MAYO CLINIC. ROCHESTER, MN. Doctor's at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic revealed today that a sunflower plant is growing inside a male patient's ear.
As explained at a clinic press conference, the unidentified patient sought treatment for an ear that was apparently completely blocked with wax. On advice of a nurse, the patient used a liquid twice a day for four days to loosen the wax. When, on the fifth day, he came in for an ear wash, the nurse noticed what appeared to be green debris in the ear. When she tried to remove it, she found that the debris was connected together by what seemed to be a green stem. At that point, she called a doctor. who confirmed that it was living vegetable matter. A botanist from a nearby university determined that it was a sunflower plant.
"I know exactly how it got there," the patient told curious reporters. "I feed sunflower seeds to the wild squirrels and the birds in my backyard. Sometimes, I scatter the seeds, throwing them into the wind. A few stick to my clothes. This one apparently went into my ear and plugged it up. That's why I came in for an ear wash."
The future of he miraculous plant is unclear. Botanists are urging the patient to let it grow to maturity, with a fully developed flower. Since the seeds came from a variety that flowers when it is 18 inches high, they believe it can be trained to grow down his neck and chest, held in place by strings.
A believe-it-or-not television program has offered the patient a six-figure payment for the exclusive rights to the story if the plant flowers. "Plants' Rights" protesters, however, have condemned any effort to encourage its growth.
In the meantime, the patient is feeding his menagerie another brand of sunflower seeds.