Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Costly Mistake

Since 1984, twelve hotel guests cleaned their ears with a Q-tip, extracted it, noticed that the cotton had vanished, and called me.

These are mildly stressful visits because I worry that the cotton may be too distant to reach, and I don’t like poking with needle-nosed tweezers. So far I’ve been lucky, but my last visit didn’t work out as planned.

“I don’t see anything,” I said after looking in the ear.

The guest insisted that I must be in error. I looked again. Nothing that didn’t belong.

While he thought this over, I looked in the bathroom. On the floor near the sink lay a tiny ball of cotton.

He tried to laugh this off, but I could see his pain. I’d made the visit at the request of a housecall service that had already collected on his credit card, so there was no way I could give him a discount. It was an expensive mistake.

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