One good thing that has come from COVID is that I am actually reading more. I don’t know that it really has anything to do with COVID, perhaps it’s just cyclical for me with my visual processing issues. Recently I had two reading errors that I thought I would write about. I’ve written in the past about how my reading errors tend to be based on seeing the end of the word and then my brain calling upon the most available word that ends that way. People with normal vision generally process words by focusing more on the beginning of the word and the overall word shape. Since I am often missing both of those pieces of information with my left side deficits, this leads to some very confusing and entertaining headlines and sentences. A few days ago, while scrolling through news headlines, I read “Rabid baboon sightings in Arlington” and I immediately pictured a scene out of a movie where zoo animals are roaming the streets. I reread the headline and it turned out to be a rabid RACCOON, which clearly makes much more sense. I am fascinated by my brain going to baboon before raccoon. I really cannot recall the last time I thought of a baboon, and even now as I try to picture one, I’m somewhere between an orangutan and a chimpanzee. I should probably just Google baboon…yikes, I would be seriously concerned if one of those was roaming the streets of Arlington!
The second error that got me was a sign that said something about Deaf Chickens. I don’t remember exactly what the sign was for and clearly it wasn’t really about deaf chickens. It said something about Deaf Children. Looks like my brain was a little bit better at seeing the shape of the word, but again, what does it say about me that my brain went to chicken before children? I really don’t know. The deaf chicken sign, though, actually got me thinking about deaf chickens. I’m sure they exist. Have I ever in my life thought about the possibility of chickens being deaf or disabled in some way? In fact, most of my thoughts about the disabled are related to people. But, why wouldn’t there be just as many, if not more disabled animals out there in the world? Blind animals. Deaf animals. Sure, we’ve heard of pets who are. But wild animals. They probably don’t last all that long, sadly. That’s probably why we don’t have frequent thoughts about them! That got me wondering what life would be like for a blind bird. Probably not too easy. Or a deaf bat. Can one feel echoes? My brain is going in all kinds of terrible comedic directions now. Duck with one leg? Does it just go in circles? Now that I think about it, I suppose animals can get brain tumors too. They just don’t get radiation and chemo, unless they are house pets with owners who have the means to make that happen. Suppose this is something that zoo people have to tend to on occasion. The brain, especially a wacky one, can wander to so many interesting places…at least for today, in this weird time of COVID, rabid baboons and deaf chickens brought me some entertainment.