It happened to septuagenarian Dorothy Latham. When she has a conversation, the words appear as a brightly colored ticker tape in front of whoever's speaking. It is likely the one and only thing she has in common with the teen blogger known as Cath. They both have a rare form of synesthesia, a bizarre condition in which one of your senses becomes tightly linked to another. Seeing the color blue might make you taste cheeseburgers, or hearing the music of Nirvana might make you smell teen spirit (which is mostly old socks and stale semen, for the record).
In certain cases, the part of your brain that processes text joins the party and you end up with ticker tape synesthesia, which causes your brain to produce lines of text in your visual field whenever you hear someone talking. These real-life closed captions might scroll past your vision like a colorful marquee, or the words might spill out of the speaker's mouth like they're violently hurling a bowl of Alpha-Bits.
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And only occasionally do the messages come with lucky numbers.
Sounds like fun, right? But unlike movie subtitles, it's of absolutely no use with a language you don't already know (it's not a babel fish, just a brain condition). And situations where many people are talking at once quickly devolve from pleasantly colored subtitles into a Sesame Street-style nightmare of furious letters rioting all throughout the room.