Monday, February 20, 2012

Hard of Seeing

We all know people who are “hard of hearing,” and how often they miss what one is saying and respond to something completely different. It is frustrating for them, of course, but sometimes the results are funny, too. Well, I am “hard of seeing” because of the macular degeneration I inherited from my father. Fortunately for me, there is now treatment which can slow down the process. Nothing will cure it, of course, and I have reached the point where I had to give up driving last summer.

However, I still can read with the help of large print books and handy magnifying glass. I think I have one in just about every room these days. My main problem is letters and numbers, which tend to be distorted if I don’t use magnification.

When we read, we don’t really read all the letters of words; we just register the whole word based on a few letters. When you can see clearly you can just skim through words, not even consciously “reading” them.

When one is hard of seeing, though, the skimming missies some rather key letters which don’t register. I have been keeping a list of some of the ridiculous interpretations of what I think I have read.
These are usually small headline topics that I don’t need to magnify.

There was “Twinkies Destroy Park.” That’s the sort of information that gives one pause. The word was “Twister.” Not very interesting except maybe to the kiddos who might have been enjoying the sand box at the time.

Then there was my favorite: “Medicare Discovery in Crayon a Mystery” Mein Gott, are they trying to kill us geezers with some kind of loaded drawing materials? Or did a crayon contain some sort of miracle substance that would rejuvenate us? Shucks, no; it was about a macabre discovery in a canyon that was the mystery. Ho hum! In California!

There wads the felt pen scandal, which turned out to be about Phen Fen, some dangerous diet drug that wrought havoc among weight loss fans some years ago. Someone has written a book about it and I swear the cover art did look a bit like a felt pen.

Just yesterday the headline read “NYPD Monitoring Museum Students in the Northeast.” What had those haughty would be curators been up to, I wondered. Of course, it was Muslim students, some of whom may well be museum students for all I know.

This kind of reading can be much more exciting than the usual headlines, adding a more interesting take on the dull news of the day. Maybe I should find a hard of hearing person who gets his/her news from an audio source and compare notes on our audio and visual misinformation.


Nancy Near Philadelphia said...

LOL, Guenveur. This reminded me of a Thurber piece, the title of which escapes me, where he is in conversation with his maid who has trouble getting words right.

Yosustah said...

wYour blogs get better and bette. Just caught up with three or four of your latest. You are such A GOOD WRITER. I wish you could collect your blogs and publish them.
Yo Sistuh