Monday, March 29, 2010

That Crazy Lady with the Earplugs


That Crazy Lady with the Earplugs

Last week, I was parked at a local gas station, while a mechanic looked at the headlights on my car (both bulbs had blown out within days of each other). I couldn’t help noticing a group of construction workers sawing through the concrete pad where the pumps were, making an amount of noise that was really unbelievable unless you were right there in its midst (in which case it was painful). The worker nearest me did not appear to be wearing any hearing protection. I rummaged around in my car and found a pair of earplugs that I had squirreled away, and walked over to him. I handed him the earplugs, and gestured for him to put them in his ears. He seemed to understand, but walked away with them in hand toward a man in a forklift cab (who was wearing earplugs).

I tried to focus on my headlight repair, and paid the mechanic. By then, all the workers had pulled the hoods on their sweatshirts over their heads, and the noise had stopped. Odd, I thought. So, not being one to shy away from a confrontation, I walked over toward the man in the forklift cab. As I neared him, he shouted, “Ma’am, I have a glove box full of earplugs! That guy you talked to is the only one who won’t wear them!” So, I walked back up to “my” guy, and asked if he was wearing earplugs, and he showed me that he was, under his hood.

As I got into my car, he came over to the edge of the work site (surrounded by tape) and showed me his earplugs again and smiled. I smiled back and showed him my hearing aids, and shrugged.

Kathi Mestayer,

That Crazy Lady with the Earplugs

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