Let’s Play, What is That Stuff?

The Idiotic Mom (IM) reports from Sarasota, Florida this week of a monumental struggle with ear wax.  Amid screams that could be heard in open cars driving on Tamiami trail, her doctor extracted an enormous ear wax ball from one of her ears.  Although the size of a small rodent the thing looked more like a piece of the meteor that broke up over Russia last month.  The doctor checked with the Guinness book of world records, but sadly the thing fell just under the world record.  As a result of the doctor’s inquiry, however, word did get out, and the IM has now had a call from Madam Tussaud’s wax museum.  They’re coming out  next week to see if it might fit into their London museum as a wax replica of  Russia’s space junk.  More on this story as it unfolds.

I had one of those wax balls many years ago too and was curious as to what it really is, how it forms and what it’s for, if anything.  Naturally, I went immediately to the internet to obtain all the facts.  Apparently the stuff is there for a purpose other than for you to “dig at it” with a finger during idle moments when you think others aren’t looking.  The stuff, called cerumen, moistens the ear canal, fights off infection and keeps other crap from getting in there.  Now that I think of it, that last part is important.  As a kid I recall an incident where one of us Boehmke kids got a pea wedged up in there and had to have a doctor extract it.  Pretty sure it wasn’t me (good guess would be the IB), as I’m sure that THAT incident would otherwise still be more firmly implanted on my lint roller. 

I was so impressed with what I so easily found out about earwax that I thought I’d take up an even bigger challenge.  I’ve been bothered recently by recurring pimples.  I typed “white stuff in pimples” into Google to see what I could find out.  Sure enough, all kinds of useful information including the fact that the stuff is “pus.”  Well duh!  More specifically though, the pus is made up of an oil called sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria.  Nice sounding mixture, eh?  We had a guy in college we called “Pus Head” who, well, nevermind…

This talk of bodily fluids leads me back to the blog’s Guinea Pig-O-Meter.  A few weeks back I got a call from my good friends at the UNC EPA lab.  They were so impressed with my work when participating in the Ozone breathing exercise that they asked if I might come in and demonstrate one particular aspect of it for some folks at another institution who they were training.  Yes, it turns out that I am apparently a stand-out at the “sputum induction test.”  During the hour that I was there I very professionally “hawked-up” “lugies” (not sure if I’m spelling that right), and at the end I bid my friends adieu and headed out the door with a $50 check.  So, that’s the reason for the little bump up in the GP-O-M.  Isn’t it interesting how some of us are late bloomers.  Who’d a ever thought that at the age of 65 I could turn pro at something I’d never even heard of a year earlier.

The cash infusion was fortunate, in that it offset a $40 increase in the C-O-M resulting from my recent purchase of a used tool box, and rear wheel hubcap for the Pony.   No other Pony progress to report, as the weather has been just too cool.  Looks like a warm-up for the weekend though, so there is hope.  Speaking of weather, I was amused to hear that the folks up in Punxatawny actually apologized (and rightfully so) for misinterpreting the ground hog’s forcast of an early spring this year.  Pretty sure I’m not going to pay attention to that little varmint anymore.

Oh, and speaking of varmints, big news out of the NC legislature.  Remember that news I reported earlier about how the state courts ruled that we can’t drop a possum in a glass box on New Year’s Eve anymore.  You know, the case where the judge said that as respects the possum, you can’t tease ’em, no, for possums it’s either “Give me liberty or give me death?”  Well, in between passing all kinds of legislation that takes things away from the sick, the poor and the unemployed, they still had time to pass a bill making it legal to trap possums and once again legally drop them on New Year’s Eve.  Praise the Lord!

I leave you with this little ditty.

There’s good to said for cerumen,
And even the oil called sebum,
But what I like best
And meets the GP-O-M test,
Is that wonderful stuff called sputum.

Happy Easter  and Passover everyone, and thanks for reading.

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One response to “Let’s Play, What is That Stuff?

  1. What a hoot. Please, when you finally complete your Pony project, you must continue to maintain your blog. Deb and I couldn’t stop laughing.
    Cuz Bill

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