These days nothing seems to be designed to last. Our consumerist culture, man, obsessed with the newest thing, ready to throw stuff away at a moment’s notice, something something landfill something plastic in our oceans.
In the face of this pervasive – and, to be fair, entirely accurate – narrative it’s refreshing to hear that the art of craftspersonship is still alive and that some products stand up to the greatest challenges. Even the most digestively rigorous.
To that end: thank you, Ben Hsu.
The Taiwanese man, so the story goes, fell asleep and accidentally swallowed one of his Apple AirPods. If that sounds unlikely, remember that statistically you swallow about seven spiders and/or sets of headphones during your lifetime.
(You don’t actually swallow spiders in your sleep, by the way: spiders are way smarter than that.)
He only discovered this when using his Find My Phone function to locate the AirPod he assumed was in his bed somewhere, yet discovered the beeping coming from inside him. Which is a horror film waiting to happen.
He presented to hospital and was x-rayed, locating the errant pod. He was reportedly given laxatives and warned that if it didn’t work its way out naturally he’d require pretty urgent surgery since bowel obstructions are no trivial thing.
However, all’s well that ends with… um, fishing an earphone out of one’s feces. The bud was stained a rich mahogany during its voyage of discovery but a) still worked and b) still had 41 per cent charge.
Now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t say that certain bits of this story sound deeply implausible.
For one thing, “I swallowed them in my sleep!” explanation sounds a bit too much like someone showing up in Emergency with a vacuum cleaner attachment in the rectum and a story about how they were cleaning the house nude when they unexpectedly slipped over… – but the takeaway is do not consume consumer electronics.
If you’re putting AirPods in your mouth, you’re doing it wrong.