An old gentleman grew hard of hearing and was beset with apprehension that he would become totally deaf.
One day, as he rested on a park bench, another elderly citizen seated himself alongside. The apprehensive old gentleman saw that the new comer was talking rapidly, but his ears caught no faintest sound of the other’s voice. He listened intently – in vain. He cupped a hand to his ear, but there was only silence.
At last, in despair, he spoke his thought aloud: “It’s come at last! I know you’ve been talking all this while, but I haven’t heard a single word.”
The answer, given with a grin, was explicit and satisfying to the worried deaf man: “I hadn’t been talking – I’m just chewing gum.”