when q-tips just won't do

I may or may not have neglected to mention I have a temporary roommate...because Daigle was too sick to look for a new apartment for a while, he found himself sans-place to live when the lease on his old apartment ended on July 31st. I'm not going to let the guy freeze to death on the streets of San Francisco in the middle of the summer (if you live here you know what I'm talking about) so I offered my couch and living room to him while he looks for an apartment that's suitable for him and his jet-set San Franciscohomo fabulous lifestyle (Note to Daigle: I will NOT ALLOW YOU TO MOVE TO TRINITY PLAZA! They're going to tear down that shithole next year, and speaking of shithole, don't ever eat at Moonstar Restaurant downstairs unless you want a nice heaping buttload of giardia). As a result, we've been seeing a lot of each other lately.

I really don't mind...he's not a bad roommate at all. His obsessive-compulsive nature cames in quite handy at times. For example, poking around in my kitchen cabinets looking for something to eat turned into a complete overhaul of my kitchen storage systems, complete with a mopped floor and scrubbed kitchen sink. Not being able to move my desk chair around as much as he wanted turned into a major cleaning project, complete with moving my stereo to a better location, reorganizing my entire desk (it needed it), cleaning every surface, and pimping out my bedroom with an old neon sign I had but wasn't using and moving some pictures around. The icing on this delicious cake was the fact that the sound card on my computer is now fully functional, and for the first time since I've had this thing, I can actually listen to the music I have on my hard drive. It's so nice to finally be living in the year 2005, even if I'm running Windows 98.

Tell you what, my place is looking shit-hot, and I'm more organized than I've been in years.

So I got home today, and Daigle greeted me at the door, tail wagging, jumping up on me, peeing all over the floor. I rolled up a San Francisco Chronicle and swatted him on the butt, saying "NO! DOWN!" firmly until he sat quietly. (when Daigle reads that, he's gonna yell "FUCK YOU, CHADFOX!" really loud...I just know it) He then presented me with two packages of ear candles, saying we were going to do some ear candling. I'm generally open and receptive to such things, so he explained to me how they worked and went to the kitchen to get some towels and aluminum foil. I figured, this is San Francisco, I don't care of my neighbors see me lying on my side in front of the television with a burning taper sticking out of my ear, and besides...I've seen a lot of strange stuff go on in the apartments across the alleyway.

Daigle stuck the taper in my ear, lit it, and soon, I felt a slight suction and heard what sounded like someone sucking a milkshake through a drinking straw when the milkshake is already gone.

You know what I mean?

When that ear was done, I was stunned to be able to actually hear things I normally don't hear. For example, the swishing of my feet as they slid on the hardwood floor. The fan I left running in my bedroom. A conversation in Chinese floating up from the apartment below. Someone lighting a cigarette in the alley. Photosynthesis in my houseplants (okay, not really).

I quickly a taper in my other ear, and exclaimed, "Light it! Light it!" When that ear was done, I felt as if my hearing had been restored. I couldn't believe it. I repeated the process for Daigle, who looked rather strange lying on my living room floor, head on a pillow, aluminum foil on the side of his face, with a burning stick protruding from his head like it was some freakish birthday cake.

I wish I had thought to take a photo.

Now, the skeptic in me did a bit of googling, and as it turns out, ear candling may not be such a good idea after all. This article from quackwatch.org debunks the whole practice, as did this entry from The Straight Dope.

Quackery or not...it felt kinda cool, but I think I just might stick with digging out my earwax with dirty wooden spoons and chunks of broken window glass, just like my mom used to do for me.

It's an old Cleveland remedy!

Okay, I made that last part up.

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