RUSH: Here is Jordan in Tracy, California. This is an 11 year old. We have another child on the phone, an 11 years old from Tracy, California. Hi, Jordan. Great to have you here. Hello.
RUSH: Welcome to the program, sir.
CALLER: I’m not a boy. I’m a girl.
RUSH: Oh, you’re a girl! I’m sorry.
CALLER: It’s okay.
RUSH: I’m terribly sorry. That’s my bad.
CALLER: No, it’s okay.
CALLER: People… I’m used it.
RUSH: (chuckles) At least somebody in your house finds it funny.
MOTHER: It’s my fault for naming her. My bad. (laughing)
CALLER: Mooooom! Unreal! Ugh.
RUSH: No, it’s nobody’s fault. It’s a beautiful name. In fact, it’s one of my all-time Top Ten favorite female names.
MOTHER: Yay! Thank you.
RUSH: Anyway, Jordan, you’re on the air. You’re on the phone here. Why did you call?
CALLER: I called because I want to ask you two things. The first one is: What’s it like having a cochlear implant?
RUSH: Well, it’s a miracle, in one sense, because without it I would be totally, 100% deaf. I mean, literally I would hear nothing. When I take it off, I hear absolutely nothing.
CALLER: My grandma’s deaf. She’s been deaf since she was two, and she’s teaching me sign language, and I wanted to know what it’s like being deaf.
RUSH: Well, it’s a great question, Jordan, actually, and you know why? It’s because you can close your eyes and feel what it’s like to be blind. But a person who can hear can put earplugs in, headphones on, but you can still hear something. A person who can hear really cannot understand what total deafness is. It’s impossible. But if you want to find out what a blind person deals with, just keep your eyes closed and try to walk around and move around and do it.
The thing that I tell people about being deaf, and that I tell other deaf people who ask whether they should get a cochlear implant, is, “One thing I’ve learned is that, you know, being deaf is a disability.” Some people call it a handicap or what have you. But it is the only one, Jordan — and at 11; you’re old enough to understand this. Being deaf is the only disability in life where other people get mad at you for not being able to hear.
People never get mad at a blind person for not being able to see. People never get mad at somebody paralyzed from the waist down for not being able to walk. But a deaf person who has to say, “What?” or ask you to repeat something, irritates people. It makes them mad. Many people think that deaf people really can hear, that they’re just not paying attention — or if they would just listen better, that they would hear.
They resent having to say things two or three times. People that are around deaf people a lot begin to think what an arduous task they have, and it’s the only disability that’s this way. Your grandmother, you could ask her about this, and I’m sure she would totally understand what I’m talking about — ’cause even with the cochlear implant, you’re able to hear noise.
In a one-on-one situation like this, I’m able to understand most of what you say, but not all of it. Because you’re on the phone and the quality isn’t that good. But in crowded rooms, it’s really, really difficult to make out what anybody is saying and to hear everything. It just sounds like a racket. It just sounds like incessant noise. Does that help?
CALLER: Yeah. The other question is: What’s your favorite part and what’s your favorite character in your story?
RUSH: Oh. Well, the book that’s out right now — the next book that we just announced on Friday and comes out on March 11th — everybody loves Liberty. It’s fun writing the talking horse, but there are a couple of incidents in the book. I’m running out of time here, Jordan. I’m gonna have to answer this in the next segment.
RUSH: We’re gonna send Jordan in Tracy, California, a Ted-Tea Bear and the audio version of Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. I just sadly ran out of time right in the middle of the substantive answer she wanted.
RUSH: So I have to answer Jordan’s question. We ran out of time. She wanted to know what my favorite character is and what my favorite parts of the book are. I’m gonna take a little license here ’cause I want to talk about the new book, the one we announced on Friday, Rush Revere and the First Patriots. I’ve gotta be careful that I don’t give too much away here.
The first thing I’ve already mentioned once, I’ll do it again, Rush Revere and Liberty time travel back to King George’s palace, get in there, and actually have a debate, slash, conversation with the king about what he’s doing to the colonists and why he wants them to remain enslaved and dependent on him and Britain. And remember what these books are. There is a mission here in the Rush Revere series, and it is to teach the truth of American history to young people who may not be getting it in school. In fact, we know they’re not.
There’s another device that is employed in this book, and I’ve got to be very careful, ’cause I don’t want to give it all away, but the best thing I could say is there is a saboteur who tries to undermine Rush Revere and his mission and the other students that he takes along. A spoiled brat student who tries to undermine or sabotage. It’s good, folks. I’m just telling you, the kids are gonna eat it up. They’re gonna love it. And the parents, obviously, will, too, as will the grandparents.
So it’s Rush Revere and the First Patriots. I guess the focal point would be the Boston Tea Party, but we meet Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, King George, Patrick Henry, and a couple of people peripherally, Paul Revere at first, but he comes up the — well, shut up here, Rush. So that’s basically it, and it goes on sale on March the 11th. It’s available for pre-order now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and iBooks on iTunes.
We’re just so excited, I can’t tell you, because the mission and the purpose here and the reaction that we’ve gotten and the feedback is just over the top. It’s just wonderful. It’s just great, and all these phone calls that I get from the young people reading the book and sharing their thoughts and asking me questions, I love it. I just absolutely am eating it up.
So Jordan, that’s how I would answer the question, favorite character. That’s tough. I mean, I have a little sympathy for Revere, too, you know, because his name’s on the book and Liberty is the most popular character. Revere’s got a little ego problem about it, dealing with it, but still. A little sympathy for Rush Revere now and then, although he doesn’t need it. He’s not asking for it, but it wouldn’t hurt.