i shall walk upon the beach...

Do you ever watch the cooking show, Chopped?  I like it and I learn something every time, for example:

asafoetida |ˌasəˈfiːtɪdə, -ˈfɛt-| (USasafetida)


1 [ mass noun ] a fetid resinous gum obtained from the roots of a herbaceous plant, used in herbal medicine and Indian cooking.

2 a Eurasian plant of the parsley family, from which asafoetida gum is obtained.

 They had to cook with it the other night. This is not about food or cooking.

Lately I have been bothered by the background music during the show; it’s so loud I can’t make out exactly what the cooks or critics are saying, or when I do, the music is annoying.  I noticed when I watch the public channel (WNED where I live) that BBC productions have a lot of ambient noise that makes it difficult for me to understand a Yorkshire accent, for example. I had my annual medical checkup recently and I asked my doctor about it just as she was going to recommend a hearing test. I’m the right age for it.  Well, my test revealed some hearing impairment, enough to warrant some aid. 


I have been trying to adjust to this new onslaught.  I guess I had long since been reconciled to wearing glasses. I do remember when I started university, hiding my glasses in my binder every time I saw a boy . My father couldn’t understand why I kept breaking them.  Nowadays it would not be a problem; everything is made of plastic. The witty and acerbic American poet, Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) wrote a devastating couplet that haunted me:

Men seldom make passes

At girls who wear glasses.

The poem was called News Item, published in 1927.

l was comforted by the rebuttal written by Ogden Nash (1902-1971),  another American poet best known for his light verse.  I’m going to write this without checking, not sure if I can find the whole poem online:

Yes, girls who are be-spectacled

Will never get their neck tickled.

But safety pins and bassinets

Await the girl who fascinets.

I found it! 

I almost had it:

A girl who is bespectacled

She may not get her necktacled;

But safety pins and bassinets

Await the girl who fassinets.

 His spelling is a little different. This is not about Parker or Nash.

It’s about my hearing impairment, I don’t want to call it loss. But it is. It is a loss, another slipping away of my faculties and strengths as I age..  That’s what  I'm having trouble with. TSEliot again (I quoted him yesterday), this time from memory:

I grow old, I grow old,

I shall have my trousers rolled.

Do I dare to eat a peach?

Here’s the original:

I grow old ... I grow old ...

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach? 

Ai me.

I had better quit while I’m ahead while I still have most of my marbles.