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Marmion’s Manly Man: Q-tips – an analysis of human nature

The Q-tip. The personal eardrum submarine capable of aural cleanliness and an assortment of other sordid duties. This fluffy guardian of personal hygienic care has traversed more places than Marco Polo and seen more things than the Hubble Telescope. So, I must ask – why do humans continue to squander these cotton voyagers on self-indulgent ear pleasure and face the slight possibility of over-extension?

Now, I do not posses a doctorate in behavioral sciences from any prestigious university, but I do posses a rather large vocabulary and an affinity for tweed.

The all too familiar and glorious feeling of a Q-tip rapping on my eardrum’s door will remain in my memory banks as one of my better life expeditions; I imagine this feeling ranks among the same experiences of a dog getting its belly scratched or a buck first discovering that his antlers doubled as majestic headgear and posterior massagers.  

Still, plunging into the decadence-filled depths of the grimy ear kingdom can end in a royal pain in the noggin.

Oh, what sayeth thou, ear? Thou shall explodeith with agony and sendith odd throbbing pulses throughout my head case for the whole day if I invoke thy wrath with a Q-tip? Marvelous.

As a human with a wee more than 18 years of living expertise, I can see that our race tends to push limits; given a restriction, one can count on humanity to outdo it. From ingestion to exercise, we overeat, overextend and overdo just about every performable deed in the creature repertoire.

If life should present me with a bowl of M&M’s and a minute of free time, I shall present life with a depleted bowl of M&M’s and a ruined summer 2014 Speedo physique; moderation may be a virtue, but chocolate delivers a gastrointestinal payload of grace right to the soul.

However, a good deal of stomachaches and cocoa comas has lead me to the conclusion that a little bit of restraint can never lead to a bad thing. In a time when surplus has become the standard measure of success, a break from the usual tumultuous rush toward excess might prove rather relaxing and revealing; finding happiness with one’s current status may turn out much easier than striving for more and only finding pain as a result.

I do hope that people don’t make a habit out of speed-using Q-tips, but sometimes a person’s habit, like my ability for extrapolation, knows no bounds.

Now, I am no Q-tip addict or abuser; however, I would resemble the world’s largest Q-tip-ocrite if I said that I didn’t take a few indulgent plunges every now and then. I have a lot to work on in the way of moderation, but one can rest assured that I’ll give those intrepid defenders of ear sanitation a break.

• Kurt Zepeda is a St. Charles resident and a senior at Marmion Academy in Aurora. He enjoys running, writing and the occasional confection. His column runs every other Thursday in the Kane County Chronicle. Contact him at

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