For those of you who didn't get it, here's a little story about Vincent van Gogh's ear:
Van Gogh felt an increasing fear that Gauguin was going to desert him, and what he described as a situation of "excessive tension" reached a crisis point on 23 December 1888, when Van Gogh stalked Gauguin with a razor and then cut off the lower part of his own left ear, which he wrapped in newspaper and gave to a prostitute named Rachel in the local brothel, asking her to "keep this object carefully." (Source)
Healthwise, Vincent was a basket case. Over the years, doctors came up with various mental and physical diagnoses including temporal lobe epilepsy, bipolar disorder, absinthe poisoning, lead poisoning, hypergraphia, and sunstroke (Source).
Update 2/14/08 - here's another cute one, Dog and Cat's Valentine: