Part 245: Metal in my Ears

RECORD STORE TALES Part 245:  Metal in my Ears

and bonus “Shit LeBrain’s Dad Says”

Even though ear piercings on men at the record store were against our backwards “body piercing policy”, I thought for years about getting my ears pierced.  Thought about it, never really did anything about it.  This inaction went way back, even in highschool I just never got my ears pieced.  I came close on summer holidays after graduation.  Today, My Favourite Aunt still blames me for the day my cousin came home with his ear pierced.  It happened like this…

Bob, myself, cousin

Bob, myself, cousin – 1991

Summer holidays ’91, my cousin was visiting from Calgary, Alberta.  By coincidence, my friend Bob had decided to spend a few days at our cottage with the whole family, which was cool by me.   Bob was like family.  My cousin liked to be active.  He was never the type to sit quietly.  Or do anything quietly.

He kept telling us that wanted to get his ear pierced.  We decided, “Hey, why don’t we all drive into town, and the three of us get our ears pierced?”  We found a hair salon on Queen Street in Kincardine, Ontario called The Clan that did ears (gun-style).  Somehow, on the way there, Bob chickened out.  He said, “You know, I’m starting my new job next week.  I don’t think I want to go in there with an earring on my first day.”

“Are you…what are you saying?” I asked.

“I’m not getting it done.  You can get yours, but I can’t go to a new job like that.”  Bob was standing firm.

Feeling my backbone melt away, I said, “I’m not doing it either.”

“WHAT?!” Bob and my cousin both said in unison.  “You’re chickening out?”

“I’m not chickening out!” I protested.  “We all agreed to do it.  If Bob’s not doing it I don’t have to either.”

My resilient cousin said, “I’m still doing it.”  True to his word, he did.  The crap hit the fan when we got back to the cottage.  Why was he the only one with his ear pierced?  The questions came fast and furious.  I was accused of  “tricking him” and “suckering him in”.  But I didn’t trick anyone.

I simply chickened out.

I still thought about getting an ear piercing, on and off, but the point was moot since the record store did not allow piercings on men.  Obviously this policy couldn’t stand forever or they’d never be able to hire anybody.  Finally after much petitioning and complaining by many, the day came when they changed their policies regarding earrings on men.

I knew the only person who would still give me a hard time about an earring would be my dad.  Sometimes people would ask me, “Why don’t you get an ear piercing?” and I’d usually respond, “Because my dad’s retired and I don’t want to give him a heart attack.”

My friend Shannon promised to help me to soften the blow.  She accompanied me to Tora Tattoo in Waterloo, where the young lady there (Shelley) pierced both lobes with 10 gauge rings.  I was pretty happy with the results.  My dad was not.  Upon entering the house, his only words to me were:

“I sure hope those things come out!”

No dad, I had them solder them in.  Jesus Murphy!


  1. I don’t know why but I have a clear memory of some interview with Harrison Ford and he’d just gotten his ear pierced at, like, 50 years old. He said his kid told him that if Ford could do it, so could his kid. To which he replied “Sure, when you’re 50 and you want your ear pierced, you go right ahead.”

    Sadly, very important things escape my memory all of the time, but crap like that gets stuck in my head so easily.

    I do not have any piercings or tattoos. Never felt an urge, I guess. But if somebody else wants to do it, let ’em. It’s their body.

    As to the store policy, you didn’t go far enough. You should have dressed according to the female code. Skirt, low-key ear piercings, blouse that didn’t show off your cleavage (haha), strappy shoes. Point made, man. If girls can do it, so can you. And vice versa. I never understood dress codes that discriminated like that.


    1. Well yeah right? Our policies were very weird and “small business” in the early days. They didn’t really have a good grip on worker’s rights for a while. I remember T-Rev had to call the labor board because there was a dispute over whether Christmas was or was not a “stat” holiday…


  2. Hi mklndo,Handsome dudes
    in that pic!Bob looks very Bold.
    Is that your brave cus in hat?You trickster.Also had cottage there,north of town.At beach could see Nuclear plant
    round bend.Ever walk in the
    Kilt parade?
    Do you still sport the earring?
    Always liked them on guys.
    o.k. lori,enough!
    Cute story on Courage.


