Saturday, January 13, 2007

Parasites and Such

OK, so somehow, and I really can't remember how it came up, but somehow I started talking about parasites on my date the other night.

I know that you just cringed when you read that. Because there is probably never an actual reason to talk about parasites on a second date. Or ever.

But growing up with a father who worked in public health, these kinds of things actually were dinner table conversation. We've all had some very weird stuff - parasites and such - because when you live in the countries we lived in, well, it's par for the course. And dinner was when the family was together. And we'd talk. I have a very strong stomach.

One night my mom had had enough. She said, "Could we just have no more anal talk at the dinner table?"

That might have lasted a week.

This story is gross. But in fairness, this guy has been all over the planet, and we were already talking parasites and tropical ailments or something. He was probably just glad we weren't talking about global warming.

So the story I somehow wound up telling was about my lovely friend N from New York. This woman was exquisitely beautiful - long curly black hair and big brown eyes, and flawless skin. She always wore dresses and skirts, always wore make up. She was very, very feminine. Except for the fact that she could swear like a sailor. It was a fantastic combination.

So beautiful N kept getting worms. Worms! Not like, oh you have a stomach ache and you go to the doctor. No! Worms like you look down in the toilet and say, "Oh, my God! Worms!"

And the reason? Because anyone, anyone who buys and eats grilled tripe from the guy selling it on the street corner is asking for worms. Tripe! Random stomach bits of cows. From the guy on the street. In Ecuador. Worms!

My date, well, as you may imagine he was a little surprised. And he did put a temporary injunction on parasite conversation till dinner was over.

I'm fascinated by really horrifying tropical diseases. I can talk about them endlessly.

Like, I love talking about Guinea Worm. It's this worm that you get by drinking water infected with the larvae. It can get up to 2-3 feet long. And listen to this - you start to see it under the surface of your skin, and then it bursts out. And you can't just pull it out! You have to twist it around a stick, pulling very slowly every day until it's all the way out. Is that not the most disgusting thing you've ever heard of? Or anyway, up there with Botfly?


  1. Oh, Dear God. As I read the first paragraph, I thought the parasites were ON your date. (It was a late night out drinking with teachers). For a minute I thought, no! She can do much better than that. Then I reread it. Phew!

    Thanks so much for the link and info on the Guinea Worm. I'm definitely going to use that information to do a gross out with my kids sometime soon.

    Fun stuff! Happy long weekend.

  2. The Guinea Worm wikipedia entry made for some GREAT bedtime reading! Did you get to talk Guinea Worms with your date? And did he ask you on another date? If so, he's a keeper!

  3. Modostodadeu os, bissicui? Ognord nao khavimenti, este - apre de weenda boas gen. Checes eximai int rappassaro bel yogo fil xado as, tudo! Lodard ritiva, tra di serrou, guestr buoneg isa!

  4. We, Ourselves of the collective enjoyed this post immensely! As Human Beings go you are unique and intriguing and We will continue to enjoy you offerings.

    Qu'ul cuda praedex nihil!

  5. Thanks! I always feel like, oh, god, did I really talk about that? And the answer always seems to be yes.

  6. Dang... I did NOT need to click on that Guinea Worm link....


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