I have hearing damage and it’s hilarious.
I started playing electric guitar when I was 16, and before long I was in punk rock bands, and then for money I started roadieing for a covers band, and in 1995 I skyrocketed into the professional music touring industry where I destroyed my soul and learnt how to hate myself with comedic flair. At the sexy age of 45 I’ve been around loud things, drugs, and alcohol nearly my whole life. Result? Hearing damage of course. From tinnitus to that ultrasound swish in my ear, I’m finally going a little potty, but it’s not without moments.
The other day while travelling with my way-back employers – Downpatrick’s finest Ash – we were flying to Cork. It was a one-off gig, so we packed light, trying to avoid excess baggage fees. One piece of equipment is pretty hi-tech, so we always bluff it as hand luggage. It was my turn to carry this stupid bit of kit, and as I approached the gate, an Aer Lingus employee told me
“Tha won fut un tha obahang logga”
“Tha won’t fit in tha obahang logga”
“That won’t fit in the overhead locker”
Ah, fuck, right, got it. Okay.
So she tagged the bit of gear, and off I went light as a feather. We then boarded a bendy bus that would take us to the plane. We waited and waited, and waited some more. Eventually the same employee came on board and asked:
“Ih dehr a muggmurrah on boar?”
People look around, and I think to myself “Ah, she’s asking for a McMurray! We have one of those.” So I shout for drummer Rick, point him to the woman asking, and she has to re-scan his boarding pass.
A few minutes later we’re still waiting, and she comes on board again:
“Ih dehr annugga muggmurrah on boar?”
Okay, she means another McMurray.
You see on the original booking, Rick’s brother Mike was supposed to be with us, and now this woman probably thinks Mike has done a runner, currently dismantling the plane. Nope, after a change of plans Mike’s not with us today. But the airline has to do its sums. And it’s weird, because Mike didn’t even check in, but whatever. The point is… that word I thought I heard – annugga – was funny to me. And when I told the others what I thought I heard her say, a good ol fashioned meme started to grow. Unbeknownst to Mike McMurray, his new nickname became Annugga.
And the fun doesn’t stop there.
Take a song, any song, with the word another in the lyrics:
‘Another one bites the dust’… Well that just becomes ‘annugga one bites the dust’.
Annugga girl, annugga planet. We don’t need annugga hero. Annugga day for me and you in paradise. I have fallen for annugga, she can make her own way home. Endless fun!
And you can get creative, colouring outside the lines! The one that still makes me laugh is Rick Astley’s evergreen ditty:
Annugganugga give you up
Annugganugga let you down
Annugganugga run around and desert you.
You get the fuckin picture.
In the end though, it wasn’t just my dodgy hearing that sprung this font of hilarity. I wasn’t the only one who had trouble understanding the Aer Lingus employee, so it’s likely she had some kinda speech impediment, or perhaps was practically deaf herself.
I’m not gonna lie and say all this isn’t funny, because it definitely is. If you’re us.