Hard of Hearing

Of all my senses, my hearing manifests itself as the most distracted, absent-minded simpleton. Not worthwhile enough to be deaf, for that would at least augment my remaining senses; no, I hear just enough to be comical, like an old pantaloon in Medieval dramas with a funneled brass horn permanently attached to his ear drum and gumming his shouts of “Huh? What he’d say? ”

Song lyrics in particular are my bane, leading me to make up most of what I hear. Pat and Katie laugh whenever Live’s “Turn My Head” airs whose refrain I once passionately interpreted as “termite head/ termite head/ it’s aimed at you.” Bush’s “Glycerine” became “kiss the rain,” a favorite line of mine apparently. In Toto’s Africa, I have re-imagined “I bless the rains down in
Africa” as “I kiss the rains . . .” or “I miss the rains . . .” It all depends really on my mood and what I want the song to say.

The biggest reinterpretation though comes from my sibs, Pat and Katie, who on the way to school one morning heard Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets:”

“She’s got electric boots a mohair suit/
You know I read it in a magazine.”

Only the way it’s sung, it sounds nothing like this. Even if I knew what the heck a mohair suit was – which I don’t – “mohair” would not comprise my top ten guesses for song lyrics. Moreover, Sir Elton ends “magazine” with a bit of a grunt so that it sounds like “maGAzina-uh.” Thus, one can easily pardon the creative tykes for creating this version:

“She’s got electric boobs they all hang loose,and a pack-a, pack-a of hyENa-as.”

It makes no sense, but in terms of singing aloud the new composition far outweighs the original.

I wondered how common this “lazy ear” epidemic had reached so I visited www.kissthisguy.com (man-love ironically enough is featured in another story I’ll be telling later on), a website for misheard lyrics. Apparently this disease of mine is quite well-traveled and depending on your inclination towards profanity quite funny as well:

SmashMouth “All-Star”

The real lyrics were:
She was looking kinda dumb with her finger and her thumb
in the shape of an L on her forehead.

But I misheard them as:
She was looking kinda dumb with her finger in her bum
and the shape of a elf on her forehead.

OR

Bryan Adams “Summer of ‘69

The real lyrics were:
Got my first real six string,
bought it at the five-and-dime.
Played it till my fingers bled.
It was the summer of 69.

But I misheard them as:
Got my first real sex dream,
I was 5 at the time.

Played it till my fingers bled.
It was the summer of 69.

Reading through those listed under the “Funny” section made me realize how perverse most people actually are. Many lyrics of these hardcore rockers are actually much tamer than what most people come up with on their own.

Another shock burned into my corneas yesterday afternoon. Pat, Ryan, and I had just stopped at Panera to pick up food for ourselves and Pat’s wife, Tiff, after a long and early morning of golf. I paid for the meal, which for some reason prompted the guy behind the counter to jokingly ask: “Is someone getting married?” I stopped at this; the words “Thank you” seemed to wander off and hold conference with the rest of my vocabulary to discuss what the heck to say in response.

“Uh, no, he already got married,” was the best that they do. I looked at Pat who looked just as confused, and before he asked where we lived or how old we were, we left with soup, sandwiches, and room temp tea in tow. Arriving at Pat’s place– a final bastion from the odd, I thought — I walked up the steps to find Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal naked and in bed together. After a seconds pause and some intense on-screen cuddling, Pat, Ryan, and I decided to escape into the kitchen for lunch, Tiff’s laughs chasing after us. Apparently Saturday Morning cartoons have been replaced by man-love hour, which did nothing to help our digestion. My ears may be faulty, but at that time my eyes remembered too much. Never disparage the curative abilities of mindless entertainment. Oscar winning dramas may broaden your perspectives, but Road Runner and Bugs Bunny can soothe any mood like the sweetest balm.

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