Americans go camping to “get close to nature”. We discard the creature comforts of home to sleep on the hard ground or in tents. After several days communing with nature, we are ready to return to the regular rat race. Occasionally, camping can be less relaxing than originally planned. I once camped in Tennessee only to learn that my tent was pitched in the middle of tick city. I spent a good part of the night picking ticks off my legs and tossing them out of the tent.
Writing in Slate, Annie Stoltie (Good Story!) describes waking up in the middle of the night with a sharp pain in her ear. It took a week and three doctor visits to find a doctor who could remove the scarab beetle from her ear. The successful doctor used the method of filling the outer ear canal with mineral oil. This plugs the spiracles of an insect, and typically causes the insect to retreat to the surface of the oil where it is more easily removed from the ear lobe.
The money quote:
Wherever I camp next, I’m wearing earplugs.
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