    1. Courage or lack thereof :)

      Yes we used to march in the kilt parade, all three of us. I’ll never forget my buddy Peter and I were there one Saturday. There was a lady piper and she was really good. Without a the slightlest realization of the double meaning of what he was saying, my dad goes, “Boy, she can really blow that bag, huh?” And of course Peter says, “She can blow my bag any time…”

      You couldn’t see Bruce Nuclear from our beach. You could see it if you walked or canoed north to the next subdivision. You may well have been just north of us. We were at Lorne Beach.

      No more lobes but I do have an ear piercing called a tragus:


      1. I’m just going to look
        up Tragus.
        Did you mean you have
        no ear lobes or no earrings in them?
        I’ve heard of ‘clipping’ the top of the ear off but not the bottom.
        Sounds like u were close
        to our cottage.I really miss it,Lake Huron et al.
        The Spider(web?) bar.
        Yes,your dad gave Peter
        a great lead into his
        enchanting declaration. Was that ‘Peter the Rocker’?
        Yes,I should have referred to this story as
        ‘One Brave Young Man.’


    1. Yes, it was brave.When I used
      to hear guys make fun of other males
      with earrings I would just tell
      them(nicely) that “it takes a Real
      Man to do that.” Seemed to shut
      down the criticism.
      Works good for the ‘pink shirt’ also.


      1. I should have thought of that. Of course the ear ring was the minor thing I got it for. The main problems people had against me then was the long hair, they didn’t want to know or care that it was a reaction after four years of wearing a crew cut in the service of my country, and my native American moccasin boots.


        1. I love real native moccasin boots…there’s a place not far from our cottage, about an hour north, that sells them. They’re awesome. So comfortable.

          I never managed to grow my hair real long. Shoulder length, but then it got these annoying curls in it and it just curled back up. I could never be bothered styling it so it always looked like shit. But I did catch flack for it from family. Actually an uncle that served in WWII really really gave me a hard time about it!


    2. I would have caught crap had I done it in grade school — Catholic school. Earrings on men were against dress code. In fact one day in machine shop we took little ribbons of tin and cut them into hoops to make our own clip-ons.


      1. That is such a Punk
        You r so lucky to have
        the ‘curl.’I would kill to have a wave in my hair.
        Fine, straight hair is a
        cruel sentence.
        So much time spent to
        make it thicker.
        Those ‘perms.’
        Who wants to buy me
        Sounds like you still have the cottage on
        Lake Huron.Such a beautiful place.


        1. Mklndo,After I post a comment,it has twice told me it was deleted,so I make sure,then do another,then both get printed.Any idea what I may be doing to cause this?(tech guy)


        2. Shoot, I have no idea, we don’t really have a functioning IT department here :) WordPress can be buggy with its comments though, I see four comments altogether.


        3. Actually M.,
          I have six comments
          plus the inquiry.
          Two of the same comment went to
          80’s metalman.
          Made me feel like
          the Fool that I am.
          Perhaps paying
          more attention
          when posting might be the ticket.
          A demain.


  3. Loved this story! (I’m working backwards thru your RSTs…)
    I was raised in a strict Baptist home – no body piercings, no tattoos, no ear piercings until we were a respectable age (I was 10).
    When I left for Western at 19, I only had two holes in my ears and always wanted 4. Within 3 weeks I had those extra holes. My mom didn’t notice until x-mas, and wasn’t as pissed as I thought she would be.

    Throw forward decades later, I was visiting my mom and she straight up asks me, “ok, c’mon. I’m ready…show me your tattoos and piercings.” I surprised her when I told her I didn’t have any. She has loosened up her grip over the years (thank goodness!).


Rock a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s