I used to have this great earring. It was a slotted screw that I picked up from a cool flea market. It was perfect. It was unusual, it didn't sparkle, and it didn't hurt putting on my helmet.

Last year riding home from Biketoberfest in Florida (and by riding home, I don't mean putting our bikes in a pick-up truck and cruising with the AC on -- I mean butt-numb riding from Florida to Jersey), I lost the earring while taking my helmet off. I have been taking off my helmet for 25 years and now an earring decides to pull a Steve McQueen and escape. The thousand mile trek by a few middle-aged guys was a blast, but the earring was lost.

Didn't realize it was gone until the next gas stop.

So, I arrive home pissed off and, what's worse, I couldn't find another one.

There was only one thing left to do. I created my own men's earrings. What makes them men's earrings? As opposed to just normal "whatever you have between your legs" earrings? Good question (dumb but good). For one thing, you can buy just one earring. If you only have one ear pierced, you only need one earring -- duh. If you have both your ears pierced - great, but for the rest of us "uni-pierced," it's a waste.

The other thing about my earrings that make them men's earrings are the designs -- each one is a specific screw head. Wood screw heads, metal screw heads, flat and rounded. Screws that I personally have stripped, bent, drilled out and cursed at. I'm convinced that Phillip's head screws were put on this earth so five-year-old sons can learn how to curse up a streak while watching their dad strip the umpteenth one.

No, these are not blingy - they don't gleam. These are for the guy who has an intimate relationship with his Makita.

In the process of designing this line of earrings, Graham, the organizer of our Daytona bike trip, and close friend, succumbed to pancreatic cancer. He was a great guy and I would have gotten him to wear one of my earrings just to piss off his wife (who was also an old friend). But I didn't get the chance.

Funny. The thing that does you in is always what you don't see coming -- whether on the road or off.

That's how IronEar was born. Five of my own earring designs. More to come.

If you wear one, send a picture. I may post the interesting ones.