I don't know what it is like to be my age for anybody else - but let me assure you, when one has a child - or children - or a partner - or a nagging pet - you have certain responses to stimuli that affect your whole life.
So, for example, you have one of those kids - or mobs - or scolds - or moggies - that can get a squeal or moan or rumble on that requires you to turn down your listening ability.
While this reaction certainly has its advantages, the ability to switch off active listening and just let the hum of family life does actually impact on other parts of your life. Apparently.
You have to try harder - or appear to try harder - to be connecting with those other people - or animals - when such a noise is not happening.
And this, folks, is when I recently came to a startling realisation.
Its not deliberate.
Apparently, it wasn't that I had magicked the annoying noise away. It is that the noise had been magicked away by the aging process, and the register that I didn't want and had been trying to ignore - had given up the ghost.
No matter how much I concentrated, those young people around were mumbling more and failing to make any sense whatsoever (this may actually be due to more than poor parenting and lollies after each effort on the sports field).
In this instance, it might actually be your - well, my - fault.
My body is failing me - while, in my household, it is enabling me.
Technology enables me also, and the television - what little of it that we watch these days - has a handy dandy feature where you can sub-title every day television.
Yay for digital!!!
Anyhow, some badly programmed computer or underpaid asian bilinguist breaks through the communication barrier to the middle-aged, over-tired, deafening matron on this side of the screen, and unlocks the secrets of what is meant to be being said with the visual clues.
Sometimes it is minutes behind and completely incomprehensible - I have seen news bulletins where a football story talks about "afraid rupert did come cushions free salting inns twitches..." where the presented clearly said "an affray. Reportedly concussion resulting in stiches..."
Other times it is beautiful poetry, saving us from crap reception and even translating what we the pixels are meant to be, with the advice that chirping crickets and thematic music was in our mind's eye.
However, I am disappointed that many marketers have failed to realise the potential of this little device, and do not even do a basic translation for the hearing impaired.
Indeed, they could play it even smarter than that, and really pinpoint a conversation with the viewing audience by using this technology.
While saying what a marvellous lifestyle of misogyny was on offer with a certain brand of beer during the football, the caption could actually be "yeah, laugh and clench now, love, because if the hubby thought FOR ONE MOMENT that your sweetheart would be one of these louts, it would be no action for a week and spaghetti every night of the week because he so much as smirked at something that you know to be base boorish behaviour, but you are onto that - give him a beer and toss your head, say "hmmph, satire" and pretend you get it on a whole different level - it will keep him perpetually off guard."
Bam. Directly through to she who controls the beer budget.
Or you could be a really smart operator, and sell the caption rights for your ads through to another company - cross-promotion if you will - the censors will never see it, as they don't need captions and use the ad breaks to microwave pizzas - and so while you are selling something wholly worthwhile to parents - say lawnmowers or fence colours - you could do much for literacy levels in the children of today with a "hey, children of Australia, if you really want that lolly, how about telling your parents that you can work out the percentage difference in a sale price, because Shockolotof Sugarbars will be 50% off all this week - that is HALF PRICE - which is only three dollars and seventy-five cents. Your parents will be so astonished at your mad maths skills, they will cave so easy"
Of course, it would need to be a really long ad to fit all of that it, because kids reading levels these days is abysmal.