Got to check another line item from my “things to do before I die” list. Amy and I bought a few packs of ear candles several months ago and finally got around to using them. Punch a hole in a pie tin, insert ear candle with tip sticking 3″ below. Lie down, encircle ear with moist towel, snugly insert business end of hollow candle into ear, have your partner light it on fire, and lie there listening to it crackle softly. Kind of soothing, like having a miniature, non-threatening roaring fire inside your head.
About five minutes in, I heard a gurgling, then a kind of soft “whump” sound. Afterwards, found several globules of ear wax sticking to the inside of the candle, a few inches up the remnants of the tip. Not a huge amount, as I’ve heard some people experience, but enough to impress my date, er, wife.
What’s amazing is that it works at all. I mean, I understand the physics of it, but to see wax dislodge, enter the tip of the candle, wander straight uphill three inches, and re-harden again on the inner wall of the candle, is quite amazing. As if the stuff had legs and a desire to get the hell out.
Beyond the magic of the uphill wax walk and the soothing aspect, we weren’t overly impressed, probably won’t do it again. Can’t honestly say I could hear better afterwards. What I want to know is, who ever thought of doing this to begin with? Clearly this wasn’t one of those “accidental discoveries” – someone had to have really sat down and wondered how to extract deeply lodged ear wax, then thought, “I know – gentle heat and a soft vacuum, plus a jigger of capillary action… a hollow candle lighted in the ear would be just the ticket!” Truth is stranger.