1. “He’s commenting on Janis’ reduced hearing without considering his own.”

    So …. is “can’t hear thunder” an idiom for being obliviously hard of hearing? Were we supposed to recognize it as such? I saw that Arlo was ironically equally unable to hear (although I wasn’t sure if that was supposed to be the joke) but… “She can’t hear thunder” was a really weird thing to say. Also “Poor Janis” implies sympathy when usually when your spouse can’t hear you you get irritated. Is Janis actually going deaf?

    Also I got distracted as he seems to be settling down to watch TV just as supper is being served. That seemed as though it ought to be more significant than Arlo shouting about Janis not speaking clearly.

  2. Idiom or no, I still need to trot out my first-take theory on that phrase: I figure Arlo has become a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team. And he is disappointed that Janis does not share this enthusiasm with him — or, as those fans would say of outsiders, she “can’t hear the Thunder”. 🙂

  3. Actually Mitch. I seriously thought Thunder might be a reference to what was on TV which could be either a basketball game or a car race.

  4. A man talks to his doctor friend and says he thinks his wife is losing her hearing. The doctor friend says, “When you get home, stand behind her when she isn’t aware you are there. Ask her a question. If she doesn’t answer, move a little closer and ask again. Repeat until she hears. See how close you get.”

    The man gets home and sees his wife in the kitchen cutting something up. He is pretty sure she doesn’t know he is back there, so he says, “What’s for dinner?” No answer. He takes a step closer. “What’s for dinner?” Again, no answer. He takes another step in, “What’s for dinner.” She turns around and says, “For the third time, chicken!”

  5. Woozy’s comments is exactly why I submitted it. I could see the connection with them both not hearing well, but “can’t hear thunder” seems like a weird way to put Janis’s deafness. If this is a common idiom, I’ve never heard it. So that brings up the question – is this a regional saying?

  6. I’ve never heard the idiom, but I like it. Most people lose high-frequency hearing first, so if you can’t hear thunder (very low-frequency), then you must be really deaf.

  7. beckoningchasm, I suspect this is the strip you’re thinking of. No thunder, just generally scary weather:

  8. I’ve heard the idiom – it’s usually used for obtuseness, not hearing loss. [they] “can’t see lightning or hear thunder”. Here’s one link I found that uses it that way. https://juanitajean.com/she-also-cant-see-lightning-or-hear-thunder/ – political.

    I don’t know if Jimmy was making a joke about the idiom, or just liked the phrase and used it (wrong), or…

    This is also true at my parents’ house – especially from the living room to the kitchen, and double especially if the water’s running or the coffee maker is going. Not so much at my house since there’s no one to hear me except the cats (and their deafness comes from other reasons…).

  9. I meant to read this to my wife, but forgot to do so while she was standing right by me (here at the computer). I called to her as she was leaving the room, but she didn’t hear my raised voice.

  10. For 30 or so (or longer) years I have trouble hearing when there are other sounds in the room (TV, toilet flushing, other people talking, washing machine going, etc) or if the room has a high ceiling (such as gymnasium). I had my hearing checked twice and both times I was told that my hearing is fine. This hearing problem has the annoyed the heck out of Robert over the decades (okay, sometimes – rarely – I do pretend not to hear him when I am annoyed).

    In more recent years HE does not hear, even if there is no other sound in the room and insists the problem is not him – but that one is talking to him in too low a voice or the TV is not on loud enough. He will come into the room where I am watching TV and say “why are they are whispering” or “can you really hear that”.

    In dealing with with my 91 year old mother who also could not understand that she could not hear, he finally agreed he has a problem (though I still get the same 2 comments when he comes into the room and I am watching TV).

    We had been schelpping mom to doctors before the pandemic hit – finally getting her caught up on everything she needed and we work VERY part time while my sisters and BILs work full time and he finally understood that he has trouble hearing and needs to get it dealt with. When at the doctor with my mom I feel like I am in “National’s Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” As I yell the doctor’s questions and comments to mom I hear in the back of my head “THE BLESSING. THEY WANT YOU TO SAY THE BLESSING”. We had planned to take mom for her hearing after the cardiologist, the oncologist, surgeon, etc were dealt with – but we never got to all of them before we stopped last February. Robert had agreed to get his hearing checked after mom did – so still waiting for that again.

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