Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wanted: TTY/TDD large printing telephone for the hearing impaired

My sign language interpreting skills paid off again yesterday. I have this 'insane' habit of playing the role of a deaf woman. At home and away from home. Anytime really. It just takes over my whole body. We practice 'talking' deaf at home. We sign nursery rhymes and songs at home.

(If you read my blogosphere drivel, then you know I have the "no-hear-ums", I use closed-caption, I ignore, and I don't listen.)

My children and I were on our way to Target, just six miles from home, when sirens started wailing and thus, I was pulled over by a friendly policeman.

Child #1: "Were you driving the speed limit?"
Me: "Only five over... but that shouldn't warrant a pull-over!"
Child #1: "Oh NO!"
Child #2: Starts crying and announces the obvious, "Daddy's NOT going to be happy."
Child #3: Is already wailing, "Waaaaaaaa!"
Child #2: "If you get a ticket, does that count as your birthday present?"
Me: "Let me handle this... no laughing, no talking, NOTHING!"

Officer approaches car. Officer gestures to window. Officer gestures for my license and insurance papers. Officer pauses, rubs his head, and begins to fidget.

The window is down and I dramatically start fiddling with my ear. Adjusting my 'pretend' hearing aid. I gesture to my ear. I suddenly start using hand gestures and signs ... very quickly and efficiently (mainly I begin signing the "Pledge of Allegiance" because I am good at that one). I then put on my "DEAF" voice and start mumbling about nothing in particular.

Loudly I shout, "I'n horry oh-ih-her, I con ere oo."

The officer immediately comprehended the situation ... Oh, shit! This woman is DEAF. I am thrilled that he deduced my situation so quickly. He started to apologize and he definitely wanted to ESCAPE FAST! He held his hand up to interrupt my Deaf Driveling Voice.

"You were going over the neighborhood speed limit", the officer announced slightly frustrated. And then the officer added slowly with a loud shout, "I-m s-o-r-r-y m-a-a-m b-u-t y-o-u-r b-r-a-k-e-l-i-g-h-t-s a-r-e o-u-t."

I stare at him. "I'n horry..."

He uses a stop sign hand gesture. He goes to his police car and starts writing. Oh shit. I hope it isn't a ticket. Maybe he is on to me. What could happen to me 'for deception'? Maybe I will have to appear in court and continue with my charade. If my deception pisses off said officer, I suppose he could haul my ass to jail and call my 'mommy and daddy' or worse, my husband.

He comes back and hands me a hand written note stating that my brakelights are out.

I smile a big fake smile. I nod in acknowledgement. The officer looks in the back seat at the children. One is still crying. One is looking down, almost pretending to be asleep. And one is looking at the officer.

The officer speaks to child #1: "Hi there, you take care of your mother, OK?" (Like I need taking care of...)

Child #1 looks confused but she responds to the officer: "I'n horry, I con ere oo". She speaks in her perfect six year old deaf voice.

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