This is one of the things that really miffs me about being me. I'm completely deaf in my left ear.

Nobody knows how it happened. We think I was just born like that. I remember that when people would talk to me when I was little - little enough to not know that something was wrong - I'd turn my head so my right ear pointed at them and I could hear them. They thought I was looking away from lack of interest and scolded me accordingly. I always got kind of confused then.

Anyway, when my parents finally figured it out, they were horrified. I didn't really see what the big deal was back then. I mean, my right ear worked just fine. I could hear. Right? But my parents took me to an otologist anyway. There were all sorts of nifty little tests and they determined that, yes indeed, I was half deaf. They suggested a salesman for hearing aids. I think the salesman worked in the same building, so we went to see him that same day.

This guy explained to us about all the different hearing aids and how much I needed one. He was on commission, of course. He asked how I was doing in school. I was a brainwashed little mass back in those days, so of course I'd never made anything lower than an A. Salesman informed us that if I didn't get a hearing aid, my lack of hearing would most likely (based on statistics) lead to me FAILING a grade in school.

Well then. That was a bit of a shock. I didn't believe him, and I didn't want a hearing aid. They were expensive and they looked funny and I didn't even need one. My parents, of course, stared wide-eyed and suddenly got quite serious. We went back to talk with the doctor some more.

We told the doctor about what Mr. Salesman had said. The doctor looked kind of confused.
"But they said he'd fail a grade in school! Isn't that true?"
"Well. . . no."

The salesman had lied to us. It was an outright, evil, self-serving lie. The next time we checked, that salesman no longer worked there. I went to school, sans hearing aid. Instead of failing a grade, I skipped one. I'm still laughing.

But being half deaf still sucks. It's a giant problem with stereo headphones. My Diamond Rio is worthless to me without an adaptor to make the music mono. There are lots of adaptors that say they'll do this - I've seen exactly one that worked right, and I lost it. The others just take the left ear and feed it into both headphones, curse their eyes.

It's not all bad, though. When I want it quiet when I'm studying, I only have to cover one ear; I can hold a pencil and write with the other. Oh, and when I sleep, I only have to sleep on my right ear, and I can't hear a thing.

Oh, who am I kidding? Of course it's all bad.

Yeah, I've heard about special machines or surgeries that can restore partial hearing in a deaf ear, but if I did that, the average quality of my hearing would only decrease. Once they perfect the science and once I get a bunch of money, I'd definitely like to try to restore my hearing, though.

Oh, and as long as we're dreaming, I want 150/5 vision, too. That would rock.