Oh Dear, What Did I Hear?
Anti-Anxiety Tool of the Week: Talking Funny.
This zapchen exercise can help you express some of the more difficult emotions without tensing up nearly as much as you normally would. Here's how "talking funny" works: Gently press the end of your tongue up against the back of your bottom teeth. Leave your tongue there, keeping it soft. And talk.
It will sound really absurd. Do it anyway. Talk about things that are upsetting you. Talk about how absurd you feel. You will probably end up laughing--which is part of the idea, I suspect!
This exercise also helps relax the tongue, flexes the palate, opens up just a bit more circulation at the base of the brain, and generally helps reduce the tension as you acknowledge what is bothering you.
But as zapchen creator Julie Henderson notes: "Talking funny is not the same thing as loss of compassion--not at all a way of making fun of suffering." While laughing at someone else's suffering is almost never kind or helpful, in my experience a compassionate and tender sense of humor towards one's own foibles and struggles can go a long way towards easing the pain of life.
This tool is from the sixth Toolkit. Here's a link to the Index of all toolkits. And The Mini-Toolkit: For Those with Little or No Time.
Oh Dear, What Did I Hear?
As a sort of follow-on to last week's blog on Spoonerisms, I thought I'd share a different sort of blooper, this time related to hearing.
In The Silver Chair, one of the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis includes a wonderful rendition of that classic scene in which a crotchety older person mishears what another person is saying, with comic results. This episode occurs between Glimfeather the Owl and Trumpkin the Dwarf.
"The girl's called Jill," said the Owl, as loud as it could.
"What's that?" said the Dwarf. "The girls are all killed! I don't believe a word of it. What girls? Who killed 'em?"
"Only one girl, my Lord," said the Owl. "Her name is Jill."
"Speak up, speak up," said the Dwarf. "Don't stand there buzzing and twittering in my ear. Who's been killed?"
"Nobody's been killed," hooted the Owl.
"All right, all right. You needn't shout. I'm not so deaf as all that. What do you mean by coming here to tell me that nobody's been killed? Why should anyone have been killed?"
"Better tell him I'm Eustace," said Scrubb.
"The boy's Eustace, my Lord," hooted the owl as loud as it could.
"Useless?" said the Dwarf irritably. "I dare say he is."
I kind of hate to admit it, but sometimes Lawrence and I slip into shorter versions of that scene. Because, while our hearing has gotten a bit wobbly, neither of us is quite ready to get a hearing aid. And the brain does try to make sense of what it thinks it is hearing.
I wrote a few of them down.
What was actually said: I'm going to do some planting and raking.
What the other one thought they heard: I'm going to do some ranting and raving.
What was actually said: She's from Illinois.
What the other one thought they heard: She's annoyed.
What was actually said: I'm going to look at the radar. [weather radar]
What the other one thought they heard: I'm going to look at a tomato.
We had been talking about liking a slower pace of life and not owning a TV.
What was actually said: I guess we're dinosaurs.
What the other one thought they heard: I guess we're dime stores.
Lawrence then added: There aren't many of those left either!
Quoting someone who had built a tiny house.
What was actually said: I'm not a professional builder.
What the other one thought they heard: I'm not a professional bowler.
What was actually said: They have wood-fired pizza.
What the other one thought they heard: They have deep fried pizza.
[Which, it turns out, does exist!]
What was actually said: Are you going out for your walk?
What the other one thought they heard: Are you going muckity-muck?
What was actually said: She's doing Airbnb.
What the other one thought they heard: She's doing Caribbean bean.
What was actually said: The students will be gone soon. [university students]
What the other one thought they heard: The spinach will be gone soon.
What was actually said: I want to support them.
What the other one thought they heard: I want to deport them.
Okay, okay, so maybe somebody does need a hearing aid. But who wants to admit to those stereotypical signs of aging?
Have any hearing bloopers to report?
Until next time,
Girl laughing, Eye for Ebony, unSplash
The Silver Chair cover art, Roger Hane, Collier Books
Dinosaurs, Stephen Leonard, unSplash