I remember the first time I saw it happen in public — I was hanging out one fine day in Yoyogi Koen when I noticed a Japanese couple nearby. The girl was sitting, and her husband/boyfriend was laying down with his head in her lap. She was slightly bent over, gazing romantically at him, and I saw her arm moving in a gentle, rhythmic motion. Then I saw her lift her hand and wipe off the little stick she held.

She was cleaning his ears. I later learned all about mimikaki from an American friend who is addicted to his Japanese wife’s ability to dig wax out of his ears without pulling brain matter out in the process. It’s a Japan thing.

So I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me to see an article in The Japan Times recently about salons opening up that clean your ears (use BugMeNot if it locks out). What better way to cap off a day or work and night of drinking than to have someone jam a camera-enabled pick in your ear so you can watch your very own “house of wax” on TV? A thousand yen gets you a 10-minute ear-cleaning and a quick massage. Ten thousand yen gets you a deluxe ear cleaning and a “happy ending.” (Just kidding — though it would be a great way to drum up some business. Especially if you name the salon Love Canal.)

Sorry. Time for bed.