Some of my observations involve observing the observations of others. I suppose these would be considered observational hearsay.
My dad has read MY books to school children and to seniors…from kindergartners to nonagenarians. He once said that he feels like an old man when he reads to young children, and like a teenager when he reads to the elderly. How astute. Of course, he once said that he gets brain freeze when he eats ice cream and indigestion from pickled herring. If you give unlimited numbers of chimpanzees typewriters (err…laptops) and a lot of time, a great novel will emerge. After enduring years of Dad running his mouth, I’ve reluctantly accepted the inevitability of him uttering a phrase on a rare occasion that strays from his typical irrational drivel. And, for him, I suppose a rational, drivel-less statement would be a celebratory event.
But I’m still waiting for it to happen. As a canine companion, it is my job to be forever optimistic and supportive of his efforts. So, as some folks believe that they will one day win the lottery, I believe that Dad will one day say something profound. We all have our dreams. But here’s the thing: If he does say something worth hearing, it may come at any time..even in his sleep (which is probably more likely). So, I must maintain constant vigilance and remain unerringly observant. There’s only one problem. As I have aged into a distinguished, polished and seasoned veteran of the Aussie persuasion, my once acute hearing has significantly diminished. Oh, I can still hear sounds, but it has become increasingly difficult to discern words. So, unless Dad miraculously has a profound thought and commits it to writing, I may miss it altogether. That is akin to missing some astounding astronomical event that only occurs once every 500 years.
I have, therefore, asked him to write everything down for me. In the three weeks since I made this request, he has written “Stay” and “Lie Down.” And those words were meant for Mom. It’s hopeless, but I am adapting. Today, I will swallow my canine pride and be fitted with a hearing aid. Anything to maintain ALL my powers of perception lest I miss the verbal pearls spewing from Dad’s mouth as waste from a sewage pipe.
If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound? If Dad falls in the forest and makes an intelligent observation like, “Dammit..who put that f–kin’ log there?’, who will know unless I am there to dutifully observe and record these words of wisdom? But if I record his statements, and that’s my observational hearsay, how can you be sure they are accurate? Trust me, I can’t make this stuff up.