There was excitement on the stock exchange yesterday when it was announced that Transglobular Mining PLC had discovered significant quantities of earwax in Mr Harry Frome of 43 Litchfield Lane, Liverpool.
Stockpiles of earwax have run dangerously low over the last few years, with many of the traditional sources drying up. There has been a genuine concern that supplies would run out completely, so when test drilling revealed these new deposits there was a great sigh of relief from many within the industry.
"So far we have only surveyed Mr Frome's left ear," said spokesman Willy Smalls at a press conference yesterday afternoon. "And even the most conservative of estimates indicates the presence of enough earwax to last well into the next decade. We have every confidence that further investigations of his right ear will yield similar results."
Encouraging though this news is, there is a snag. Mr Frome is one of the last surviving ironmongers in Merseyside, and as a skilled craftsman he is protected by a preservation order. This means that no one is allowed to build on him. It also rules out all forms of mining and excavation.
This is bad news for Transglobular Mining, but they are currently petitioning the government to overturn the order, on the basis that such a plentiful supply of earwax is a vital resource, too important to remain untapped. They claim that by sinking two small bore holes through the top of Mr Frome's head, they can remove the earwax cleanly without causing damage to his ancient frontage.
However, environmental groups fear that this will pave the way for further exploitation of Mr Frome, including deforestation of his armpits, unsightly mucus wells and an opencast bellybutton fluff mine.
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