The only thing you should ever put in your ear is your elbow. At least, that’s what my trusted otolaryngologist told me after he inspected my ears and vacuumed out a mass of my own hair and a pussy-willow catkin from the yard or something. I was nine years old. I liked to stick nontraditional items in my ears, so what.

Ironically, when it comes to earplugs, I’m a hater. I’ve even managed to form a loud band with other anti-earplug enablers. One of my bandmates describes earplugs as “condoms for the head.” And they are: they dull your present experience, yet protect you from stuff you don’t want to deal with in the future. And hey, it’s your body—the only ride you get—so the choice to wear earplugs is yours. But admittedly, earplug rebellion is bad behavior.