11
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You all have us, but you don't know why.

Our much more useful cousins are waiting right nearby

We can't do much, but we're sensitive things.

We can hardly stand up to the abuse that you bring.

You run us straight through without second thought.

Do you stop when we ask? Sadly not.

You bite us, you pull us, you stretch us to our limits.

But we don't put up a fight, we willingly submit.

What are we?

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ My first thought was that the answer is livestock and humans. $\endgroup$ – Duck Jul 18 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure about you, but I certainly don't have livestock. And I feel like pretty much everyone who has livestock knows why they do. $\endgroup$ – Cubemaster Jul 18 at 18:29
17
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Along the lines of what Stiv already guessed, are you:

Earlobes

You all have us, but you don't know why.
Our much more useful cousins are waiting right nearby

We all have them, they don't really serve any function, but ears do

We can't do much, but we're sensitive things.
We can hardly stand up to the abuse that you bring.
You run us straight through without second thought.
Do you stop when we ask? Sadly not.

Many people pierce their ears.

You bite us, you pull us, you stretch us to our limits.
But we don't put up a fight, we willingly submit.

Earlobes are bitten (by a lover perhaps?), sometimes pulled (like a mother grabbing a child's earlobe), and sometimes stretched (such as with stretching rings).

The title: We get more abuse than anyone else

Earlobes are pierced more frequently than any other body part.

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  • $\begingroup$ The bite one is a bit of a stretch (no pun intended..). But I like the rest of it. +1 $\endgroup$ – Cullub Jul 19 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ nicely done! Exactly right. $\endgroup$ – Cubemaster Jul 23 at 12:20
10
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Are you:

Cheeks? Lips?

You all have us, but you don't know why.

We all have cheeks, but their uses are not as instantly obvious as those of other body parts.

Our much more useful cousins are waiting right nearby

Teeth, on the other hand have very obvious uses.

We can't do much, but we're sensitive things.

Cheeks are very sensitive, having many nerve endings.

We can hardly stand up to the abuse that you bring. You run us straight through without second thought.

You pass food, alcohol, cigarettes - all sorts! - between them. Often pretty much on auto-pilot while eating.

Do you stop when we ask? Sadly not.

Cheeks can 'ask' since they are important for speech and shaping particular sounds.

You bite us, you pull us, you stretch us to our limits.

You can bite, pull and stretch your cheeks.

But we don't put up a fight, we willingly submit.

But you know what, they put up with it and keep doing their jobs!

The title is also a clue, since:

'Cheek' is a synonym for 'abuse'!

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Close, but not quite. You're in the right area... $\endgroup$ – Cubemaster Jul 18 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Cubemaster I contemplated rot13(Gbafvyf) too. They were a pretty good fit but damned if I can bite mine! :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Jul 18 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ OH! I've just got it! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Jul 18 at 19:22
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    $\begingroup$ This is such a good answer, intended or not. Nice work, Stiv! $\endgroup$ – Mr Pie Jul 18 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Mohirl Ditto! I now finally understand why people strike through old guesses rather than deleting them entirely... $\endgroup$ – Stiv Jul 19 at 10:54
2
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Are you

hair

You all have us, but you don't know why.

Hair doesn't really have a purpose anymore

Our much more useful cousins are waiting right nearby

Eyelashes are actually useful

We can't do much, but we're sensitive things.

Hair is fragile and gets easily damaged

We can hardly stand up to the abuse that you bring.

It's really hard to make hair stand up, even with hair gel and stuff

You run us straight through without second thought.

We brush our hair often

Do you stop when we ask? Sadly not.

We lose hairs we brush it (?)

You bite us, you pull us, you stretch us to our limits.

Hair pulling/stretching is fairly common. Some people are into hair biting I guess (?)

But we don't put up a fight, we willingly submit.

In the end you can always arrange your hair to way you want

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1
$\begingroup$

You are

Nails

You all have us, but you don't know why.

Not using them anymore to climb trees, etc.

Our much more useful cousins are waiting right nearby

Fingers

We can't do much, but we're sensitive things.

when you break a nail, it hurts

We can hardly stand up to the abuse that you bring.

Clipping, biting nails etc.

You run us straight through without second thought.

Nail clipping

You bite us, you pull us, you stretch us to our limits.

Stretching may be seen as growing long nails.

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0
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Are you

Wisdom Teeth?

I don't know what they're for, and they have much more useful cousins close by.

You run us straight through without second thought.

As soon as you feel them, you take them out.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ i think you are very close - might be 'milky teeth' (sorry i don't know better) $\endgroup$ – Martin Frank Jul 19 at 14:16

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