Florida is a semi-tropic, sultry, and exotic state where rain is called liquid sunshine, and the Spanish guy who named it fully expected to find a fountain full of botox. Winter is the season where Floridians put on sweaters and walk fast to their cars. Florida is paradise.
Florida is also wormy.
Big worms, little worms, beggar worms, thief worms. Pinworms are a fun little worm that lay eggs in a part of the body usually associated with sitting, booty dancing—also spanking. Pinworms are party worms that come out at night to . . . well . . . booty dance, also to lay their eggs in a place where the sun don’t shine. Pinworm eggs can be found in dirt, air, shady places, warm mud, and toddlers. It is very easy to “get” pinworms.
I have had pinworms—in MY PERSONAL BOOTY.
I got them from my grubby toddler kids, who were not above eating dirt, licking dirt, bathing with dirt, or painting with poop in dirt. It is very easy to “get” pinworms; as far as I can tell, pinworm eggs lurk absolutely everywhere, including the moon. One semi-tropic, sultry, and exotic Florida evening, I remember sitting straight up in bed and gasping.
“Honey, honey!” I shook my husband’s shoulder. He mumbled something about a goose and then rolled over. I shook harder. “Honey! Wake up!” Panic made my voice shrill. “I’ve got them!!!”
“What! Whaaaat . . . is . . . it?” He rumbled awake. “Do I need the baseball bat?” He scratched his ear and admitted, “I don’t know where it is.”
“Sherwood, listen to me.” The hair on the back of my neck began to creep in sympathy with other parts of me that were just plain creeped out and itching. “I’ve got pinworms. I know it.”
“Should I get the baseball bat?”
“No! Pinworms, man, pinworms,” I grabbed him by his shoulders.” I have them!” I lowered my voice to a raspy gag. “I . . . can . . . feel . . . them . . . moving!”
He grimaced, looking confused and a little frightened.
“What should I do?” I said, imagining creeping, crawling, and nefarious inching with the vividness of a creative writer high on inspiration.
“Find a cork?” His suggestion was so quiet I almost didn’t hear it.
“Listen, Mister, if you don’t watch out, I’ll make you do the “tape test” for pinworms.” He looked suspicious. “That’s right. The tape test, where you take clear tape and press it to the skin of my . . .”
He moaned faintly, while looking faint. His dismay became contagious.
Hysteria clawed its way through my brain as I lunged for the phone and dialed my gynecologist’s emergency number. While waiting for a call from the mean old nurse they make you talk to when you’ve called with an emergency that isn’t really an emergency, I felt a pathologic need to start running in circles. I ran.
“What are you doing?” My husband had found the baseball bat under the bed and cradled it like a baby. He watched me without blinking. “You know you can’t outrun the pinworms, right? They’re along for the ride.”
The phone rang. I stopped running and answered it.
Explaining in a rational calm scream, I yelped, “HELP ME! I have worms!”
The mean old nurse said, “You realize that pinworms are not considered an emergency or life threatening.”
“Maybe I wasn’t clear. I HAVE WORMS IN MY PERSONAL BODY PARTS!”
“Mrs. Zern you have called your gynecologist’s emergency phone number in the middle of the night because you suspect you might have an infestation of Enterobeus Vermikularis,” she sighed. “I’ll call in a prescription in the morning. You’ll live.” The phone clicked off.
The next morning I had to give a speech in front of approximately two hundred of my peers with pinworms still creeping about my person, and I did, in fact, deliver that speech. And that’s why I’m one tough mom, and it’s very hard to rattle me with threats of global warming, global cooling, global annihilation, or global xenomorph attack. I’ve known true horror—and I lived.
Lind (Cork It!) Zern