Wednesday, July 27, 2005

One thing I don't miss about being on the cruise was the constant translating. It wasn't that we were visiting exotic locations where no one spoke English, it was that my parents often don't hear what was said (Disclaimer: Family, I love you).

With my father it's because he's somewhat hard of hearing. If there's any background noise, it's difficult for him to make out what someone is saying. To a lesser degree, I suffer from the same ailment.

My mother's hearing is a different matter entirely. I think what she has is some sort of Alarming Filter installed in her brain. She has the uncanny ability to change a single sound or syllable in something you've said, so that the gist gets changed from something benign to something mortifying.

For example, if you say, "I'm tired.", she'll reply with, "YOU GOT FIRED!?!?"

Or perhaps the phrase, "Daisy is quite a dancer" turns into "DAISY HAS CANCER?!?!"

And for god sakes, don't bring up your neighbor, "Mister Ectomy" or that club you went to called "Mubonic Plague". Nothing good will come of it.

So, when my entire family gets gathered in some public place (say, a cruise ship, for an example off the top of my head), it's rare when a complex thought gets communicated without someone stepping in to clear things up. That person is usually me.

Conversations on the ship often went like this:

My Sister: (turns to our dad) That's a nice shirt.
Dad: (scrunching up face, demonstrating the pain of being hard of hearing) Huh?
My Sister: That's a nice shirt!
Dad: (deeper scrunching)
Me: (loudly and clearly) Dad, she likes your shirt.

We played this twisted game of telephone a hundred times. It was exhausting.

I don't usually have to play this game with my wife's family. With them I just really have to explain things like what I do for a living or why we don't have any phone books in the house (it's the same reason why we don't have a cotton gin either).

Like I've said, I LOOOOOOOVE my family, but it's nice to be in this house by ourselves again.


Will said...

How come when that happens to me it's not so funny?

Mike said...

Maybe my mom is just funnier than your mom.

Will said...

If this wasn't deliberatively provocative, I'd say there was no freaking way your mom is funnier /: )

Mike said...

Oh, that's it, Will. GAME ON! My momma vs. yo momma.