In the smoking-room of a theatre, between the acts, an amiable young man addressed an elderly gentleman who was seated beside him:
“The show is very good, don’t you think?”
The old gentleman nodded approvingly, as he replied:
“Me, I always take the surface cars. Them elevated an’ subway stairs ketches my breath.”
“I said the show was a good one,” exclaimed the young man, raising his voice.
Again, the elderly person nodded agreeably.
“They jump about a good deal,” was his comment, “but they’re on the ground, which the others ain’t.”
Now, the young man shouted:
“You’re a little deaf, ain’t you?”
At last the other understood.
“Yes, sir!” he announced proudly. “I’m as deef as a post.” He chuckled contentedly. “Some folks thinks as that’s a terrible affliction, but I don’t. I kin always hear what I’m sayin’ myself, an’ that’s interestin’ enough for me.”
* * *
An excellent old gentleman grew hard of hearing, and was beset with apprehension lest he become totally deaf. One day, as he rested on a park bench, another elderly citizen seated himself alongside. The apprehensive old gentleman saw that the new comer was talking rapidly, but his ears caught no faintest sound of the other’s voice. He listened intently—in vain. He cupped a hand to his ear, but there was only silence. At last, in despair, he spoke his thought aloud:
“It’s come at last! I know you’ve been talking all this while, but I haven’t heard a single word.”
The answer, given with a grin, was explicit and satisfying to the worried deaf man:
“I hain’t been talkin’—jest a-chewin’.”