The Telephone “Game”

I hate the telephone game. That’s the one where a message is passed down a line of people via whispers. The first person whispers the message to the second person who then whispers it to the third person, and so on. The idea is to get the message down the line intact, but it usually gets changed as a result of people mishearing each other. I remember being required to play it many times during my childhood. Adults always made us play if we had to wait in a line for very long.

If someone wanted to invent a game that would make hard-of-hearing kids feel like crap while encouraging others to dislike them, I think they would have come up with this game. I hated being expected to hear people without being able to read their lips at all. I often couldn’t decipher any of what was whispered to me, so I had to just make something up to keep the game going. The other kids would get upset when the end message was too different from the beginning message too many times. Eventually they’d figure out that I was the one screwing it up, then everyone would get frustrated with me for playing the game wrong.

I wish I would ever have been allowed to opt out. My hearing impairment was documented. I hated playing that crappy game, and everyone hated playing it with me. I wish I had been allowed to quietly hone my mental math skills instead.