the last time something remotely large and wonderful came out of my ear was back in my junior year of high school. i was driving in my car at about sixty or seventy miles an hour and all of a sudden it felt as though someone threw a piece of stepped on carpet in my left ear. i quickly reached into my ear with my index and thumb and pulled out something that looked a lot like flattened li hing mui. for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s salty dried plum, also referred to in my hometown of Hawaii as “crack seed,” and mind you this name was given prior to any crack epidemic. i held it in my fingers for a while, amazed and shocked by its size, and questioned how the hell it existed in my ear canal all this time even though i often cleaned my ears with a q-tip. where the hell did it come from? in complete denial i threw it out the window, not knowing that that would be the last time anything that spectacular would come out of my ear. if i knew then what i knew now, i would definitely have kept it in a jar or at least an envelope. this whole fascination must be somehow related to our evolution, because there’s something beyond mere satisfaction or curiosity of taking a huge piece of ear wax or gunk out of your ear. one time, when i was living in kosovo, i didn’t have q-tips for like two weeks. my ears were itchy and i could feel the gunk building up. when we went to the store, i opened up the q-tips, or whatever knockoff brand they had, and began cleaning my ears behind the aisles as my wife pretended not to know me. even though it took 4 q-tips to clean my ears, i was hoping for that once in a life time large chunk, like when you stick your spoon deep in peanut butter and pull it out.