Honey, I Can Tell Something’s Bugging You

In college, I had a friend who was gifted nostrilly. I mean, he had some seriously large nostrils. Some nights, to wow The Crowd at dinner, he would take a quarter and stick it up one of his nostrils.

At this juncture, some of you are probably thinking, “Yea, big deal. I stick quarters up my nose everyday, in a very particular and private kind of consumeristic self gratification.” But read on, Mugsy; I mean he’d stick a quarter up his nose, not sideways, but straight on—with good old George Washington and his fake teeth facing directly down to the floor. Then he could just leave the quarter hanging in there, a little booger shelf. In short, his nostril was pretty much the same circumference as a quarter…hence my assertion that he was uniquely gifted in the nostril department. Personally, I’d be hard pressed to get an almond up my nose, much less make it serviceable.

Don’t start assuming this type of stuff is on my mind all the time. I do sometimes have thoughts about books (don’t get me started on Horton and how he heard a Who that one time!), and occasionally I take a look at a newspaper and think, “Anne Coulter. Wow, you crazy beyotch. Keep saying mean things about that John Edwards; donations to his campaign skyrocket every time you call him a faggot.” So, see, I’m a deep thinker about many, many subjects.

But today I will admit I am musing, in focused fashion, on the awesome capabilities of orifices. Go ahead: insert your bawdy joke here. I’ve made about ten and deleted them all while typing this for I am, you see, very, very couth, in addition to being a deep thinker.

Now let’s move on. I’m thinking about orifices because our latest travel adventure required that my Groomeo have a gaping hole in his head, and not just his yammering maw. Rather, this adventure required that he have a really accessible and welcoming ear canal—that he be aurally gifted. I’d never noticed it before The Ear Event, but he really does have a good-sized cave up there, above his ear lobe.

To backpedal a bit: after a luscious week in Colorado, where we saw lots of folks, biked, avoided the Spirulina WheatGrass Soy Protein Shakes, had terrific trail runs (heat and prickly pear notwithstanding)…

…and got the kids out in a canoe…

…we quit the state and headed for Wyoming, where we garumphed around for the last couple of days. The change in terrain brought the camera out, even at 75 mphs…

…and after camping under a very fertile cottonwood tree one night outside of Casper (where the most curious little monkey roamed our campground)…

…we struck camp the next morning, during which The Event took place. Get this: a bug flew into Groom’s ear–and tunneled in for the duration.

Throughout the day, his hearing was plagued by loud fluttering sounds and burblings (which I posited was the noise a bug makes as it lays eggs, which, after gestation, would turn into a winged migration that would exit through his nose and mouth). First, he tried flushing it out with copious amounts of water poured into his ear canal. No luck. So then I broke out the tweezers, testing our love as I maneuvered past clumps of ear wax to extract any living thing. Sadly, our efforts were a bust. So we carried on with the day…

…toodling, amidst our mountain of car-crap, over to Thermopolis, where we visited the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. Our 4-year-old Niblet melted in the heat during the tour, to the point that he proclaimed “That was vewy boring for me” minutes after having seen Stegosaurus vertebrae (uh, the plastic model isn’t to scale, btw)…

…but Girl was able to appreciate an Allosaurus footprint when she saw one.

During all this, with scary-alien-brainsucker-bug still alive in his skull, Groom went for a sweaty run, ate a hamburger, and hung in there gamely for 8.5 hours before announcing, “I think we need to go find a doctor.”

Turns out, the Thermopolis hospital, in a town of about 3,000 souls, has bug-in-ear experienced docs who greeted my beau with a reassuring, “Oh, we see this all the time.” (I suppose if you’re a rancher who lassos little dogies while riding horseback in the chapparal for sixty years, the bugs do have ample opportunity to score the hole in one of your ear canal.)

So the White Coats stuck a water pick in Groom’s ear and started flushing. Hmmm, said they. More flushing. Bigger HMMMMs. Then a very long, narrow tweezers came into play, and, as the gathered staff looked on, gasping and murmuring, THIS bit of horror…

…was eventually extracted from my true love’s ear, very much alive and aflutter. The docs gave him his trophy in a container, where it continues to flap its wings, even now, two days later.

To get rid of remnant moth dust in his ear, the professionals flushed the canal a few more times and left him with this homespun prescription: “Tonight or tomorrow morning, put a few drops of cooking oil into your ear, and that’ll clean you out real good, son.”

Since it’s been very hot (still 95 degrees at 8 p.m.), and since we were heading into Yellowstone Park the next day, where restaurants were scarce, I saw a way to make my groom’s huge and inviting ear hole into something functional at last. We needed to carbo-load before taking on Old Faithful, so I let the vegetable oil heat up in his ear…

…and then fried up some mini-donuts in the oil and ear wax.


Boy howdy, but Krispy Kreme ain’t got nothin’ on us.





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32 responses to “Honey, I Can Tell Something’s Bugging You”

  1. Voyager Avatar

    Now that’s a road trip tale to beat all.
    And I can just hear the whine of “Are we there yet?”

  2. Dorky Dad Avatar
    Dorky Dad

    Once again, I play second fiddle to Voyager.

    Great post. I mean, sorry that “groomeo” had a bad case of bug-ear, but that was a pretty fair story, I must say.

    I must note, however, that being able to stick a quarter up one’s nose should not be considered in any way a “gift.”

  3. Ann(ie) Avatar

    oooooooooooh! I love the pics!!!

  4. Vest Avatar

    Must have had a few nicknames. e g Schsnozzle. beaky or the feller with the big smeller.

    Beautiful pics.

    I once slapped a fly into my ear, the noise was unreal.

