Friday, 27 May 2011

Reflections on a swimming pool

   One of the drawbacks of being a right-handed middle-aged crank living alone is that there's no one around to tip hot oil into one's left ear when it gets clogged up. Having said that, experience has taught me that living with someone doesn't necessarily mean that they'd be willing to tip hot oil into one's yucky ear, or indeed that one would want them to (a steady hand, correct temperature and good relations being crucial to the operation).

   Another corollary of living as I do (in a sort of gothic isolation ward) is that it takes a while to realize one has an auditory malfunction in the first place; the howling wind is just wind and the phone doesn't ring anyway. But yesterday it finally dawned on me that the world was even quieter on my left side than it was on my right, even when I turned around, pirouetted or performed fouettés en tournant on the dining room table. So last night I lay on my right side and tipped a teaspoonful of heated olive-oil into the requisite antrum - first attempt, no spillage, a feat so unexpectedly successful that it was cause for (muted) celebration. I remained in position, the oil theoretically melting the wax, until I became bored (I'd forgotten to bring a book) and then paced around as the oil dribbled out. Unfortunately the plug of wax, leaves and bits of newspaper didn't join the dribble. It's still in there. I don't intend to see a doctor as I don't like them; they're as self-opinionated as I am and look even more unhealthy.
   I remember once having a pain in my lower back, I had it checked by various self-proclaimed experts, all useless, the best treatment took place when I went to the local swimming pool and sat, sighing with relief, as my sacrum was pummelled by a hot water jet. It's just occurred to me that the eddy currents produced by those hot water jets must create low-pressure zones, which, if correctly applied, could suck out whatever is in my ear. I imagine it would be best to lie on the side of the pool with my head submerged in the turbulent waters. I would emerge a new man, de-plugged and with the hearing of a bat, all the better to hear the congratulations of my fellow pool users.