I just called my father for his 70th birthday. My father used to not be able to talk on the telephone at all, but now can intermittently and partially do so because of his cochlear implants. You still have to talk at roughly three times your normal phone-voice volume.
I talked to him about what he was doing for his birthday (not much), whether there were going to be any lambs born on his birthday (maybe, but probably not), how the lambing season more generally was going (discouraging; he's lost more than usual), his plan now to get out of sheep again as a result of the bad lambing season (I'll believe it when I see it), what he's doing around the house (working on the inside trim on the windows, playing Spider solitare), how driving the school bus has been going (well), how the cochlear implants have been doing (well; he reports that can now hear himself sing for the first time in years, which frankly explains a few painful Sundays standing next to him in the waning days of my church attendance)
And then my father chuckles and says: "You know, I don't really know who I'm talking to."
"YOU DON'T KNOW WHO THIS IS?"
"YOU HAVE NO IDEA?"
"Somebody who knows it's my birthday."
"WHO MIGHT THAT BE DAD???"
So then I tried to get him to guess, but he had trouble hearing what I was asking. At one point, he thought something I said was "Roger," and so then he was off trying to figure out who he knew named "Roger" that might be calling him on his birthday. That was clearly a conversational wrong turn, and it took some doing to get us back on the thoroughfare of intersubjectivity once again.
"HERE'S A HINT DAD! I'VE BEEN CALLING YOU DAD THIS WHOLE TIME!"
"IT'S ONE OF YOUR SONS!"
"One of my sons." (pause) (pause!) "This ain't Jeremy, is it?"
"DING! DING! DING! YOU GOT IT!"*
"You sure don't sound like you."
"IT'S BECAUSE I'M YELLING INTO THE PHONE DAD!"
* Update, next morning: One reader e-mails: "When you say "DING! DING! DING! YOU GOT IT!" you sound like an ass."