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I Don’t Know Who My Father Is, but I Have Dry Earwax

Through the magic of earwax, I finally have a clue as to who my real dad is.

When I was a child, my mother brought me to the paediatrician and asked about my exceptionally dry earwax. Dr. Hahn Li told us that my earwax was oriental, to which I thought, “Oh, Dr. Hahn Li is Asian so all of her diagnoses are too.” And then I tucked her comment into a hidden and unused brain space until recently, when I discovered the joy of watching earwax removal videos on YouTube. (Seriously, this shit makes me foam at the mouth.) My newfound obsession with earwax prompted me to do a bit of research on its hereditary significance, which, as it turns out, is huge.


Allow me to explain. For much of my life I assumed that my biological parents were the white ones who raised me. What a fool I was to believe such an obvious falsity. I look nothing like my “father”. It was revealed to me in my early teens that my biological father is in fact an anonymous sperm donor, and the man I live with is just a cool guy with a history of testicular cancer.

A lot of questions came to mind when I first found out. “Am I Asian?” “Do I have any diseases?” “Am I retarded?”

My mother assured me that the sperm came from a man whose physical characteristics matched up with the man who raised me. But not according to our earwax!

According to this study led by Japanese scientist Koh-ichiro Yoshiura of Nagasaki University, the quality of our earwax is a hereditary trait, and, ergo, evidence that I’m less white than I thought I was.

Here’s a quick summary of the study: People can be segregated right down the middle by wet and dry ear crusties. Europeans and Africans have wet earwax, and Asians (and thereby Native Americans, due to ANCIENT SIBERIAN BORDER CROSSING) have dry. South Asians are 50/50. This is determined by the switch of a single DNA unit in the gene known to geneticists as the ATP-binding cassette C11 gene. (What the fuck, science?)

Basically, all of this is to say that Asians are cleaner and more evolved, but I don’t have the patience to phrase that in a way that won’t sound offensive. In addition to having dry earwax, this gene also makes people sweat and smell less. Which explains why I’ve been getting away with never wearing deodorant. Historically, this has something to do with being adaptable to cold weather, or some shit. In conclusion, all you guys are gross.


What a relief! All my life I’ve been carrying around this guilt, like, “Sorry everyone, for colonising your land and capitalising off of your broken dreams,” but now I get to be a part of the victim party! Thanks to my anonymous semen-dispenser dad.

I’m going to go ahead and guess that my parents are Native American, though, since Asians are typically better at keeping track of their heritage AND I can drink a whole bottle of rubbing alcohol without feeling anything. Interesting to note: my brother has a different biological father and he has wet earwax. That’s because this is how the genetics work – you need two dries to make a dry. A wet and a dry still make a wet. Is that confusing? Well, it’s like how eye colour works. It’s like how fucking science works. Fuck, I’m so stupid.

Now that I understand this about my identity, I’m not sure how I ignored all of the signs before. On top of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, I also have immunity against being mauled to death by wild animals, I don’t ever get sunburnt, poison ivy feels like cashmere to me and I just dropped out of school. If that doesn’t scream “Mohawk” I don’t know what does. Plus, bio-dad was obviously in a grind for some cashflow.

Artificial insemination was a pretty new thing when my brother and I were conceived. In the 80s everyone was broke, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. If you needed to buy a turkey sandwich for lunch but didn’t have the cash you could just pop into a clinic and rub one out real quick. It was like an ATM machine where your dick was the card.


Things were still pretty primitive technology-wise back then, too. For example, when my brother was conceived no one had figured out how to freeze semen yet, so his biological father was literally just jerking off in the other room, like ten feet away from my mom. My father’s jizz, on the other hand, was mailed to the clinic in a cooler. But even with the introduction of beachfront beer-cooling technology, paperwork remained unimportant. Sperm donor offspring have no rights in obtaining information about their genealogy. My mother didn’t even have control over the “Y-guy”. She handed the decision off to a couple of nurses behind the counter.


Where does this leave me? Super apathetic as usual, I guess. But some part of me really wants to go on an epic life journey, which would entail travelling across North America, scouring the nation for one man with incredibly clean ears and a masculine version of my face attached to his mentally handicapped head. In fact, I’m going to do that now.

Follow Kara on Twitter: @totallykara

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