Cousin Rufus and the Lip-Reading Challenge


Dear Cousin Cletus,

If I asked how you wuz and you answered fine, and then asked me how I wuz, I couldn’t say fine.The trouble is them crazy masks, and how they keep me from hearin’ folks when they’s talking to me.

You ‘member how mah hearin’ is bad, Cletus, and ah lip read a lot? Wahl, how am I ‘posed to read people’s lips when they’s covered up with a mask?! Thet's whut ah'd like to know.

It got purty bad a couple weeks ago, when mah nephew Jeb took me to the big city to the doctor. The nurse stepped in the waitin’ room and sed somethin’ that sounded like, “Roofuf” through her mask. Wahl, if ah hadn’t been the only one in the waitin’ room, ah woulda thought she wuz talking ‘bout somebody else. She wuz callin’ mah name! Rufus!

So then ah goes in the examin’ room and here comes the doctor wearin’ one of them masks too. I guess it’s fer ever’body’s good, but I couldn’t understand a word he sed cause it wuz muffled—and anyways, I couldn’t read his lips no more.

He sed somethin’ that sounded like, “We’re gonna mumble mumble tefts, to fee if your mumble mumble if high.” Fer all I could hear, he coulda been tellin’ me he wuz gonna take out mah liver, and I wouldn’t a knowed any diff’rent.

Ahl be glad when this hyar sickness is over an’ people kin stop coverin’ up they faces. Until then, it’s a good thang we can still write letters.

Y’all come see me in the holler sometime. We’ll go to Lem’s Gen’ral Store and git us a orange sodee pop. Meanwhile, ahm hangin’ mah mask on the back porch. Ah think ah’l keep usin’ it to hold blackberries fer mah breakfast cereal.

Yours truly,

Cousin Rufus

What about you? Anybody else having trouble lip reading these days? Feel free to comment below.