Camp.”

I once had a boss who said I heard only what I wanted to hear. I guess she didn’t like my quizzical look when she announced that she was bringing a gelatin salad with imaginary oranges to the Christmas party. “Imaginary oranges?” I asked. “Wouldn’t real ones taste better?” She must have been all ears, because I found bits of mandarin orange in her Christmas salad that year.

Hearing bloopers often happen when we’re extremely tired. Sometimes a few hours can go by before we’re able to decode a “what-did-you-say-ism.” That’s exactly what happened to me when a radio broadcaster reported that 34 overweight ducks were being ordered off Minnesota highways. It sounded like fowl play, but I knew better than to quack about it. Good thing, too, because some time later my tired brain delivered the correct answer: “34 overweight trucks.”

When someone offers me a can of Choke, I try to disarm them with Spite. I’ve discovered that decapitated coffee doesn’t taste nearly as good as decaffeinated, and when my back goes out, choir practice is no substitute for the chiropractor. I no longer gasp when editors ask about my writing fleas.

So, the next time you miss an earful, do what I do–play it by ear. It’s the only way to shave the day!

Copyright © 2017 Marion Amberg

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