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Ears don't wiggle

     Ears don't wiggle. They just don't. No matter how hard you listen, your ears just sit there. You can't tell if someone's listening to you by watching their ears. Ears don't wiggle.

     To talk, you have to move every muscle in your face, throat and on down into your diaphragm. You put in all that effort, but is anyone listening? You don't know. You don't see any ears wiggling. On some people, you can't see their ears at all—they're covered with hair. But even then, if the ears were wiggling, there'd be some sign.

     So maybe they're listening and maybe they're not. For all you know, some of them might be thinking about the sound of waves crashing on the beach or planning their next party. Even if they're fascinated and listening to your every word, you'll never know. Ears don't wiggle.

     If ears wiggled, we'd have to listen. Otherwise the person talking to us would repeat herself over and over and over—until she detected some motion in the area of our ears. By the time it was our turn to talk, chances are the phone would ring.

     The phone and wiggling ears—that could be a problem. I saw a gal driving by the other day with her phone held tightly to her ear. If she had to wiggle her ears to hear the person on the other end, the phone would have to move away from her wiggling ears. And then she couldn't hear.

     Think about it: if ears did wiggle, teachers could judge the effectiveness of their lectures by checking the wiggle-rate of their students' ears. If the students were really processing the information, their ears might even stir up a slight breeze in the hot, stuffy classroom.

     And bosses could tell their employees, "Yes, you did hear me say the report was due yesterday. See? I recorded your wiggle-rate at ten per second." Can't argue with that.

     The real reason that ears should wiggle is to give us a better appreciation of listening—a skill we tend to take for granted. Ask anyone if they're a good listener and they'll say, "Oh, yes!" But if you ask them to repeat what you just said, they'll likely change the subject.

     Being difficult to wiggle your ears, that would kind of even things up. You have to move all those muscles to talk, so you think about what you're saying. If you had to move your ears to listen, you might think about what you're listening to. And you might not interrupt so often, or finish other people's sentences while they're still talking.

     Everyone knows communication is a two-way street—the speaker and the receiver. Until the message is received and processed, there's no communication. It's just noise. Happens all the time. Lots of people talking, no one listening. It rarely happens the other way—lots of people listening, no one talking.

     Seems to me the ears are the problem. Those silent, motionless ears. It's beyond me why they were designed without moving parts. Animals' ears move. If you have a dog, you've noticed how he perks up his ears at the first hint of a sound.

     Yes, I know this is all nonsense, but most of us are much better talkers than listeners because we practice a lot. But if we're all talking and no one's listening—why are we making all that noise?

     Although. . .  when we're watching television or wedged in a seat in a movie theater, we do listen, since we can't respond to the person talking. Wait! I take that back. Bet you've talked to the TV. It's most common when watching football, baseball, a politician. . .

     But most of the time we'd rather be talking than listening. Don't ask me why. If I knew I'd tell you, but I doubt you'd wiggle your ears and listen.

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