I was reading an article in the LA TIMES recently about ear cleaners in India. Ear cleaners, evidently , are a dying breed.
The article featured an older man who uses dangerous-looking metal tools to swab out a customer’s ears . Costs about the equivalent of 30 cents , unless you want the deluxe treatment where he adds some lotions for a small extra cost . He’s training his son in the business . That seemed to be the point of the story . Maybe the craft won’t disappear altogether .
I read the story in the TIMES ” with interest ” ( as letters -to-the-TIMES writers like to say ). The guy makes , after a good month , the equivalent of about $80 ( American ) . He lives in a room with 15 other guys and has almost no material possessions , says the article ” not even a cell phone “.
It took me five or ten minutes for this phrase to hit me , to sink in . I never claimed to be a quick wit . Don’t tell me a joke on Saturday night because I’ll disturb Mass the next morning with the laughter ( remnants of an old Irish-Catholic joke ) . I’m not saying I’m slow , but I like ideas to ferment a little in my head before I consider them usable .
So here’s a guy who makes 80 bucks on a good month , sleeps in what sounds to be , more-or-less, a flop house , owns pretty much nothing , and the writer of the article seems most amazed that this poor guy who cleans ears on the street for a living doesn’t ” even ” own a cell phone .
I’m not going to tell that journalist that I don’t own a cell phone . I don’t want to completely tweak his world view . Might be too much of a shock for him . Living without a cell phone ! How can that be living ? How is that even possible ? Inconceivable ! Outrageous !
Okay . One of these days I’ll ” join the 21st Century ” ( as a friend of mine suggested I do ). But , is there any rush ? Am I really missing something wonderful ? A good friend of mine from the old days posted a thing on Facebook , more-or-less saying that we have these amazingly intricate , versatile technologies at out fingertips which we use to post pictures of cute little kitties or to bitterly argue with people we don’t know .
So , call me . Wait awhile , though . I don’t have a cell phone yet . Make it an evening call, too. I’ll be in ear-cleaning school during the day .