It's blast-to-the-past time again. I found another letter I wrote, this time to Miss Manners. She doesn't list the names of people who send in questions, but this one's mine:
SJ Mercury News, November 13, 1999:
Dear Miss Manners:
I am a young adult who is hearing-impaired and consequently wears a hearing aid. I am often approached by curious children of friends and strangers who ask what is in my ear. The "glasses for ears" analogy is getting old, and I wonder if the 4-9 year-old children understand what I'm talking about anyway. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do when approached by these young people? I have not been able to come up with an answer that successfully satisfies their curiosity and also dissuades them from attempting to touch my ears.
"It's to turn up the volume." If it weren't for the satisfaction of answering your question, Miss Manners would regret that no child will fail to understand this. Your next problem will be what to say when those children ask where they can get these for themselves.
To this day, Miss Manners' advice works for me. It's stunning how she was able to come up with the perfect answer.