Waiting Room Humor: I’m Here for a Hearing Aid

Waiting roomYesterday I had my monthly visit to the ear, nose, and throat specialist. It’s a joyful trip that includes getting off work around noon (sometimes I go back to the office) and sitting outside in the hall before the door opens from their lunch.

Without fail, people still check the door to see if it’s locked… as if I’d be sitting on the floor in front of the door with a book if it was open. Yesterday was no exception. What made this visit more special was that it must have been a coupon week for patients over the age of 70. Not a one could have possibly have been in their 60s. One little old lady shouted out to her caretaker that she was born in March of 1915. Yeah, really old.

The humor arose when the deaf people all started to try to talk to each other. Normally not funny, I know, but read on to see how it happened.

I normally sit all the way through the waiting room next to the door to the doctors’ area so I can just slip in the door when I’m called. From there I can see 8 chairs on the far opposite wall about 25 feet away. There was a little yellow and white-haired woman sitting there with good clothes on and perfect red lipstick. She had a matching sweater to her pants, so I was pretty sure she was well-off, but she had a odd expression, like she was lost in space. She had her purse sitting on the chair to her immediate right.

After what seemed like an interminable amount of time, the next patient finally finished checking into the electronic check-in system and sat down with a clipboard next to the other woman’s purse. As she sat, she (now referred to as Lady B) placed her purse in front of the other’s (now referred to as Lady A) on the chair and said politely, “I’m just placing this here next to yours.”

What followed should be on Saturday Night Live:

Lady A: Stooped and craned her head to Lady B and croaked, “Eeehhh?”

Lady B: “I said I’m just putting this here.” Lady A still didn’t comprehend what Lady B said, so she just tilted her head back to where it was a bit and slanted her mouth in a stupid face that I almost laughed at. Until that, she looked pretty normal. About 20 seconds passed and then,

Lady A: “What doctor are you here to see?” she asked Lady B, who was busy writing on her clipboard and didn’t respond. Not being one to give up that easily, Lady A repeated her question and moved her hand to the chair to get Lady B’s attention.

Lady B: “Dr. Seper. It’s been so long, I have to fill out new paperwork.” They both resumed what they were doing for another 20 seconds when it got hysterical from my end of the waiting room.

Lady B: “I haven’t been here for 5 years and I need new hearing aids,” she quipped to Lady A, who once again did not hear her, but this time was unware she was being addressed. Since Lady B never looked up, she didn’t realize Lady A didn’t hear her. Ten seconds later:

Lady A: “I’m here for hearing aids. I can’t hear a thing nowadays.” You guessed it, Lady B had no idea that Lady A was chatting away again.

About this time, Lady C two seats over on the other side of Lady A got tired of talking to Mrs. 1915 and told Lady A:

Lady C: “I’m here for hearing aids. What are you here for?” Normally, this is not something you want to ask someone in a doctor’s office, so I don’t know why you would want to know. You may end up finding out too much without warning. Again, Lady A was lost in her world without sound. Lady C apparently figured that it wasn’t worth repeating and gave up.

Right then and there, Mrs. 1915 pointed her finger at me with her palm turned upward and chirped in an ancient voice, “That young man is much to young to be here for hearing aids,” and started shaking her head in pity.

Lady C: “It’s probably all that loud music young folks listen to today.”

I’d been looking at them all the while. I wasn’t even pretending to read my magazine. I was looking right at them when they said this of me! I wondered if it would be more funny or more rude of me to say from my spot to the whole waiting room, “I can hear every word the four of you have said, even though you haven’t heard each other. I am here for snot therapy, not my ears!”

The nurses had a good laugh when they called me back, because I couldn’t help but tell them.

Anyone else have a good waiting room story?