For most of my life, I've had a slight ringing in both of my ears. In most situations, I am completely unaware of it, but when things get very quiet, it's near enough to drive me crazy.
Pretty much the only way I can get any sleep1 is with the help of some steady rhythmic noise such as a fan, an ocean steadily lapping at the shore, or a radio tuned to static. There's been a few uncomfortable nights on vacation when a fan has been forgotten, so I generally try to make plans to prevent such discomfort.
One night a couple of years ago, my fan suddenly started emanating a horrible burning smell, which prompting me to retire it permanently. Retiring the fan was in attempt at ensuring that I don't awaken to the smell of sizzling bacon, only to discover that the cooking flesh in question is mine. I think finding oneself delicious would be rather awkward.
My fan didn't extend me the courtesy of dying at an hour when stores at which I could replace said fan were open, so I had to make do with what I had on hand. I decided on the 'tune radio to static' method, as the nearest ocean was 2 hours worth of driving away. Have you ever tried to get static on the radio in a majpr metropolitan area? Let me tell you, it isn't as easy as you'd think. After 5 minutes of fiddling the dial, I found some clean static. I went to bed, and all was good.
A week or so passed without me getting around to buying a new fan, and I just allowed the radio to softly spew out static 24 hours a day. It worked so well that I decided I didn't even need to replace my fan.
That is, until the day when at 4am, Cry Me A River2 by Justin Timberlake suddenly started blaring out of my radio. That day, I went out and bought a new fan.
1: I have considerable trouble sleeping in even ideal circumstances, and incessant ringing in my ears sure doesn't help.
2: I sheepishly admit that I really like this song. I don't care for any of the other songs of his I've heard, but that one I really like.
The author lives in Vancouver, Washington, USA with his girlfriend and a menagerie of cats, rats, fish, birds, guinea pigs and robots.
Among other inanities, he strives to use investigative techniques to work young starlet breasts into every aspect of rational discourse -- focusing on the discourse, thus making it not perverted. Also, has recently begun a career as "Internet hairstylist."
He can be contacted via email and Jabber IM at 'email@example.com'. He likes to be contacted.
(All press inquiries, however, ought be directed towards the author's agent, Alistair Hoel, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)