Cotton buds….. friend or foe?
As always the journalists on this paper seek to break new ground and as we hear of unusual stories we endeavour to follow them up.
I took myself to a drug rehabilitation centre where amongst all the other addicts I met with the person who was my reason to be there. I was interviewing a young man wearing ear protectors. As time progressed and his confidence grew he told me his story.
“I came from a good home and had a very happy childhood, okay my parents smoked and drank a little, you know how it is they went to a church social club, but there was no serious addiction. I did well at school and got a place at University. It was there that I think my problem started.”
I didn’t push him to continue too quickly as I could see it wasn’t easy for him, I offered him a cigarette to relax him, this seemed to calm him and he continued.
“It was there while I was alone, studying and writing essays that I started scratching my ears with my pen and for a year or so that kept the happy. As time passed and exam pressures came I started poking around in my ear hole. This gave me a buzz and soon I was wrapping tissue paper around matchsticks, but things got really serious when a friend told me about cotton buds. I went into a chemist’s shop in an unfamiliar district and bought a small pack. I could hardly wait to get home and try them.”
At this point he paused and took a deep breath and gathered his thoughts before continuing.
“It was just how he said it would be, I was lifted to great heights, it was almost orgasmic. I was satisfied. I found that once a week while having my Sunday bath was enough…. At first. But soon I was doing a cotton bud every morning before work. My habit was causing me no problems, I had a good job and was able to afford exotic concoctions to put on the buds to give me a bigger lift. But my habit was becoming an addiction, I finally lost my job because I kept nipping out to the toilet for a quick twiddle.
He was almost in tears as he related his sad tale but he continued.
“I was now using a box a day, I had even experimented with ‘kinky’ games like 3 in an ear but still true satisfaction eluded me. Soon many chemists stopped selling to me and I even resorted to paying young children to go in the shop and buy them for me. Gradually my friends disappeared, I became very lonely, I even searched the inter-net but it seemed I was alone or were they too scared to come out of the ‘bathroom cabinet’. As my ear holes began to get abnormally large I realised I needed help.”
Our friend sought help from his GP but received no real help.
“Sure he did his best but giving me drops and a wad of cotton wool did not cure my addiction, soon I was back on the cotton buds. When I found myself going through the dustbin to try and find and reuse dirty buds I realised that I must do something drastic.”
By this time he was much calmer, it seemed that this interview had lifted a heavy weight.
“I checked in here and decided that I had to go ‘cold turkey’, so I sit wearing these ear protectors, you see they are alarmed so if I try to remove them somebody comes quickly and counsels me. I’m nearly cured now, another couple of months should see me out of here.”
I left there with a great feeling, it seems that human kind has great depths of strength.
BUT BEWARE OF THE REAL BUZZ YOU GET WHEN YOU CLEAN YOUR EARS WITH A COTTON BUD.
Ralph ‘I’ve kicked the habit’ Edmunds