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Concertgoer Finishes Adjusting Earplugs in Time for Final Chorus of Encore Song

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Audience member Dustin Toms finally positioned his earplugs perfectly in his ear canals just in time to enjoy indie garage band Iris Ever’s final chorus of their encore song, sympathetic friends reported.

“I started inserting my $60 Earfreak earplugs right before the set—that’s where the problems started,” stated Toms, who also wears disposable plastic shoe covers to concerts out of fear of damaging his sneakers. “They kept slipping out while making this creaking sound because my ears are so waxy. Then I tried jamming them in as hard as I could which caused me to panic thinking I couldn’t pull them out again. This process basically repeated the whole show. Anyways, I finally got them dialed in right as the show was ending. Had a blast singing along to the last few lines and would definitely go see them play that final chorus again live the next time they come to town.”

Friends of Toms are critical of his caution-focused approach to attending live music events.

“I don’t know why Dustin can’t just chill out and enjoy the music without jumping through all these hoops,” screamed friend Peter O’Reilly, who has already suffered substantial hearing loss at age 24. “How can you feel the music if it’s not assaulting your brain? It will never sound as good with earplugs in. And a side benefit is that when I’m older, I won’t have to act like I can’t hear my annoying kids and grandkids—I genuinely won’t be able to hear much of anything. Win/win. Two birds. Et cetera.”

Otolaryngologists offered professional advice for concertgoers who wish to protect their hearing.

“There’s a fine line between protecting your hearing and ruining the live music experience entirely,” said ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Wendy Wilcott at First Presbyterian Hospital. “My general guidance to patients is to use earplugs if it’s a band you’re lukewarm on. But if they’re one of your top 10, you should probably just rawdog it. Yes, you’ll suffer immeasurable hearing damage. But you don’t want to miss any sick guitar licks or drum fills.”

Sources report that Toms is self-sabotaging his enjoyment of the Summer Forever Music Festival by repeatedly running to shade and reapplying sunscreen in lieu of actually watching any band play.