Sunday, January 19, 2014


Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

Today my twisted mind has turned to an odd topic,
the hearing impaired...or not.

Let me preface this post by saying I have known several hearing impaired individuals in my life, and fully respect the challenges they face.

When I was in High School, I was what they referred to as a "Drama Geek". I could have played football, but Drama had girls!!! 
I like girls!!!
Turned out I had a little talent. Actually even won some awards and competitions.

Anyway, my fellow Drama club members and I would often hang out at our local Mall, and propose challenges to each other as a way of expanding our "craft" (yes we were that pretentious, as only teenagers can be). Let me be perfectly clear here, we were NOT mocking anyone. 

The idea was: how believeable could you be. 
If someone didn't believe you, you failed.
A challenge might be:
Make a purchase pretending you don't speak English.
Shop with your "special needs" sibling.
Pretend to be a couple with someone you weren't dating.
Order a meal at McDonalds posing as a hearing impaired individual. Etc....
I've always been a good mimic and easily pulled these off.
 So I know a thing or two about "faking it".

During this time I worked at a sporting goods store near the mall. We had a fellow that would come in every now and then in a battered army jacket, looking just slightly down on his luck. He would come in and walk up to our customers, and those of us that worked there and hand out little "I am Deaf" cards. The cards were created with the American Sign Language alphabet on them, and asked for a small donation. I was suspicious almost immediately, as he never made a sound. The people I've know that are hearing impaired are never completely silent...they always make some noise, inadvertant or not. But not wanting to be a jerk I would take a card and hand him a dollar, eveytime he came in...I mean what if I'm wrong?
One day he was in, going about his regular routine.
One of the other employees was using to pushmop sweeping the floor. He went to sweep around a display, and the mop head caught and he dropped the handle. As happenstance would have it, I was looking right at our Deaf friend when this happened. He flinched and turned his head to the noise!!! As he turned back our eyes locked and he knew I knew...he dropped his eyes, nodded twice and walked out. Never to be seen again.

A couple years ago, Kathy and I were on our way back from our local $100 store (our name for Sam's Club). It was that perfect time of year, warm enough to have the windows down but not hot enough for the A/C.
We pulled up at a stoplight, and a convertible pulled up on my wife's side of the car...I could here music playing.
Kathy leaned over and "stage whispered" (why, I don't know) "I think the guy in the car next to us is Deaf!"
"Why's that?" I asked
"Well," she whispered "he's signing along with the song on the radio."
"Huh. Let me ask you something...if he's Deaf, why are you whispering, and how does he know what the words are???"
She just stared at me for a second.
"Oh my God...I can't believe I just said that..."
I've not let her forget this....I'm a b-a-d husband...
He he he

Be well!

Beastly Bear


  1. I took an ASL class in college and our midterm and final exams were to sign a song of our choice. Perhaps the person in the car is taking a similar class and was practicing. lol After my class I'd find myself trying to sign other songs as well.

    1. That's a possibility JoJo! One thing I am pretty sure of...he wasn't deaf! Lol!

  2. You REALLY need to keep doing this..cause you always make me laugh!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement Sherry!!!
      I'm glad I can brighten your day, if just a little!

  3. See, I'm not the only one who thinks people are deaf!