Dear Daughter,

Paul Wong
Photo Illustration by BRETT MOUNTAIN/Daily

I’ve started working on a present for you. I was going to surprise you with it, but your mother thought, well, it was probably going to be a year before it was ready. Likely enough. I really don’t know how long it will take. Maybe two years. So here’s the idea. I was taking out my hearing aids last night, and I was looking at them, all crudded up and all, and I thought, hey, I’m going to make an ear wax candle for my daughter.

Think about it! It’s almost like being an organ recipient. You will have a bona fide product of your father’s body. Kind of like a heart, or a liver, just a little more useful. I haven’t quite figured out the best way to collect it. There’s this little groove on the side of my hearing aids that collects wax, and I have to clean that out anyway, but its such a tiny bit, I’m moving more towards the Q-Tips. You have to be careful, though. My friend Steve, you remember him? The one with all the tattoos? Well, he was cleaning his ear one day with one of those long medical Q-Tips, like they use for specimens, or something. See, they made him a med tech, that was a damn fool thing to do. Anyway, he was cleaning his ear with this six inch Q-Tip, a wooden shaft to boot, and somebody bumps his arm. Sonofabitch that must of hurt. Anyway, the long and the short of it is that he can’t hear too well out of that ear. Well, really, not at all. This is all the gospel truth, because he showed me. They ended up having to patch up the hole with some skin they got from somewhere else, although it wasn’t his testicles, you can be sure of that, after the girl ran into him and smashed one of them when he was on parole once. He’s pretty protective of the other one.

Oh, well, so Q-Tips. I get a pretty good sample that way, a real clear yellow, very pretty, but then how am I going to get it off the cotton? If you have any ideas let me know, I’m thinking about throwing a bunch of them in a pan and warming them all very, very slowly. Or, what the hell, I could just go with a screw driver.

If you’re getting all fussy about the ear wax, you should just dwell on bee’s wax for about ten seconds, young woman. And they burn those candles in church! I was an actual acolyte for almost a year when I was twelve. So I know. Next time you smack a bee, take a careful look at all of those nasty body parts and try to imagine where the wax comes from. Not its ear, you can bet your dollar. I don’t even think they have ears. So this should be much nicer than bee’s wax.

You don’t want to be burning this candle just any time, either. Save it for special occasions. Like first dates. You want to be sure to tell that young man the whole story of the candle. It’ll work a little magic. You’ll probably have a lot of first dates.

Love,

Dad

P.S. If you send me the $100 you owe me, I might just buy you a different present. But then you never know.

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