CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Reader advisory: The following may not be suitable for reading while dining. Discretion is advised.
Dinner with friends. Five women, one man. On his way to our dinner, the lone man stopped by a shop that specializes in organic health remedies and products. What follows is an attempt to re-create, sans names (as promised), our conversation.
"How do people know what to do with that stuff?" said the man after hearing an explanation of what neti pots are about. "For instance, what's an ear candle? Is it made from an ear?"
Although familiar with this alternative medicine practice that claims to draw debris from the ear canal, instead of explaining, I said: "Don't be silly. It's for removing ear hair."
That's when I learned my lady friends are as wicked as I am.
"I thought they made those illegal," said one. "You know, after all the ear canal fires."
"No," said another. "But they now have pages of warnings to make sure users know to remove earwax before using."
"Hard to believe anyone wouldn't know to do that. I mean, granted they're ears, but it's still wax we're talking about here. Once wax lights, it can burn for hours."
"I've heard it smells like sandalwood, actually. Isn't that odd?"
"Maybe that's where sandalwood-scented candles come from. It's not like anyone would fork over cash for a candle labeled 'earwax scented'!"
Our lone man had remained silent through this, his expression resembling that of one who's just discovered his house contained rooms everyone knew existed but him.
"Can you use them for nose hair?" he asked cautiously.
"Why waste the money for something special when you can use regular taper candles?"
"Y'all ever noticed my husband's nose? He has to use pillar candles."