Virtual Earplugs Have Their Downsides

Living in a house with three loud children who don’t understand the concept of an “inside voice” or volume buttons on electronics, I have managed to perfect my noise cancellation skills with virtual earplugs. This enables me to concentrate on reading a book while Lady Gaga blasts from one door, game sounds burst from another, and little one sings to Dora at the top of her lungs.

Tuning out the world has become my specialty.

If only I could sell this invisible technology!

Today I realized that can actually be a bad thing when I had a mishap in the grocery store parking lot.

Loading groceries into the car, I was daydreaming about cooking a real meal tonight.

People keep finding my blog by searching "dangers of ketchup" so I made sure I included a bottle just for them. Welcome! This probably isn't what you were looking for. I am, however, curious why it is dangerous other than dropping a bottle on your toe. I have no idea why I'm buying a letter t.

All of the sudden I heard a car alarm

Complicated gadget.

I hit the lock and then the unlock button on my keys thinking it was me. The alarm continued. Complicated coding and computer work doesn’t phase me, but hand me a simple device like a car remote, and I’m all flustered.

I looked over and saw another car flashing and beeping. Phew! It’s not me.

It was really, really, really loud! O.K. Now where is that Mounds bar I got...

An elderly woman was in the car next to mine waiting for someone. Upset at all the noise, she gave me a hateful look, so I returned it with a “it’s not me” and continued loading the car.

La dee da da....taking my sweet time returning the cart.

Turning to walk back to my car, I suddenly realized the alarm was still blaring. See virtual earplugs totally ROCK!

The owner of the other car was standing there staring at me with the internationally recognizable facial expression “Don’t you know it is YOU?!!??”


How do I turn this thing off??!! *fumbles with keys*


When I unknowingly hit the alarm button on my car, a chain reaction was set off that could have possibly altered the future of mankind…or it just caused the other lady to think it was her, causing her to set her alarm off, making it a deafening two car alarm blast, and annoying the elderly lady next to me.

Total time to figure out it WAS me? At least four minutes.

*Shrugs* Virtual earplugs don’t come with volume controls.


  1. Bwa-ha-ha-haaa!! I’m laughing *with* you!

    Man I hate when I set off those future changing event chains. You do realize that it’s your responsibility to go back in time and correct your errors when this happens, right?

    Love the drawings, too. I can just see those facial expressions super-imposed onto your real human face lol.

    I wonder what’s up with the whole ketchup thing? Did you write an article about ketchup in the past?
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  2. Hi Melinda

    I need to get a friend of mine with two young children to read this. Their noise levels go up the closer it gets to bedtime LOL especially the younger one. And it drives my friend nuts.

    Of course when I babysit it doesn’t bother me. Probably because it’s in short spurts and I know I’ll be going home at the end of the visit. And cos Aunties can just have fun and not do the hard bits like say “NO” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Patricia Perth Australia
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  3. Virtual earplugs are especially detrimental to husbands. Turns out that tuning out your wife isn’t a good thing.
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  4. ROLF… give me a minute, I need to get up off the floor.

    OK, I am SO glad I don’t have a car alarm. I’d probably be setting the thing off and earning the hatred of every one around.

    I think you handled it wonderfully!
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  5. I too have those same earplugs! My husband is not so fortunate and often stares at me in amazement when the kids are bludgeoning each other while I continue to read. I say screw that old lady – she’s probably the same one that blares her t.v. so loud that even YOU know who won Wheel of Fortune that night…
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  6. Loved this! The pictures are great. Which brand of letter T did you buy? I’m not sure I’m satisfied with the brand I’ve been using. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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  7. very funny Melinda – was that your alarm I heard yesterday afternoon. It seems like the kind of thing that usually happens to me.

    I have a pair of real noise cancelling headphones that I used to wear on planes to drown out the crying child that always seemed to sit next to me. Now I can’t wear them and find it’s safer for me to loan my noise cancelling headphones to other passengers since the crying child next to me is my own.
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    • HA HA!! It was loud enough to be heard that far. Yep..everything you complain about before becoming a parent becomes a whole different story when the coin is flipped. I hate the pressure of flying with a toddler. Will they fling a juice box on a lady dressed in white? Will they kick the seat 1000 times? Will I hide in the bathroom during the ENTIRE flight?
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  8. I imagine tuning out the world is quite a useful skill. Do car alarms actually work? I think I read somewhere that they may actually prevent a theft 2% of the time.
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  9. Oh my. A two-car alarm blast. That’s priceless and not something I’ve ever seen outside of an action movie.

    Your artist skills had me cracking up. I was going to comment about the ketchup, until I saw your caption. {gives you the circle-o finger of approval}

    In addition, your cars show that you’re expanding your horizons. Finally, the sequence ending in the blush of embarrassment is definitely one for the Loo. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I only wish you had captured, on canvas, the “it’s not me” look, accompanied by her “duh! yes it is!”


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  10. Earplugs are a good idea but with my family I also need a cell so they can’t touch me at least for some time. I imagine myself sitting in the cell behind the bars with my earplugs with my back to my family and facing the window.

  11. Bwahahaha! I love how you casually returned the stroller while you’re alarm was blaring. This happened to me when I bought my car.

    I stopped at the store after being an owner for about 15 minutes and the alarm went off when I opened the driver’s side door to leave. TWO spots away sat a cop in his squad car. I was frantically trying to turn off the alarm and couldn’t figure it out. I was mortified. He must hear these things all the time because he never looked up at me. If I was a thief I’d think I’d hit paydirt.

    Anyhow, I called the dealership to ask how to turn the alarm off and they walked me through the steps. Apparently, the “Panic” button on my fancy keychain was inadvertently pressed. Glad to know that if I WAS being attacked, the cop would have had my back. Hmph.
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  12. That is too funny! My virtual earplugs don’t work outside of the house. Unfortunately, Hubs can be talking to me for a while & I don’t hear a thing. Then later I get mad at him for never talking to me! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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  13. Lol this is so funny, I totally know where you’re coming from. If mom’s were given a job description before they actually had their kids, public embarrassment, at least once a week, would have to be on there. Or it should be on mine anyways (and hers too – ).
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  14. Lol this is so funny, I totally know where you’re coming from. If moms were given a job description before they actually had their kids, public embarrassment, at least once a week, would have to be on there. Or it should be on mine anyways (and hers too – ).
    Keshyra recently posted..SNL – High Fructose Corn Syrup Commercial ParodyMy Profile

  15. Sorry I didn’t mean to post that twice, arg. I guess that just proves my point… embarrassing, sigh.
    Keshyra recently posted..SNL – High Fructose Corn Syrup Commercial ParodyMy Profile

  16. I’m dying! Those are awesome ear plugs! Get in your science lab and figure out the formula now. Between these and your training CD’s, you are sitting on a gold mine, Melinda! Maybe you’re buying a “T” for Tooooooo Funny!
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  17. Kids really have no idea how parents or the older people around them cope with their loud voices and other forms of eardrum-popping noise, music or singing. I so wish I can develop that kind of exceptional and really effective virtual earplugs! I have a hard time trying to block out even the tiniest of noises at night. Crickets are my worst enemy! ๐Ÿ™‚
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  18. Ah, noise cancelling, virtual earplugs for a blogger who describes herself as someone in respect to whom we should “…Feel free to turn the volume down if I’m too loud.”


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  19. Hahhahahaha
    I can visualize the situation; imagine that ladyโ€™s reaction, your embarrassment. ๏Š Itโ€™s okay to have a few instances of these kinds. Would love to learn your virtual earplug technique; quite helpful at times.

    Kevin Russ