Monday, March 14, 2016

1616 Can I Hear You Now?

Once, a “disc jockey” was someone who played records and talked on the radio, not someone with a turntable and an attitude in a nightclub.

And many, if not most of us cranked the earphone volume pretty high.  The loud music spurred us to the required magnitude of enthusiasm when the mic opened.

As a result, many of us now have at least some hearing loss.

Blame it on age.  Blame it on all those years of high volume headphones.

What now?  Get a hearing exam, the results of which you’ll probably know in advance.  Then get hearing aids, which cost more than you made in a year spinning Stacks of Wax for Jills and Jacks at WJFN in Poquott, New York.

Disc Jockeys aren’t the only ones. Operators of hydraulic hammers and other construction and musical equipment, motorcycle couriers and airport ground crews are also high on the list of the affected.

You go see an audiologist. You get fitted.  You leave the office five grand lighter.

Audiologists, like chiropractors, foot doctors, homeopaths and other variations of faith healers and motivational speakers from pyramid schemes will want to upsell you.

Since the tests are generally covered by your health insurance (remember, you’re now back in the days of slavery because you’re forced to have health insurance,) there isn’t much upselling to do.

The big money is in devices. And mostly they’re not covered.

Congress has been considering allowing the FDA to recommend over the counter low-price hearing aids for ages.  The FDA can’t do that on its own.

But it can clear and has cleared personal sound amplification products, at least some of them.

These are gizmos that look like hearing aids, work more or less like hearing aids and are widely advertised with the required “warning” THIS IS NOT A HEARING AID.

If it quacks like a duck…

It’s true that some people need those audiology tests and of them, some -- probably fewer -- need “real” or prescription hearing aids.

But for most of us, the PSAPs, as they’re called, do just fine.  The best advice around is to avoid the ones that are too cheap.  A little more money and you’ll get a device that’s programmed to emphasize the frequencies of the human voice and reject background noise.

But we’re talking $50 an ear here, not $2500.  And most of the PSAPs come with a 30 day trial period.

Or you could return to those wonderful days of yesteryear and try one of these:

Yes, Martha, I can hear you now.

--It’s not true. Mitch McConnell has not written to Al Sharpton asking how to stage better anti-Trump demonstrations.  And what to pay the demonstrators.

--Okay, Daylight Saving Time has arrived.  One reason for having it is so 9-to-5-ers can go home before dark. Are there any 9-to-5-ers left?

Today’s Quote:
“Sometimes, people go to work and they don’t come home.”  -- Governor Andrew “Mr. Sensitive” Cuomo (D-NY) commenting on the deadly crash of a tugboat that hit a barge and sank near the Tappan Zee Bridge.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to

© WJR 2016

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