TORONTO – An engineer who graduated a full decade ago has discovered he still has a bit of purple paint behind his ear.
Cole Sterling was just a bright-eyed and moderately drunk engineering student when he opted to dye his entire body purple back during Frosh Week 2008. “Man, those were my glory days,” said Sterling, an aerospace engineer who now literally designs rocket ships for a living.
Like most engineering students, Sterling believed his days as a big purple sophomore would live on only in questionable Facebook photos he would later un-tag when applying for jobs. But that signature Gentian Violet hue came back to haunt him last week when he discovered the remaining paint behind his ear after buzzing off his pandemic shag.
“How did nobody ever point this out to me?” asked Sterling, who primarily works and hangs out with other engineers. “I’ve had like sixty haircuts since then. Three different girlfriends who liked biting my ear. Plus, there was that one summer where I tried to pay off my student loans by working as an ear model.”
When asked if he had ever considered not dying himself purple, Sterling said, “I mean, I know Health Canada warns against using the dye, but I thought that was just because it might give me cancer, not because it would give me a permanent ear tattoo.”
Upon making the discovery, Sterling attempted to innovate several possible solutions to his purple ear problem, including soaking his ear in vinegar, never taking off his toque, and telling people he did it on purpose. Unfortunately, none of his methods proved effective.
Sterling also briefly worried that he had retained a bit of green paint on his little finger from that time he dyed himself teal to go as “Ver-Degree” at the U of T Engineering Society’s Halloween party. It turned out to just be discolouration from his stainless steel iron ring.
At press time, Sterling and two of his closest friends had reportedly left the engineering field to pursue fame as a performance art ensemble known as the Purple Man Group.