What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?

In 1986 (now retired) CBS newscaster Dan Rather received a bit of flack after reporting that some guy mugged him and kept repeating the above question during the attack. Dan probably remembers the phrase, but I can think of no good reason that I should. . . yet, I do.

Earlier this week it re-surfaced in my thoughts as I wondered whether or not Dearly Beloved and I might be on different frequencies.

My husband  has the sound sensitivity of a dolphin.  I don’t even HEAR noises that send him climbing the walls.

We are talking about a man whose sports watch can beep that annoying alarm during the night and leave him unfazed,  even as I bolt upright.  He finally changed it only because if Mary ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

Not long ago, I stayed up late to watch a TV show in the den and when I went back to the bedroom,  he was walking around in the dark.

“What’s wrong?  What are you DOING?”  I was concerned.

“Well, so far I have discovered that the ticking sound I heard isn’t coming from a dripping faucet, a leaking toilet, the heat vent, the shower drain,  the smoke detector,  the watches,  or either of the clocks.”

I heard nothing.

He explained that it had just stopped, but he’d found the source:  the automatic timer on the lamp on the back hall table.  Apparently it makes teeny tiny ticking sounds as it resets itself after turning off the lamp.  You can imagine the ear-splitting blast that makes.

Sometimes when DB drives, he hangs his left hand over the steering wheel and drums idly on the dashboard.  Even when we were dating, he did that.  I remember thinking that it was a cute but annoying little gesture that surely would go away.  It never occurred to me that it would be a lifetime habit or I might have asked for a pre-nup.  He’s still drumming.  At this point, the only solution might be a padded dashboard–on his side, to soften the drumming and on mine, to keep me from beating my head against it if he finds a way to do it anyway.

A quick trip to see his mother in Charleston Tuesday seemed a good time to re-check our frequencies, since we have a longer trip coming up later this week.

What can I say?  Mars and Venus.

When I put our empty Chick-Fil-A breakfast containers back into the sack and put it on the floor at my feet until we stopped somewhere I could toss it, Dolphin Ears complained about the racket emanating from the sack.   Would I stop it from making that squeaking noise.

Fine.  I stepped on the bag.  Problem solved.

You’re thinking that you can understand how squeaky containers might be annoying, right?

That doesn’t explain the loud banana.

He’d picked up a banana as we were leaving and stuck it in that little compartment in the driver-side door so he’d have a pick-me-up snack if he needed it.  During the drive, I noticed that he was fiddling with it, his left hand down in the compartment.

“What’s the matter?” I couldn’t resist asking.  “Your banana making too much noise?”

“Well. . . yes.

I’m not kidding!   I suppose it hit the side when we went over a rough patch on the highway.  That’s just a guess, since I never heard it.

So exactly what snacks should I pack for a 600-mile trip if even a banana causes too much commotion?  I wonder if our cooler is soundproof.

Perhaps I’ll leave the snack selections up to him.

Let’s see what he can drum up besides the dashboard.


11 thoughts on “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?

  1. Birdie

    opposite problem at our household. And if HE can’t hear it, and it is something requiring some technical expertise to fix (use of a screwdriver), then there is nothing to fix. Because he can’t hear it. So he says.

  2. Mine is losing his hearing too. During family movie night we had to put the subtitles on so the volume could remain at a comfortable level for the rest of the family.
    My mother warned me that those “endearing little habits” that you notice while dating become pebbles in your shoe once you are married……I believe her now.

    1. Birdie

      To Kim
      For the past eight years MY DB has had “hound ears” or “TV ears” they are wonderful!! Connect set to transmitter, very tiny, and listener has headset that wirelessly receives the signal. Listener can adjust volume, so if others are listening and TV is audible to others, maybe just one ear with most volume is enough to assit. If listening alone, total silence in room for everyone else. Some men hate them, refuse to wear them or they interfer with hearing aids. BUT for us, a life saver!

  3. Let’s see, what snacks for your trip? Marshmallows..no, they might go “squoosh” when you bite into them. Cotton candy..no, that makes a squeaky sound on your teeth, although, it might glue his fingers to the dashboard after he eats it, eliminating the drumming problem. No, I think you’re only alternative is hooking him up to an IV, but then again, the constant “drip, drip, drip” would drive him nuts. (I think YOU should just go for it and eat fried pork rinds the whole trip and crackle your way to Indianapolis.)

  4. OMG! That is my husband. He drives me crazy. He is always stopping and cocking his to the side (looking like some stupid dog), and saying “do you hear that?” And since I attended a particularly earsplitting Midnight Oil concert in my youth, which has come back to haunt me now, my answer is always, “No.”

  5. LOL ..Try driving down the road in a Motorhome..LOL..rattles coming from everywhere..and my husband blames me for not securing things…I sometimes search out the offending rattle and fix it..but crap..theres allot to rattle here..

    Sure have missed your posts..
    I have one night of wifi and am trying to catch up..
    and I am hoping now that we are closer to cities..I will have internet thru my att card.
    see u in cyberspace!

  6. Spoken like a true Venusian, sounds a lot like this house. My husband is trying to teach me how to notice if the hot water circulator is not working properly. All you have to do is listen. Thanks for making my day.

  7. That is uncanny. My husband complains about the noise from the dashboard. He’d yell at the kids: “Quiet! there is a noise!… Oh, shit, The car is falling apart.” He’s such a worry wart. Too bad we cannot afford the very highend cars that do not make any road noise. It is a car. It makes noise when it is on the road! Ugh.

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