Phil, since Ry ain't going to reply to your thorn-stye intrigue (or should I say, Ry can't reply 'cos he hasn't a clue), please allow me... The cove with a stye, which would clear up in a few days by itself anyways, phones up the 'curer' and explains his painful predicament to him. The curer tells him to go outside - presumably holding his cordless phone - and tells him to stare into a thorn bush. As the patient does this, the curer apparently (tho' I bet he doesn't really, 'cos it hurts, man...) takes a black thorn and stabs himself in his own eyelid with it. AAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaarrrggghh! A few days later, the stye has healed. Sorry - you asked how it actually works? Easy - it doesn't. A bit like Ry's brain. All that's needed to work this out is a teeny tiny bit of critical thinking.