Roosters and Ear Plugs

"When I go to bed, I put in one ear plug, I put in a radio in the other ear, I put on an eyepatch, and then I tape my mouth closed."
Roosters and ear plugs on Somehow Related podcast with Glenn Robbins and Dave O'Neil

One will wake you bright and early, while the other might just be what keeps you sound asleep!

You certainly need the latter when living near the former.

They're somehow related, but how?

Sam put the question to Dave and Glenn, and got them to cock-a-doodle-DO some thinking about it...

🤗
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DAVE: "Man, have you ever had a rooster in your neighbourhood?

"We had a rooster across the road. I live in suburban Melbourne. They bought some chickens...and of course the boy turns into a rooster.

"All of a sudden, at 4am, it's like, 'cock-a-doodle-do!' Oh, man! He was getting up early, this guy."

GLENN: "They are meant to go before sunrise, aren't they? Because they anticipate the sun rising.

"It's kind of like a warning shot to predatory animals or something. It must be."

DAVE: "Some birds sing in the morning as a mating call. I read about that once... and also as a security thing. 'This is where I am. I'm here.'

"So roosters do it as a warning?"

GLENN: "I think so, and it's also to say, 'these chickens here are protected by me. I'm cock of the walk, the number one guy.'

"It's been known that the roosters will fight the foxes... The rooster is big and intimidating."

DAVE: "There's a great takeaway food place near me called Super Tasty Rooster, but we're not eating the rooster.

"It's like Red Rooster. It's a lie. You're having a hen."

GLENN: "It should be Red Hen.

"Are there any famous roosters? There's an [NRL] team called The Roosters."

DAVE: "What about Foghorn Leghorn?"

GLENN: "That wouldn't be bad thinking music, because he used to sing that 'Camptown ladies sing this song, doo-dah, doo-dah!'

"He ruled the roost."

"I'm born in the year of the rooster... I scratch around. I'm struttin' around out there.

"I'm doin' my shoulder movements like Kath. Remember that in Kath and Kim? 'You're lookin' a bit chooky'."

Dave thought Glenn would be a fan, and user, of the ear plug. He was spot on.

GLENN: "This is embarrassing, but this is true. When I go to bed, I put in one ear plug."

DAVE: "Wow."

GLENN: "I put in a radio in the other ear, so I can listen to...talkback or whatever, a bit of music, a bit of classical.

"Then I put on an eyepatch, because our room gets quite light in the morning, and then I tape my mouth closed. Isn't that tragic?

DAVE: "Oh my god! You're like a serial killer!"

GLENN: "Exactly... If you breathe through your nose, the air is cleaner, and you stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system."

DAVE: "I can't talk, I've got a sleeping mask on. I'm like the other Silence of the Lambs."

GLENN: "We're a couple of sexy guys. I know, when I put my ear plugs in, my body goes, 'oh, it's sleep time.'

"I've got the spongy ones where you have to roll them up, push them in hard, and then they expand when they're in there. Lock it in, Eddie."

Not only did Glenn sleep like a baby through Melbourne's destructive, record-breaking storm in October of 2021, he also stayed snoozing when the fire brigade attended an emergency next door - all because of the ear plugs!

GLENN: "I go down pretty hard."

THINKING MUSIC

Dave and Glenn requested a little bit of classic Forghorn Leghorn - "he was like our Homer Simpson" - with a side of retro "red-y" Red Rooster.

🎶Australia, your thinking music is ready! Australia, it's ready right now!🎶

Dave's guess was that ear plugs were surely invented because of noisy roosters, and maybe by the Romans.

Glenn agreed, but placed his bet on Egyptian inventors.

The external auditory canal of a rooster shuts tightly when they open their beaks nice and wide to crow.

They have their own built-in ear plugs. Lucky ducks! Well, not quite.

DAVE: "That annoys me."

GLENN: "Yeah, we're suffering!"

When they popped some microphones on a group of roosters, Belgian researchers from Antwerp and Ghent's universities discovered their crows typically reach 100-plus decibels, much like "running a chainsaw."

Completing x-rays on roosters' heads, they found the special auditory canal soft tissue that blocks out loud noises, and exists to prevent deafness!

Cock-a-doodle-DO you find that as fascinating as we do?


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Credits

The robot's voice comes from Google Home. They're pretty good.

Original theme music by Kit Warhurst.

Artwork created by Stacy Gougoulis.