Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Over the last few weeks I've had a minor physical annoyance whenever I slept on my right side. As my head sank into the pillow my right ear would become blocked. It was easy to unblock just by pushing on the lower part of my ear, but let's face it, that's not condusive to relaxation.

This morning I'd had enough of it, so when I got up (at the crack of half past eight) I went straight to the bathroom and got out my otic irrigation syringe. It's a rubber bulb that you fill with warm water then stick in your ear to wash out excess wax, earwigs and bits of Lego, depending on your age and/or state of hygiene. It's one of those things that you can never imagine buying, but which is very handy on the rare occasions that you need it.

I filled the sink with warm water, flushed the bulb out a couple of times, then squirted it into my ear. The jet is quite powerful, and there's always that immovable anxiety that I'll do it too hard and punch a hole through my eardrum. Still I went ahead. Every time I'd flushed I glanced down at the water, and saw nothing much. A lot of tiny specks of dead skin cells, a few flecks of ear wax the size of pinheads; nothing significant.

Then I flushed again and immediately felt something change. "Ah," I thought. Then I glanced down at the water. "AAARGH!" I thought.

It was the biggest lump of ear wax I'd ever seen. I stared at it. How could I describe the size of this thing? The size of a couple of peas? No, it was bigger than that. The size of a raisin? No, too variable. I decided to stick with my favourite universal constant. Imagine the head of a standard Lego minifig. Now imagine it attached to another standard minifig head. This lump was bigger than that. It was big enough that I should have been charging it rent.

I got ready for work in a sort of daze, with the novel sensation of the breeze whispering through my ear canal. And ever since then I've been walking around the office bumping into door frames, as my sense of balance is shot because one side of my head is much lighter than it used to be.


Blogger be.bart said...

As we say here: your ears are so dirty you can grow carrots in there. Or in your case, water melons.

7:14 PM  

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