Retired Professor of Linguistics Desmond Bates is going deaf. It's a bother for his wife who has an enviably successful new career and is too busy to be endlessly repeating herself. Roles are reversed with his aging father, who resents his son's attempts to help him. And then there's Alex, a student whom Desmond has agreed to help after a typical misunderstanding at a party. But her increasingly bizarre requests cannot all be blamed on his defective hearing. So much for growing old gracefully...