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I Can’t Hear You! It’s Too Dark In Here!

, , , , | Right | March 5, 2021

I’m ratting on myself in this one. Currently, I have a temporary issue with the hearing in one ear. It’s not related to a certain illness doing that’s doing the rounds, but it can get really annoying. It has happened before, and something that helps is having my Airpods in and music playing while I’m out doing stuff, or else it gets really uncomfortable.

In this case, I’m doing my grocery shopping and I’m in the soda aisle, looking at the bottles. The shop I go to has a deal where you can get two big bottles for €4. This applies to the majority of the sodas they sell that come in 2-litre or 1.75-litre bottles. On the shelves, there are significantly more bottles of one particular brand of cola than any other drink. With the size of the display compared to the rest of the drinks, there is a distinct separation visually, and even though the same offer label is beside the prices for both sides, you’d be forgiven for second-guessing whether the offer would apply if you bought a bottle of the red-and-white-labelled cola from one side with a bottle of the primarily blue-labelled cola from the other. 

As I’m trying to decide on what to get, I see someone approach at a safe distance, trying to say something to me. The customer mumbles something at me.

Me: “Sorry, one sec.”

At this point, I need to explain that when I’m at home, I typically use big headphones instead of AirPods, so I’m more used to having to take off the big thing when someone is talking to me. On semi-autopilot, I do what’s usually the normal thing and remove the thing I can feel around my ear. In this case, it is my mask instead of the AirPod.

Me: “Sorry, say that again?”

Customer: “I wonder, can you get a [cola drink] and a [lemon/lime drink] together in the offer?” 

Me: “I think so, I—” 

I follow his line of sight to the mask that is now in my hand.

Me: “Oh, f***, one sec” *Puts my mask back on* “Sorry. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten those two together before with no problem.”

I look at the man. He’s looking at my ear, and I could swear that he’s smiling behind his mask. 

Customer: “Perfect. Cheers, love.”

Me: “No problem, mate.”

And that is how I unintentionally took off my facemask to be able to hear better. Yes, I did go bright red behind my mask when I put it back on, and yes, somehow removing my mask without pausing my music or removing an AirPod helped me hear better. No, I don’t understand it, either.