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I had a bug in my ear.

So, in addition to all the year-end top ten lists, etc, ROTTEN TOMATOES called SLiTHER the 8th Best Reviewed Film of the Year in wide release.  You can check it out here:

Thanks to top friend Joseph for turning me on to this.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/features/rtawards/movie_2006.php?r=50&mid=1156562&type=w

I GOT A BUG IN MY EAR


It’s this bastard’s fault.

It’s true.  I had just let my dog, Von Spears, out in the backyard to do his business.  While I waited, I cleaned up the house a bit (a very little bit) and listened to my iPod in my Bose headphones.

I opened the door to let Von Spears back in, and he didn’t come running in like he usually does.  I go outside, around back; he’s not there.  But I do see that one of our front gates to the backyard is open. 

I freak out.  Von Spears had escaped!  This is never a good thing, as he’s a moron with cars.  He thinks everyone is his friend, and giant screeching metal objects are no exception.

Still in my bare feet, I dash through the house to the front door.  I toss off my earphones on the way.

I run onto my front lawn.  I hear his bark down the street. He’s barking at another dog.  I yell out his name.

He comes, right away, looking up at me with his snaggly little smile.  Everything’s hunky-dory.  He had a grand little adventure.

I bring him back in my house.  I put my headphones back on my head.  And here’s where things get fucking weird.

Halfway through Cake’s I Will Survive I hear an incredibly loud buzzing inside my ear.  Fuck!  Something’s wrong with my iPod.

I take off my headphones and am extremely disconcerted to discover that the incredibly loud buzzing is still in my ear.  In fact, there’s something actually INSIDE my ear, slamming repeatedly against my eardrum.

I know it must be a bug. It must have been on my headphones when I put them back on my head, and got stuck in there.  Unfortunately, having a bug in my ear was not a completely new experience.

When I was about 19 in St. Louis I was doing some gardening for my parents over the summer, and some sort of bug flew into my ear.  It couldn’t seem to get out and batted around in there for over an hour.  Finally, I took myself to the emergency room.  I told the admitting nurse I had a bug in my ear, and she looked at me like I was fucking insane.

I had to wait for a couple hours in the waiting room, as assholes came in with heart attacks and strokes and stuff and took priority, all selfish bastards who didn’t give a shit that I was going FUCKING CRAZY WITH A BUG IN MY EAR.  Finally, I get taken into the back to see the doctor.  And it was just about then that the flapping in my ear stopped.  The little bugger must have escaped.  I looked up at the doctor.

"I think it’s gone," I told him.  He, too, looked at me like I was some insane kid who must have been admitting himself into emergency rooms around the city claiming to have a bug in his ear. 

Anyway, this time it was worse.  Whatever was in there was scraping at my eardrum like a dog desperate to be let inside the back door.  I was losing my sense of balance and had to breathe deeply and slowly to maintain my cool…

Remain calm, I told myself. 

Do.  Not. Freak. Out.

I started shaking my head around epileptically, trying to get whatever was in there to fall out.

No go. 

So I did what most men do when finding themselves in a panicked situation.  I sought out a woman to save me.

First I tried to call Jenna, who was on set at the time.  I knew we might have Swim Ear in our house and maybe I could flush the fucker out.  But I don’t even know where we keep the spatula or Scotch tape, so I definitely didn’t know where the fucking Swim Ear was.  She didn’t pick up.  She was probably shooting.  Shit.  I texted her:

Big Problem
Call me IMMEDIATELY

Then I called our assistant, Lynn, who was on her way to our house to begin her workday.  She answered. My speech was stilted and halting, as I was still focused on remaining calm.

"Lynn, there is a bug.  Inside.  My ear."

She kindly didn’t laugh.  She could have done it and gotten away with it too.  I wouldn’t have fired her.  I was desperate.  Instead, she acted like this was all completely normal.  She’s been beaten down repeatedly by my less than normal life.

"Okay," she said.

"Lynn."

"Yes?"

"I need you to go to the drugstore.  And talk to the pharmacist.  Ask the dude.  What I need to get a bug.  Out of my.  Ear.  Go to the section of shit you put into your ear – like Swim Ear and shit – and buy.  Every fucking thing.  In the section."

Lynn agreed to do so.  I hung up. 

The bug was still there, getting louder.  It felt like a drill sergeant was standing directly beside me, screaming repeatedly and constantly into my ear at the top of his lungs.  I became suddenly panicked it was going to lay eggs in there…

Again, I swished my head around to get the thing out again. 

For a second, it stopped. 

And then started up again: louder, meaner, angrier.

SCRAPE!  SCRAPE!  SCRAPE!  SCRAPE!

Wait a second, I thought.  Maybe it can’t find its way out.  Maybe I ought to be more still.

So I stood there, in the center of my bedroom, as still as I could possibly be. 

It was only a few seconds later I could feel something tickling the outer canal of my ear.

I walked into the bathroom and checked myself in the mirror.  There it was, a little ant, stumbling drunkenly out of my ear.

I let him crawl onto my finger.  I brought him closer to my face.

Boy.  He was way more fucked-up than I was by this experience.  His legs and antennae were all bent in different directions.  His exoskeleton was sort of denty. 

I felt a sort of kinship with him.  Two completely different species, we just went through this utterly confusing situation together.  Poor little dude.

I washed him down the sink.

I texted Jenna again:

Forget it
There was an ant in my ear
Struggling to get out
I got it out

ONE MORE THING –

Boombox may be getting on your nerves, but maybe you just have a very narrow-minded definition of "sexy."  Personally, I think Boombox rocks.

Go fuck yourselves,

James Gunn

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