I have been a huge fan of TSD ever since I first read it around 20 years ago. I’ve read the articles on the web site for a few years now but it wasn’t until a couple of days ago that I bothered to check out these message boards. You guys are not only kindred souls but you’re fucking hilarious. I’ve been laughing my ass off all weekend. My wife is a bit annoyed that I’ve found yet another way to waste time on the computer but she’ll get over it. As a token of my appreciation I will share with you a true anecdote from my life that I think many of you will enjoy.
My friend Mindy is very into homeopathic medicine. She has studied it for years. Mindy is employed as the manager of the Vitamin Dept at a large health food store. She was at my house having dinner with Mrs. H and me and told us all about Ear Coning (also known as Ear Candling.)
For the uninitiated, an ear candle is a narrow cone of waxed paper about twelve inches long. The narrow end of the cone is stuck snugly in your ear and the other end is lit by a “practitioner.” It is burnt until only an inch long nub is left. The procedure is said to remove wax, yeast and other “impurities” from one’s ears.
Mindy and I argued back and forth about about this. I explained that there was no way that enough vacuum could be generated by a small firey cone to pull very viscous wax from ears. She countered that she had had it done and she could feel the wax being pulled from deep in her ear. She further argued that she had cut open the leftover nub and found it full of yeast and ear wax. I asked if the wax could have been candle wax and she firmly said that she knew the god damned diffence between candle wax and ear wax and it was ear wax.
We decided that she would come over the next night and we would conduct a little experiment. She thinks that I’m such a skeptic asshole sometimes and she wanted to prove to me that I was wrong. I volunteered to be “candled” as the first part of the experiment. Sure enough, the end of the nub was full of orange dust (yeast) and waxy stuff (ear wax.)
I then asked that we try putting a candle in my fist and see what happened. With a big sigh and a roll of the eyes, Mindy agreed. After the candle was burned and the nub was opened …drum roll… the end of the nub was filled with orange dust and waxy stuff. This was quite possibly my greatest victory in the war against stupid bull shit. We burnt another candle in a Sprite can just for fun and got the same results.
Mindy pulled all of the ear candles out of stock in her store and won’t sell them any more. When she is asked about them by a customer she tells our story. It makes me proud.
Epilogue: Several months later there was an article in our local equivalent of the Reader about homeopathic medicine which mentioned ear candles. I recounted my story in a letter to the editor and they printed it. Someone looked me up in the phone book and called to say that she was glad that there were people like me in the world!