And by that I mean in terms of subject matter, not actual hairs falling from men’s ears and noses during the course of conversation, eating or… whatever.
It seems I have become the “go-to” guy when it comes to ear and nose hair confessions. The subject is generally brought up by wives, such as while standing in line at A&W and ordering a chili cheese dog for their husbands. One minute they’re talking about the origin of the Coney dog, the next I’m being told what it’s like trying to carry on a conversation with a spouse who doesn’t seem to notice he has hardened Cheez Whiz in his nostril hair.
This puts me in the difficult position of trying to sympathize with the wife while, at the same time and being a male myself, trying to defend his honor by saying something like, “Uh… has he tried the chicken strip basket?”
And this isn’t to say the topic hasn’t been brought up by men. In fact, it has come up several times — while getting gas, buying groceries, attending a funeral mass, standing at a urinal — and usually starts off with, “Have you been talking with my wife?”
There have also been e-mails and letters, wherein readers feel safe describing, in frightening detail, nose and ear hair abominations they have witnessed, are married to, or are currently cultivating.
One individual even sent a photograph, which arrived by email under the heading:
Look at my NOSTRILS!
Sure, I probably should have known better than to open it. Especially before I’d had my coffee or gotten within arm’s reach of a defibrillator. As a result, I now meet once a week with a psychiatrist, who says I can begin the next phase of my recovery as soon as I’m able to look at the photo without wearing a welder’s mask.
I should point out this photo was intercepted by Homeland Security because agents believe this person’s nose hair could be hiding a small terrorist cell.
Don’t get me wrong. As a columnist, you hope to illicit a response so you know that people are reading. My thanks to all of you for your emails and letters; it’s good to know you’re out there.
And I’m in here.
(You can write to Ned Hickson at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR 97439, or email him at email@example.com.)