By DARREN HANDSCHUH
You often hear people talk about the next generation and “Those young kids this” and “These kids that,” but really, teens and the older folk of the world have a lot in common.
For example, when I go to my parents for a visit, my dad has the TV just loud enough to cause your eardrums to bleed. This works OK for hockey games because it kind of adds to the feel of the event, but do we really need to hear the weather forecast at a volume typically reserved for screaming howler monkeys?
And my kids have the same volume issues as dear ol' dad. When I come home from work, the youngsters have the TV at roughly the same volume as a jet taking off.
My dad does it because 40 years on the railroad has damaged his hearing, and he is closing in on 80 so the old sound detectors don't work as well as they used to.
I have had the hearing of all my kids checked, and they are fine, but they still need to crank up the volume of the TV to the point where the walls vibrate.
“Could you turn that down a bit please?” is often the plea from me and my wife.
“But then I can't hear it,” is often the reply.
Can't hear it? The TV is so loud you can hear it in space.
The boob tube does eventually have its volume toned down. Sometimes it takes the threat of “Turn it down or turn it off,” but the volume does drop. I am not sure why they need it so loud.
I shouldn't be surprised really, because as a young lad I had a blistering loud stereo in my car.
This thing could be heard from at least three blocks away, and if you had the windows rolled up you were actually at risk for a brain hemorrhage from the vibration of the woofers.
It seemed cool at the time, but as I age I realize just how much damage I did to my eardrums.
The problem back then was AC/DC just did not sound right unless it was loud enough to make your spleen hurt. And what's the point of having a really loud stereo if you don't play your music really loud?
Loud noises just don't seem to bother youth.
It certainly did not bother me back in the day, which is kinda strange because your hearing is the most acute when you are young, but the louder the better was and still is the mantra of youth.
At a recent wedding I attended, everyone was having a good laugh at the antics of the bridal party as they played different games and did silly things with the bride and groom.
The room was full of several generations of family, but as soon as the music started for the dance, the older set took off like their Metamucil had just kicked in.
It was just a blur of blue hair and canes. It was like an old people stampede, only it was real easy to get out of the way.
Meanwhile the young ones whooped and hollered as the party kicked into high gear. After a couple of songs the middle aged set (that would be me) decided we had done enough partying for one night and headed for the hotel.
Besides, it was closing in on 10 p.m. almost my bed time.
The thing is, by watching my parents I know I am merely looking into the future. One day I too will be a little ol' man sitting in a easy chair, remote in hand wondering why these new TVs aren't loud enough to hear over all the noise the sleeping dog is making.