The Secret Deafie: I wanted to drop-kick a box-office assistant

Posted on March 2, 2012

The Secret Deafie is a series of anonymous columns written by different writers. Our third contributor tells us about an encounter at a cinema box office…

I went to the cinema the other day to see a subtitled film. No good can come of this if you’re a deaf person, I know, but I thought I would give it a go.

I dutifully went to the cash desk and politely asked for a ticket to see the film of my choosing.

I flaunted my Cinema Exhibitors Association Disability Card and did my discreet “eyes looking to my hearing aid” kind of thing.

The male box office assistant replied: “Cahocarr?”

“Pardon?” I said.


“Say again?”


I gave a little sigh, trying to work out on the spot what to do or say next.

I went for: “I can’t tell what you’re saying, sorry.”

A queue was emerging behind me.

He gave me a look of contempt.

Then shouted again:


At this point, I’d like to say I jumped over the cash desk and throttled the man, screaming at him, “Speak the Queen’s English, using full clear sentences, damn you!” then slapping him for his impertinence to roll his eyes at me because I don’t understand lazy dictation. And then kicking him as far as he can fly, ideally to a nearby deaf awareness class.

I didn’t. I wish I had.

By this time, I had finally worked out what he was asking me. “Cash or card?” I waved my credit card at him and gave a steely glare, paid, got my tickets and saw my film.

And then I had my fantasy revenge at home, writing this blog.

Do you have a story or experience you’d like to share? If you’d like to write a Secret Deafie column, just email .

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