I’ll try to keep this brief. Sort of.
Went camping this past weekend. Not far – a place only 70 miles east of us. Counts as the local Renaissance Festival. We booked a site at a camp ground about 5 miles from the Festival site (VERY close to Lake Ontario) and planned to stay there Friday & Saturday night.
Got there Friday afternoon, got the camper parked & set up. Settled down with a cocktail, played some Yahtzee, stared at the campfire for a while (magical) and turned in.
Did the Festival the next day. Really interesting event. Saw lots of skits, one man acts, couple of girls doing gymnastics kind of stuff, but everyone keeping it true to the period. Spent the day there, couldn’t quite get to see everything but resolved to return. Also resolved to get reservations at the State Park a little farther from the festival site, but we need to plan 9 months ahead for that.
Anyhow. Get back to camp late afternoon early evening. Having a cocktail, playing yahtzee again. Realized that rather than pack up in the morning and head home, we could easily be home getting ready to sleep in our own beds in less than two hours. Figuring I was about to sweat a bit while packing up camp (it was near 90 still at 6:30 – weird for these parts) I popped out my bionic ears (yeah – my hearing aids) and put them in my pocket.
Packed, hitched up the camper, rolled on out of there. Got home, unpacked what we had to for the evening and settled down on the porch to unwind. Had the TV on, so I reached into my pocket to get my bionic ears and – they weren’t there. $3K worth of miniature hardware NOT IN MY POCKET!
I was pretty much shitting bricks by that point. It was dark out, no point in searching our yard. Besides I hadn’t really gone into my pocket for truck keys or anything while we were parking the camper. My fear? When I pulled the truck keys out of my pocket at the camp or when we stopped for gas, the wire to my bionic ears got caught up in the keys and they inadvertently flew out of my pocket.
So. I slept poorly, waited till morning, grabbed breakfast. Did a cursory search of our yard near the camper. No luck. Saddled up the truck and started the drive back to the camp ground. On the way, I stopped at the gas station where I filled up the night before. A Fast Trac with 4 pump islands. The specific Island I used was occupied, so I headed inside and asked the cashier if anyone had turned in a set of hearing aids last night or this morning. She looked excited, like she was glad I asked that question and she scampered back to the office. But – no luck. When I headed out of the store my island was open, so I took a good look around. Guess what? Found one. To my right ear (the better ear actually) Sadly, it looked like it had been run over once or twenty times – hard to say. The battery was still with it, but it too was a wee bit crushed. I put the thing in my ear, closed the battery hatch and waited. Nothing. No little chime telling me hello. Looked around some more, didn’t see the other one, so I continued on to the camp – another 15 miles off.
Got to the campground, drove in like I owned the place. Technically, I didn’t have to check out for another 30 minutes or so, so I kinda did own a piece of it still. Drove back to the campsite we had, parked no where’s near where I was the night before and started looking. Some lady in a golf cart came by, asked if I had lost anything. Figuring she was one of the owners, I played nice and admitted that I think I may have lost a hearing aid here the night before. She looked suitably concerned and started looking too. Then the gal from the next campsite over came and started looking. So two minutes at the campsite and I have 3 sets of eyes on the ground. It took another whole minute of looking before I actually found my left bionic ear and it looked to be in perfect shape. Didn’t dare try it out just yet, I was just glad to have it. I thanked my assistants and headed for home.
Once home (3 hours after I left – 95% of the time spent driving) I put new batteries in both bionics and tried them out. The left ear worked fine, the right ear chimed ok and the volume control worked, but I think the connection to the mic was broken. Internal command functions all chimed like they should, but I don’t get any boost of external sounds. Kind of sucks, but I’ll test out how good the warranty is. Even if the warranty won’t cover my being a dumb-ass, at least I’ll have to replace only one device, not both. Still can’t believe how lucky I got, finding both like that.