Last weekend I got hold of a pack of ear candles. I had been told they were the best thing ever, but had also been told they were pseudoscience bullshit. I decided to put them to the test.
If you don’t know what ear candles are, and what they claim to do then I suggest you read this.
As it turns out there are any number of tales on the Internet about why they don’t work, and the whole thing is a bigger fraud than religion. Alright, it’s not that big. I haven’t seen anyone killed over ear candling.
The important thing to remember is that I was getting involved in a bit of ear candling and thought it would be a nice relaxing thing to do with my bob-cutted, proprietor of panic, Kate. This is important to remember for the duration of the tale. Kate isn’t good when the shit hits the fan, and I say that with all the love I can muster. She’s a very interesting guy.
So I said I would ear candle Kate first because I’m handy with a flame. The instructions specifically said you should cut the ash when it got to about three inches. We put the most relaxing album she had on, Lucy Rose’s debut, and I lit the candle and jammed it right in her lughole. She said it felt nice but that she wasn’t sure it was doing anything. I told her to shut up and enjoy the ambience. The problem with cutting the ash off is that you’re balanced on a bed above your better half with a pair of scissors and a naked flame. It’s dangerous territory. I’d still love her if she were horrifically scarred, and I’m sure people would congratulate me on being so humble as to stay by her side while her face peeled off, but I didn’t want that future.
Luckily, I’m not just handy with a flame, I’m also handy with a blade and I snipped that burning candle ash like a samurai and let it fall into the bowl of water I had waiting in the other hand. I repeated this action twice, and then let Kate roll over, and then rammed another burning candle in the other ear. This time she didn’t seem quite as concerned as I hovered over her, talking to her in my soft caring tones whilst snipping that candle up real horrorshow as young Alex would say.
Then it was my go. I thought about putting some really relaxing music on, like whale noises, but even I have my limits when it comes to new age jiggery pokery. We flipped the Lucy Rose record over, and Kate snuck a candle in my third most sensitive hole. It felt good. I had been told the result of using ear candles was like hearing for the first time. I remembered when I heard The Beatles for the first time, and times’d that by a hundred-thousand to equate how much joy I was going to feel in ten to fifteen minutes.
I shut my eyes, and felt relaxing vibes and waves of zen washing over me like I was the corpse of a whale on a beach. It was glorious. Then Kate informed me she was going to make the first incision. I assumed the procedure would be a complete success, and lay still as she brought the scissors down and around the upper quarter of the candle. The snip shot loud and clear down the tube and into my drum. I let out a sigh and then the burning loop of candle and paper fell onto my anatomical snuff box.
For some reason I assumed Kate would spot the error and quickly correct it, and so lying as still as possible on the bed so as not to upset the progress the candle had made on my brain access panels, I waited. What Kate did was sort of panic a bit and assume that burning candle coils had no impact on skin. After about fifteen seconds I had to admit I was being burnt and jump up. By this point I had a nice burn, the bed was blackened and the towel collected around my skull to stop candle damage was scolded.
If trying ear candles has taught me anything, it’s that they’re painful, and possibly a massive fraud.