  5. AmyTree Avatar

    Oh. My. God. Wrath of Khan’s got nothing on you!!! *Shudder*…

  6. Glamourpuss Avatar

    I, too, am a deep thinker. But I am uncouth.

    And my orifices’ capabilites are indeed awesome. All of them.


  7. My Reflecting Pool Avatar
    My Reflecting Pool

    ack! He made it 8.5 hours before deciding to see a doctor? Sounds like it was the vacation to remember.

  8. Karen Avatar

    As I’m reading your description of the said bug possibly laying eggs and them crawling out groomeo’s nose and mouth, all I could think of was that scene from the Believers…. excuse me while I puke.

  9. urban-urchin Avatar

    OMG that’s horrifying. I had a yellowjacket fly into my ear canal at 5 and proceed to sting me multiple times before I could yank the little bastard out.

    I was eating breakfast but now feel the need to go throw up and breathe into a paperbag for a spell. I can not BELIEVE that he waited that long.


  10. Dan Avatar

    I’ll bet Anne Coulter can’t stick quarters up her nostrils. Pity really! 🙂

    Nice photos. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

  11. lime Avatar

    well, i guess since you were seeing godzilla like footprints it was only fitting that mothra attacked groomeo’s ear….you got all the makings of a real horror flick there!

  12. Jill Avatar

    The same thing happened to my man once. I was able to extract the thing with some tweezers, but not before getting miffed because he was yelling at me. Turns out you can’t hear much when there’s a flying insect beating its wings in your ear. But, still, he didn’t have to yell at me.

  13. CS Avatar

    Oh my God. I was a little weirded out by the friend who shoed quarters into his nose. But the moth! That gives me the heebie-jeebies. Your poor husband.

    The rest of it looked fun though. If I were there I’d sing for your son the Stegosaurus song: I am a Stegosaurus, I’m a funny-looking dinosaur, and on my back are many bony plates, and on my tail are more.

  14. Diana Avatar

    Psychic sisters, indeed! Husbands in mortal terror! Donuts!

    While reading this, I kept thinking “Go to a doctor!… but not me.” Ug. Bugs. Charles persists in trying to run along the wooded path even though it’s deer fly season. Even with a thick coating of 45% DEET, he still has large chunks of skin ripped from his person on these ‘healthful’ runs. (That’s my husband bug story. Nothing on yours, thank goodness.)

    Have you named The Moth yet?

    Moths like wool. Does this mean that Groom has wool between his ears? Oh, the endless teasings this begs.

  15. MyUtopia Avatar

    Wow! and I thought my husband had a big nose!

  16. velvet girl Avatar
    velvet girl

    That must be some impressive ear hole that Groomeo has to house such a monsterous bug. Eeeeeew doesn’t even cover it.

    This brought to mind the news story that I read a few weeks back about the little kid who had two huge spiders crawl in his ears while he slept. Double Eeeeeeew.

  17. TLP Avatar

    Hysterical! I mean His-tear-rick-cal! Loved it all.

    Also enjoyed the photos. My husband and I traveled all of that a couple of years ago, including your upcoming trip to Yellowstone.

    I’m now considering earplugs on any and all future trips.

  18. Patience Avatar

    Oh my. I AM SO GROSSED OUT!!! I would be running, screaming, poking sharp things in my ear!! GET IT OUT NOW!!!!!!!


  19. Shari Avatar

    I had a wood tick in my ear when I was a kid. Eww. There must be a kind of a contest in Bug World for getting a hole in one to win a prize. Of course, the stakes increase because none of the buggers know how to get out of the ear.

    Lucky for me (or should I say, lucky you?) that I can stomach gross descriptions of the creepy-crawlies coming out of orifices. Made me think of Halloween III. I cannot handle scary movies anymore, but I can handle reading about it. Go figure.

  20. Claire Avatar

    Aw, jeez just let the poor moth go. It’s not his fault groomeo has such seductive ear holes. It could have been much worse -an earwig- and yes they Will eat your brains!!

  21. Lizard Princess Avatar
    Lizard Princess

    Love the orifice theme- it’s an oldie but a goodie for laughs- just ask my 11 year old!!!

  22. Jeannie Avatar

    Ewww got ewwwwwier.

  23. jen Avatar

    oh good god. it reminds me of that old star trek movie where they put some siniser robot type in some dudes ear…ick.

  24. my4kids Avatar

    I think I would not have lasted that long! Just the thought of it being in there would drive me batty, let alone hearing it! ughhhhhhhhh.

  25. Lone Grey Squirrel Avatar
    Lone Grey Squirrel

    *speechless* …….ummmm. It was a big moth.

  26. furiousBall Avatar

    “…on the awesome capabilities of orifices. Go ahead: insert your bawdy joke here.”

    Quite possibly the greatest passage since Hamlet.

    [insert orifice anecdote about frat brother with the beer me tattoo involving spider and subsequent ER visit.]

  27. Top cat Avatar
    Top cat

    Very funny story jocelyn and I love the pics.
    That bug is HUGE!

  28. Jazz Avatar

    OK, that? It’s just freaky. I’m never going to Wyoming again.

  29. frannie Avatar

    holy crap!

  30. Diesel Avatar


  31. Princess Pointful Avatar
    Princess Pointful

    I am in disbelief that creature actually lodged itself in Groomeo’s ear.
    I feel the urban legends about earwigs starting to gain some more credibility in my mind.

  32. Mother of Invention Avatar
    Mother of Invention

    Wow! That bug was huge! I don’t know how it could have been down there fluttering away!

    I used to sing the song, “Beans in Your Ears” until a Gr. 1 went home and put a bean in his ear! A hospital visit kyboshed that song for me!

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