The Swab in the Stone

Death wish.

Lend me your ears. No, seriously. I want your ears, because mine stink. Not only do I have a hard time hearing soft noises, like trucks backing up or exploding, but I also get ear infections on a semi-regular basis. I’m not quite sure of the cause, but I suspect it may have something to do with certain genres of music. For instance, I could listen to James Taylor being pumped through the speakers of a prison camp all day, every day, and not have a single auditory issue. But if I hear any song by Bruno Mars, even for a second, both of my ears will suddenly be infected. Go figure. Sometimes I just wish I could trade in my sensitive, infection prone ears for a shiny new pair. Hey, is there a Netflix for body parts? [sound of feet clambering towards the nearest patent office] Of course, being an expert on every ear ailment under the sun, I’m all too familiar with that unholiest of unholy hygiene products: the cotton swab. If I had a nickel for every time a doctor told me that there is nothing worse for your ears than the common household cotton swab, I would have three, possibly four nickels! After all, tamping your earwax into your ear canal with a cotton swab is like tamping a cannon. With earwax. And what do we know about cannons that get tamped with earwax?? That’s right, class! They aren’t very good cannons! So, do yourself a favor: if you have sensitive ears like mine, don’t use cotton swabs. They can be very harmful to your hearing. Kind of like Bruno Mars.


14 thoughts on “The Swab in the Stone

  1. My grandpa taught me an foolproof trick to unclog your ears he developed during the postwar years: stick a wick into your ear and once it is light up, it’s just a mater of time. Moreover, if you are the wax master you claim to be you can even read at night during a black-out (a velcro saucer on your shoulder is advisable).


  2. Ah, a medical moment from one so young.
    When I was a child, I talked like a child – I also had earaches. What was a Nanna to do? I’ll tell you what, that hot raisen did it. What? Never heard of that one trick pony? Without the aid of a microwave, my Nanna would warm a raisin in hot water then plug that plumped up bit of iron smack in my tiny elf-shaped ear. Yum, the smell of something sweet, the internal warmth, and the medicinal purpose lost on a child in pain.

    Now, I’m not a ear, nose and throat guy, but I can tell you this, for some magical reason, the raisen, while it stayed warm and cozy seemed to melt away the pain, or the ear wax.

    Go get a box of that ugly looking dried up fruit – CAUTION HARMFUL TO DOGS – warm gently and let me know if you see my Nanna watching over you.


  3. I’ve got ear problems too. Earwax buildup, unfortunately, is something that I have to deal with once or twice every year, so I’ve gotten the q-tip lecture as well. In my experience, the worst/best treatment for an over-stuffed ear canal is the technique by which a warm saline solution is sucked into a turkey baster and squeezed forcibly into the ear. The baster is then filled again, squeezed out again deep into your brain and the process is repeated until the wax is cleared (20 or 30 times). The sound of rushing water and the all-out attack on your balance center is very disorienting, kind of like what it must feel like to be swimming downstream from the hoover dam and then the dam breaks. FUN! There are a couple other techniques that have been used on me, but they’re too horrible to mention here. So what’s your favorite Bruno Mars song?!!?



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