Syrian refugees get hearing aids, hope from Deaf-led nonprofit
June 23, 2017
sign language users have better peripheral vision
Do Sign Language Users Have Better Peripheral Vision?
June 27, 2017

The ComPilot Chronicles: John Mayer, God and Me

deaf comedian DJ Demers with Phonak compilot

In the twenty-seven(!) years I’ve been wearing hearing aids, my life has continually improved as the technology grows by leaps and bounds.

I’ve watched and benefitted as hearing aids progressed from analog to digital, FM systems became wireless, and closed captioning achieved ubiquity in a wide variety of media.

These are were all huge advancements, but the most significant change has been the addition of Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth in my hearing aids changed my life. For real. No hyperbole.

It was just a few years ago that I got my new Phonak Naida hearing aids, replete with the miracle of Bluetooth. My audiologist explained how the technology worked. I was dumbfounded. This was some next level, James Bond sh*t.

Here’s how it works:

I wear a necklace called the Phonak ComPilot that is wirelessly connected to my hearing aids. When I press the button on the front of the ComPilot’s ‘pendant’, I can use the Bluetooth technology. It’s that easy. I’m sure the scientists who invented the technology would take umbrage with the ‘easy’ part, but from my perspective, it’s easy as pie. Come at me, scientists.

What do I use the Bluetooth technology for? Great question. You’re really helping to move this blog post along with great questions like that.

The answer is: everything.

I listen to music. A lot. If you see me walking down the street, chances are I’m listening to music. Since I don’t have any visible headphones, you would assume I’m all alone, traipsing from point A to point B. You couldn’t be more wrong. I’m actually hanging out with my good friend, John Mayer, and let me tell ya, he’s got a few bones to pick with Newton’s law of universal gravitation.

I also use my Bluetooth to talk on the phone. There is a tiny microphone on the top of the ComPilot, so I’m talking hands-free, hombre. It was a crazy mental adjustment for me the first few weeks of using this technology. I’ve worn hearing aids since I was four years old, so I’m not even conscious that I’m wearing them. Consequently, when I first started using Bluetooth, it felt like everyone I talked to on the phone was not in my hearing aids, but in my head.

It got particularly dangerous when my friend, Gary, called me. You see, Gary has a really deep voice, so I was like, “God!? Is that you?” And then Gary was like, “Yeah, it’s me, God. You should definitely go walk into traffic right now.” And I was like, “Are you sure!? It’s a green light! Cars are driving through.” And he was like, “Do you trust me or not?” Gary’s such a prankster.

Even now, years after I was hit by several cars at Gary’s urging, it is still really funny when I’m talking on my Bluetooth in public settings. People don’t see any phone, so they often think I’m talking to them. Sometimes, I hold my phone up to my mouth (even though I’m talking into the necklace) to assuage their concerns that I am a crazy person. Sometimes, I just tell them the truth and say, “No, I’m not talking to you! I’m talking to God on my Bluetooth!” That usually makes them more nervous for some reason.

Bluetooth in my hearing aids has changed my life. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I’ve got high expectations. If I can’t zap mosquitoes with a laser from my hearing aids in the next five years, I’m gonna be pissed.

In the meantime, I’ll just be satisfied with my trusty ComPilot. Even now, as I write this, I am listening to music in my hearing aids. I suppose I could listen on a speaker, but my girlfriend said she’s getting tired of my music choices. She says I listen to too much John Mayer, which is rich. Too much John Mayer!? There’s no such thing!

Garyspeed, everyone. Sorry, I meant Godspeed. I’m gonna miss you. It feels like all we ever do is say goodbye.

OK, that’s enough. Bye for real. Love you.

– DJ

Author Details
D.J. Demers is an award-winning stand-up comedian. He has performed stand-up on Conan and was the winner of the 2014 Homegrown Comics Competition at the prestigious Just For Laughs festival in Montreal. After winning the competition, D.J. was invited to perform at a TV taping, the first time that has happened in festival history. D.J. was also a featured performer at Toronto’s JFL42 comedy festival in 2014, the winner of the 2013 Toronto Comedy Brawl, was a finalist in NBC’s Stand-up for Diversity, and won ‘Best Breakout Artist’ at the 2015 Canadian Comedy Awards. He also wears Phonak hearing aids.