An ear-biter is a special sort of US Postal Worker. Well, clearly special if ear-biting is their thing. Apparently in or around 1845 a US postal employee chewed off a man’s ear in a fight. Lovely. We don’t know if the ear-biter was male or female, but either way it must have been one hell of a brawl. And what was it about? Did the bitten one pinch the ear-biter’s stack of wafer seals? Or maybe it was sealing wax, ruby red and luscious? Maybe it was the other way around?

Just imagine the queue in the post-office, gathering and swirling next to the counter, striving to get a glimpse of the fight on the other side. The people in their complicated mid-century clothes and hats would be doing their best to crane over to get a better view. They will have seen a squirming mass of petticoats and shirt tails, eye shades askew and desperately rolling across the floor to gain the upperhand. Ineffective kicks from the ear-biter would raise up her clothes giving the fascinated onlookers more than a glimpse of intriguing multilayered fabrics. The ladies in the audience catching their breath would fleetingly look away. With her knees released and her ankles free from her underskirts, the ear-biter could then do her sweaty best to get him in the goolies. But he was too strong and heavy for her. Despite her wiry youth and his paunchy impairments he gradually pinned her down. It was his moment of triumph and it looked like it was all over, until he made his fatal error.

Desperate to retrieve the sealing wax he had the idea that he could use one forearm and his heavy bulk to hold her still, while with the other he could reach out to get the sealing wax. He had forgotten that he would have to turn his head to get sight of it. Big mistake. Still clutching the sealing wax tight and aloft the ear-biter saw her chance. She wrenched her head up and clamped her sharp young teeth on her enemy’s grubby ear. With sublime focus, she clenched her jaws and ignored the warm blood soon flowing into her nostrils and mouth. Her opponent’s primordial roar of pain did not distract her. Nor the scent of stale US Postal Service coffee breath or the sense of rancid spittle in her hair. She clung tight to the sealing wax and the ear as she struggled to get even more of a leg out of the petticoats to land an effective kick.

The collective gasps and cries from onlookers and their fellow postal workers did nothing to slow either protagonist. The agony of the bite was making him dizzy and yet he did not shift position or loosen his grip on the woman. Roaring in pain and anger he could not do anything other than double down, reinforcing his hold on her and stretching even further to reach his sealing wax. His mind was approaching a delirium of agony, but somewhere in the pain he wondered why he had lent it to her in the first place. He should have known that coquettish smile and the downcast eyes were not to be trusted. He should have known that her dainty touch on his arm was about nothing more than stealing his sealing wax. It was so very red  and luscious after all.

And then the collosal agony of her pointy toed shoe hitting his most tender parts forced a paroxysm of limbs and all thoughts turned to starry. His no longer outstretched hand clutched down to comfort and cradle his very source, as the stars blossomed and his breath seized up. Sensing victory, she held fast his ear which both of them could feel slowly tearing away from his head. An immense sob was welling up inside him hard on the heels of his agonised squeals. At this point his post office colleagues reckoned things had gone far enough. They starting hauling him off of her prone and dishevelled form, pulling down her skirts to protect her frail female modesty. But this effort to part the pair only made things worse, on account of the ear. Bellowing as another renewed flight of pain sped through him, he felt the remnants of his ear’s attaching tissues fully separate from his skull. He had an amplified awareness of pain. Excess noise confused him. Stinging surges of cold air hit parts of his auditory canal not previously exposed and now bereft of protection. 

She scrambled to her feet and stood with arms raised up. One fist bore a half-chewed ear and the other its previous owner’s sealing wax. Panting she stared at the onlookers wild-eyed, hair a mess and someone else’s blood dripping from her chin. Victorious.

Leave a Reply