In the finest of tradition, they were slim and slender and ready to fall into the hands (not arms) of folks whose ears were itching for an excavation.
Enter the venerable Ear Wax Digger. In my kiddy days, we had a couple of these implements at home. I used to enjoy lying down with head on my late mum’s lap while she gently scraped the walls of my ear canals.
My ears did not yield much. However, I have seen cases of other folks whereby the diggers often struck the mother lode, with nuggets as big as half the size of a full-grown cockroach.
In those days, barbers also rendered this extraction service, but I never trusted their hands or eyesight. I think this practice has probably died out, as this form of mining has become unglamorous
Back in the old kampong, wherever there was food, the environment would be abuzz with houseflies.
Thus in every household there would be at least one food cover – usually a large one with a diameter of about one yard – to enforce a No-Fly Zone against the airborne invaders.
In those days, these covers were usually made of rattan, though some wire-mesh types were also available.
Ever since moving out of the kampong, I have seldom seen such covers. Perhaps, the general hygiene of the environment has been greatly improved, and thus houseflies have found it hard to eke out a living, and called it quits.
There are modern types that are made of plastic material, and have some degree of transparency. Too bad for the flies – can see, can smell but cannot get to eat.
In the old days, perhaps due to lack of knowledge of hygiene of the crowning glory, infestation by lice was quite common.
A cousin came back from school one day, scratching her scalp non-stop. By the third day, her sister and her mother were also affected. Things came to a head, when they discovered some tiny whitish creatures clinging onto their hair.
Fortunately, Grandma had a secret weapon, called the Sikat Kutu. She ran the formidable fine-tooth comb through the tresses of all 3 ladies — one swipe after another, and many lice were exposed, dislodged and summarily quashed.
But that was not enough. Kerosene was rubbed onto their hair to make sure there were no living remnants. Other folks even used a very pungent antiseptic white powder.