What I'm about to tell you may be considered vain. On the other hand, it could also be considered a responsible act of brush fire prevention. I'm talking, of course, about excessive ear and nose hair. I bring this up because of a recent conversation I had with someone who wanted to express his opinion on something. To be honest, I can't remember what it was because I couldn't overlook the fact that he appeared to have a chinchilla stuck in each ear.




I tried to be a good listener.




Tried to look reflective.




At least until I realized saliva had pooled in my open mouth.




As you might expect, this person was a male over the age of 40, which seems to be about the time follicles in mens' ears and noses begin producing hair at an alarming rate. I say alarming because I've heard of men purposely growing enough ear and nose hair to make a comb over. And if that isn't alarming to you, then you need to stop reading this column right NOW and put more mousse in your ear-and-nose-hair comb over.




Admittedly, after my conversation, I went directly to the nearest men's room and examined my ears and nostrils. If for no other reason than to avoid putting those I care about at risk by allowing the hair in either orifice to become a fire hazard, such as being ignited by a random cell phone spark. To my relief, I found that the hair in both regions was still within the parameters of good taste, and by that I don't mean hanging over my mouth. Naturally, as I was standing in front of the mirror staring down my nostrils, someone walked in.




After exchanging knowing glances, I turned back to the mirror staring down my nostrils, someone walked in.




After exchanging knowing glances, I turned back to the mirror and saw that my ear and nose hair had grown two centimeters.




This apparently is not uncommon.




According to a recent article published in the Journal Medicine, "A six-year study of Hypertrichosis in the ears and nose of men over age 40 revealed that the same study could have been completed in six months if male researchers hadn't been fighting over the nose-hair trimmer."




So, as a service to the men who may be reading this column, I'd like to offer the following tips gathered by our research department here at the Siuslaw News. Keep in mind that this department consists of:




A 41-year-old humor columnist obsessing over his ear and nose hair.




Tip

1: Never attempt to manicure the hair in these regions at the end of the day when you are tired &

or possibly intoxicated &

unless you are willing to run the risk of waking up without eye brows.




Tip

2: Should you not follow the advice of tip

1, you can always replace your eye brows with hair from your ears and nostrils.




Tip

3: Use a magnifying mirror. This will help you avoid nicking sensitive areas. On the other hand, seeing your own nostrils the size of bowling ball finger holes is likely to cause insomnia.




And lastly,




Tip

4: Do not pluck ear or nose hair with tweezers. This can cause ingrown hairs and lead to infection. Your best bet is to use a nose and ear hair trimmer, which is a device designed to fit into either orifice and remove hair safely by pulling them out at the root. It is best to start out lying on the floor in a fetal position since that is where you will end up anyway.




For those of you who have any more advice on this subject, please feel free to send it in. But please keep it short.




And by that, I mean your ear and nose hair.




You can write to at nhickson@thesiuslawnews.com, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR 97439. Or visit his website at /blog/