The Secret Deafie: The day I found myself on the hearing man’s side

Posted on April 11, 2015

At weekends and bank holidays, we publish popular articles from our archive, which you might have missed the first time round! Tell us which articles you think should be reposted by emailing

A few weeks ago, I was on a bus home with my girlfriend when a man in his mid-30s wearing hearing aids got on.

Both of us hadn’t seen him around before, even though we’ve lived in the same area for years. He walked through the bus before sitting down a few rows behind us.

A moment later, I looked round and just then, I saw the deaf man sneeze, heavily, twice.

Then the hearing man sitting next to him said something . I didn’t lipread exactly what it was, but he had a friendly look on his face. It looked like “bless you.”

The deaf man wasn’t looking at him when he said it, so he couldn’t see exactly what he said. But his reaction was to suddenly look up at him, angrily, and shout “I’M DEAF!” Everyone on the bus looked round.

The deaf man then got up in a huff, shaking his head, before sitting in the empty seat behind them. The hearing man looked mortified and a bit confused about what had happened.

As we got off the bus to walk home, I realised something.

This was the first time I’d ever found myself on the hearing person’s side.

*Transcribed by Editor Charlie Swinbourne from BSL.

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

The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. 

Make sure you never miss a post by finding out how to follow us, and don’t forget to check out what our supporters provide: 

The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. 

Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.

The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below: