I started using the closed captioning feature on our TV set because of my hearing loss. Since my husband doesn’t suffer from the same malady, it seems the perfect solution. Reading the captions can take something away from the performance, because of the time it takes to read them. Fortunately there is a plus side to this. Some of the captions are more entertaining than what’s taking place in the action.
For example on one news report a while back, the reporter was talking about a politician who had been on the job for only six months before resigning. The caption read, “She was on the John for six months.” I imagined that if she had been on the John for six months, she more than likely got fired.
As you may know, I love watching old mystery television series. On a recent English performance of a Miss Marple series called, “A Body in the Library,” the word body took on a whole new meaning. At one point there was a potty in the library. At another, the potty was in the diaper. I never did find out how the potty got there or who it was, because I was laughing so hard at the misinterpretation of the closed captions. Can you imagine being the person responsible for writing the closed captions? Especially when the performers have a heavy English dialect or some foreign influence to their speech. It would be understandable to exchange “body” with “potty” because of the way the word is spoken. I can picture the interpreter trying to figure out as they go, what is being said. Of course it’s probably done by computers, undoubtedly use\ing phonetics to repeat the word on the screen. There might even be a real person in there trying to come up with more entertaining entertainment, especially if things are getting boring and need to be kick started. It would be fun to find out who actually does this job and how it’s done. In the meantime I can only imagine.
The fact that I’m losing my hearing is not only frustrating, but causes me to realize that I’m not a spring chicken anymore. My doctor suggested the loss was caused by years of working with young children. The high pitch of their voices played a number on my ear drums. Again, I will not let my age get in the way of my sense of humor. I can still laugh about some of my own interpretations of what someone says to me. My husband is used to my infirmity and has always been very kind about it, but it has to be frustrating for him as well. Hearing aids are not an option for a number of reasons. The fact they are so expensive, leads the list, but I’ve also seen people who wear them struggle to sift through outside noise as well as the voice they’re trying to hear. So instead, I will watch my TV shows with closed captioning and laugh at the most inopportune time. I will mistake what someone says to me for something else and laugh about that too. I think I’ll be OK as long as what I laugh at isn’t inappropriate.
Of course if I’m watching the news, I will probably just turn it off. Some things are better left unheard.