Darn You, Ted Nugent
Flashback to 1976.
Three teenagers are sitting in a ’65 Mustang on a side street outside the Cow Palace in San Francisco waiting for a Ted Nugent rock concert.
TIM: This is gonna be a cool show.
KURT: Yeah. Maybe there’ll be some good looking girls in there, too.
BEN: Uh, yeah. Say, who is that pulling up behind us?
TIM: Uh oh.
KURT: We’re busted, dudes. It’s the cops. What about all this Lucky Lager?….
…. Three hours later the same teenagers are again sitting in the ’65 Mustang. Terrible Ted has just rammed ear-bleeding guitar through 50,000 idiotic teenagers’ flesh-torn eardrums.
TIM: WOW, WHAT A GREAT SHOW!
KURT: DID YOU SAY SOMETHING, TIM?
BEN: CAN YOU GUYS SPEAK UP? MY EARS ARE RINGING SO BAD, I CAN’T HEAR A WORD.
TIM: BUT I’M SHOUTING.
TIM: OH YEAH, I LIKED THAT PART TOO! AND WHAT ABOUT WHEN TED GOT HIS GUITAR FEEDING BACK, THEN LEFT IT IN FRONT OF THE AMPLIFIERS FOR 10 SOLID MINUTES! MAN, THAT GUY IS A STUD!
BEN: FOR SURE, DUDE! WHAT A SET OF *&^%!… SHE WAS TOTALLY BABE-ACIOUS!
The above account is true, more or less. And today, 30 years later, my ears are still ringing, no joke. I get to listen to them every night, serenading me to sleep: “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…..”
My kids think it’s darned funny, when Cindy and I are trying to communicate. “… What was that, hon? Take out the trash?”
“No. I said, please take a bath.”
We both have bad hearing, thanks to too much loud music and occupational noise. I was a construction worker and ranch hand for years, not to mention gun enthusiast. At one time, I also played a pretty mean electric guitar — which always sounded better cranked up (my amp goes to 11).
Here’s the problem with our ears. They have no defense mechanism. Eyes have eyelids. Skin can sense pain and move away. Mouths can close. Our nose has a built-in filtration system. Ears simply stay open and take it. And if we don’t have the sense to protect them with artificial means, “eh?.. what was that?…”
Another interesting thing about ears: when the volume is loud, they actually hear better if protected. Ears are finely-tuned acoustical devises intricately designed for very low volume. They evolved to assist us in hunting and avoiding being hunted — tasks much better accomplished with the ability to hear a twig snap a hundred yards away. In the early days of humans, there were no loud noises to worry about. In today’s raucous society we subject our ears to abuse they were never designed for. Loud noises cause our eardrums to distort, just like cheap speakers being over-driven. We hear loud noises better if they’re cut back a few dozen decibels, say through the use of hearing protection.
So nowadays I wear earplugs for nearly everything: hammering, sawing, operating equipment, mowing the lawn, everything. And I’m teaching my kids to do the same. Some day they’ll probably want to go to a rock show; who knows, maybe even Ted Nugent. I just hope they take a good set of earplugs with them.
Tim Garrison of ConstructionCalc.com, is a professional engineer, author and software producer for the building industry. Send e-mail to email@example.com. Tim reads every one.
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The views expressed in this article represent the personal views, statements and opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views, statements, opinions or policies of the National Association of Home Builders. NAHB does not necessarily endorse any of the views expressed by the author and NAHB is not responsible for any direct or indirect consequences arising out of the views expressed in this article.
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