"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

I’m talking, are you listening?

By on May 23, 2021 in Columnist with 0 Comments
G. Wayne Hawks and his wife, Linda, have lived in and around Wenatchee for the last 19 years. They are both retired and loving it!

By G. Wayne Hawks

Hello! Long time no talk. 

How have you been? We’re pretty good this end. Like you, we’ve about had our fill of COVID! 

So, I wanted to chat a little with you about communication. As you know, I worked for a telephone company for about 15 years and back then, did a lot of thinking about communication.

About 600 years ago when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, my siblings and I were very interested in learning a second language. And, we picked one up quite easily at that age. “Pig Latin” it was called. 

The way you speak Pig Latin, in case you don’t know, is if a word starts with a consonant, you drop the first consonant and then add that consonant and ay after that word. If the word doesn’t start with a consonant, you just add Ay at the end of the word. 

For example, Pig Latin would be pronounced Ig Pay Atin Lay. One Pig Latin would be One Ay Ig Pay Atin Lay. 

Of course, if you’re Canadian, you’d say One Ay Ig Pay Atin Lay Eh? 

I spent five years in Canada and noticed nobody up there speaking Ig Pay Atin Lay Eh? I guess they realize they’d sound like they’re stuttering if they do. No offense to those who do stutter or my Canadian friends or relatives, eh? 

Another part of my education when I was younger is I learned how to send S.O.S. (Save Our Ship = HELP) in morse code just in case I found myself in trouble with a telegraph or had a hammer and bulkhead handy. 

It’s three dots, three dashes, and three dots. Years later it dawned on me if I did send an S.O.S. someone might respond with something like, “Where are you”, “What’s the problem”, etc…  All I would hear would be meaningless to me since all I ever learned were the letters S and O. 

Something else we had when I was shorter was a telephone that was attached to something called a “party line.” It had very little to do with a party. 

In case you don’t remember or know, the way a party line worked was, for us, if the phone rang twice quickly we’d pick it up, hold it to our ear and mouth, and say “Hello.” 

But, if the phone rang just once at a time, we would pick it up, put our hand over the microphone, and listen to what the neighbors were saying. Just to make sure they were okay, of course….

Traditionally, men talk to each other in strings of one to at most five words. 

Which means these men usually only listen to at most the first five words and then our minds wander back to more important things like the firing order of a 1965 Chevrolet 283 V-8 2BBL, which is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. 

Umm, I’m sorry, what was I saying? Of yes, anyway, the thing is traditionally women, as we know, speak way more words to each other and to men. 

I know the traditional men can’t begin to believe this, but most women really don’t care about the firing order of a 1965 Chevrolet 283 V-8 2BBL. 

The most common mistake I see women make in communicating with men is they say something like, “Something uplifting, something complimentary, something cheerful, something important, followed by something else positive. The men, of course, stopped listening after the second something… Which leads to these women later saying something like, “I told you five times last week…”

Truth be told though, that’s exactly why cell phones were invented. 

Go down to the grocery store any day and look around. You’ll see one or more people (probably men) with cell phones pressed to their ears saying something like, “Okay, I’ve got the T-bones for the barbecue. What else did you want? Well, where do they keep the little trees (broccoli), in relation to the meat or beer departments?”

Texting, on the other hand, was invented so non-mechanically inclined people could make a parts run and their mechanically inclined friend/partner can text to their phone, for example, that they need a set of points, condenser and rotor for a 1965 Chevelle 283 2BBL so the parts person can be shown the text and they don’t have to try to figure out what a “doohickey for the project car” might be. 

Either gender, of course, can be in either position. She might be a great mechanic and he might not be or vice versa. In the dim past, I have worked with all types.

Of course, much of the above was stereotypical clap-trap. 

Truth be told, sometimes men do talk way more. 

For example, when my friend Dan Gaab and I go backpacking, we talk all the way both out and back. At the end of those two days, we still have topics we haven’t gotten to. And, that, my friends, is about the best type of friendship there is.

Well, I hope you enjoyed our conversation. Stay safe my friends. I have to run to see if I can buy a set of points, condenser and rotor for a 1965 Chevelle 283 2BBL. 

Linda also wants me to run to Fred Meyer to get some more of those little trees or something. I’ll probably need to call her when I get there.

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