*clasping ears, staggering around*

I'm not always the brightest taco in the piñata.

While trying to find an online hearing test for my dog, who has been ignoring low rumbly things like fire trucks lately, I found a thing on The Oatmeal site that said, "See if you can hear like a teenager!"

Well, who can resist that?

Flashback. My grandpa used to have an alarm to keep the mice out of his shop, one of those little devices that emits a high frequency squeal. It was the most painful sound in the universe. I understood why it would make mice run. Every time I had to go get something from the shop, I would dive in and out again as fast as I could.

From this I established the fact that my ears are quite healthy in the upper register, thanks.

The lower register drives me nuts. Any time I hear a low frequency rumble, I get nauseous, easily confused,'s my Kryptonite. It has now reached the point where I wear ear plugs whenever I'm walk alongside streets with too much traffic. The rumble of combustion engines makes me want to fling myself into a wall. Hooray for the future day of blissfully silent electric cars!

I'm curious about things like this (synesthesia and such), so I started reading about all the various auditory/neurological issues that are floating around out in the great wide world, waiting to settle on some innocent's unsuspecting head. Phonophobia (the fear of certain sounds), misophonia (intolerance of certain sounds - hello, low frequencies), hyperacusis (oversensitivity to certain sounds...)

Wait, I think I have that last one too. This just confirms my theory that if you have any little quirky tic or pet peeve, someone somewhere has come up with a medical term for it. Are we nothing more than a jumbled collection of diagnoses?

I fell for the irresistible temptation of seeing if I "had hearing like a teenager." What I got was a redux of my grandpa's mouse whistle blasting out through my computer speakers. Could not fumble for the keyboard fast enough.

I may be bleeding at the ears now, but at least I've won a prize, yay:

The Teenager Audio Test - Can you hear this sound?

(Created by The Oatmeal)


Wendy Wagner; said...

Kt, that was awful. My ears want a massage or something after that!

Brett Minor said...

I played the sound and heard nothing. I thought it was a joke, but my daughter (16 y/o) yelled from the next room, "What is that? Turn it off!"