Ten of us twenty-something year olds, all friends, piled into my old station wagon and went to the roller rink. It was an old fashioned rink with disco music. One of us, Jason, was deaf. He was very good at lip reading, but one thing he couldn’t do was figure out how loud to speak. He usually talked in a near-whisper, probably because as he was growing up, everyone told him he was too loud most of the time.
All evening long, since it was very loud in the rink with the music, children shouting, and the sound of the a hundred pairs of skates on the floor, we all had to shout to be heard. So naturally, all night long, we were telling Jason, “Louder!,” so we could hear him. Finally, he started yelling loud enough to be heard.
Suddenly, the music stopped. A little girl had fallen and didn’t get right up. They turned off the music and announced over the PA that we had to line up against the sides of the rink while the staff came out to make sure she was okay. (She was.) It became so quiet you could hear pages turning in a book.
Jason saw us all lining up, and he did too, but looked confused, since he hadn’t heard the announcement. Looking right at me, he shouted at the top of his lungs, “WHAT THE F***’S GOING ON?”