Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Flies and Neckties

Now it's time to get serious and get a blog post in. I've run out of eating excuses.. I've stuffed my face with a handful of dried cherries to satisfy my emotional need for dessert. I'm torn between writing some serious commentary on the state of American politics (having just viewed the PBS documentary The Dark Side, shedding some light on the flimsy reasons we decided to attack Iraq), and the journey of a gnat inside my eye. Hmmm. I'm going to go with the insect, to clarify, the latter topic. (Though in March an entomologist did name a slime-mold beetle after George W).. My entire family has always taken a great liking to the world of bugs and insects and flying and crawling things in general. I myself do an excellent imitation of the common house fly cleaning himself.. Maybe it's my near-obsessive need for independence that makes me find parasites so riveting.. (Warning: skip the next section if you're one of those weak-stomached people).. There was a program on TV retelling amazing survival stories, and they told of this 16- yr- old girl whose plane had crashed in the Brazilian rain forest. She was the sole survivor, and awoke from an unconscious state to find herself still strapped into the aircraft seat which had landed in a tree. With the dense population of insects, she had discovered that any open wound she had received was now covered in bugs. Her journey to safety took several days and several swims through crocodile infested waters, but to me the most fascinating part of the adventure was (here's the gross part!) that she discovered many of the bugs had layed their eggs into her wounds, burrowed under her skin, and she systematically extricated them one by one by breaking the skin open.. I believe she removed over one hundred of these.. I don't mean to turn this girl's trauma into light-hearted entertainment, but I really do think it's human nature to enjoy watching this stuff.. We kind of want to know how to handle this situation, in case any one of us should ever find ourselves in the same predicament.. Well, I can tell you, until you've experienced a gnat thrashing about between your eyelid and your eyeball, no amount of coaching will ease this experience.. So let me be of assistance.. This has happened to me enough times that I've got a small collection of the dead carcasses taped to my running journal as evidence.. My story's not nearly as glamourous as the previous heroine, but I think you may still find it helpful in your travels. OK, first rule of bugs: They love bodies of water, and they always come out when it's above 60 degrees farenheit. They also are attracted to light sources, which may explain why they always go right for my eyes. The trail where I normally do my running passes some little swampy areas, so every Summer a new swarm of flying things has to be contended with. The first time a gnat flew in my eye, I did the completely wrong thing. I slammed my eye shut in an effort to trap it. And my eye just burned like crazy, and I thought if I opened it, it would burn more, so I didn't. Don't do that. The human body is an amazing little medical center all rolled into one skin.. The correct thing to do when a bug flies in your eye is to leave it open! That's right. This takes a lot of practice, because every fiber in your body is telling you to trap that little bastard! But no.. By leaving your eye open, the natural healing process immediately takes over and starts cocooning the little critter into a soft cushion wrapped in eye rubber, preventing him from being able to damage your orb.. So no burning occurs.. But this cocooning takes an incredibly long time to complete, so in the meantime, you will feel every little wing flap and escape technique this little bugger can drum up, all in the cozy environment of your eye socket. Quite unnerving to a girl trying to complete a four mile run knowing that the last two miles will be accompanied by an unwelcome hitchhiker. Still, given the choice of a fly in my eye or a larva incubating under my skin, I think I'd choose the former.

Addendum: (entomologist-types are very big on 'addendums'): Whilst driving to work today, I noticed R&B singer Rhianna's song 'There's a Thug in my Life' sounds amazingly like 'There's a Fly in my Eye'.. Check it out!

35 comments:

~Deb said...

Oh wow. You know…not only did I lose my lunch reading this, but I was morbidly fascinated by your story. I think people do have that morbid fascination with watching things that are just awful.

Let me explain—getting off the ‘bug’ topic for a bit… I was watching this documentary on people who ‘clean up’ after a crime scene. If they don’t get ALL portions of what’s been laying there (parts of bodies, fluids from the body blowing up after lying there for weeks or just fragments of skulls from shooting one’s self in the head) the place will reek of death for a very, very long time. I couldn’t stop watching this. It was very graphic and very upsetting—but somehow, I kept the show on.

Bugs…? My friend was standing outside near a floodlight near his house. Moths constantly flock to the light as you know and sadly enough, entered my friend’s ear canal. All he heard was fluttering—the moth couldn’t get out of his ear! It started to hurt and caused him a lot of pain. He was sent to the ER and they removed the moth, but he damaged his eardrum which in result, caused him to lose hearing in his left ear.

Dinner tomorrow night Tamar? My sister is having a get together at her house and she said she was going to call you. Are you up for spending some time with us crazy gals? Let me know! (Asking this after these awful stories..)

Jon said...

OK, that was pretty gross, but very informative... ummm... thanks.

Can I be your escort to Deb's Sister's party?

tamar said...

hi deb! your poor friend! someone told me this story as a child of a man who had the misfortune of an earwig (potatoe bug.. those gross little armoured looking things that roll into a tight ball if you dare to touch them) crawling into his ear and eating his brain.. this was proably a roald dahl story, most likely..

jon~ well, had I known you wanted to accompany me to this party, I would have read my blog comments sooner! it was an all-girl's affair, you may have felt out of place..

~Deb said...

Mmmmm why am I in the mood for eel right now?

Sick. I know. I need psychiatric help. NOW!

Jon said...

Tamar, I wouldn't mind. They would have been jealous that I had the hottest date in the bunch.

No offense Deb :D

tamar said...

deb~ you want eel? yes, tasty, Brazillian eel, 'freshly picked'.. Quite a delicacy!

jon~ what's all this flattery about?? did you listen to that rhianna song?

~Deb said...

Jon has good taste! Wouldn't matter Jon, she'd rather be under my arm buddy! ;)

But no offense taken. *evil grin*

Hiya Tamar! When we going out for sushi?

~Deb said...

I'll fightchya' fer her! C'mon outside and let's see who da'lucky winna' iz!!!

Puts on chaps and spins her spurs...

Jon said...

I have not listened to the Rhianna song. Should I?

Deb, Deb, Deb, you need to learn that when you're out gunned you shouldn't fight.

tamar said...

~jon & deb ?? didn't know there was a rivalry goign on here.. deb and I are practically sisters, so this is a little weird.. ;-)

~deb there is this new sushi restaurant called 'megu' in the city, it looks REALLY exciting!! can we go there? maybe I can trade a meal for that darn Madonna ticket that I can't get rid of.. Yeah, it's expensive..

tamar said...

~jon yes, you should listen to that rhianna song and then judge for yourself if my addendum is correct

~Deb said...

Jon, I heard that your gun shoots blanks. Is that true?

Come to mama Tamar! ;)

Jon said...

My gun shoots... that's all that matters.


sisters... that is wierd

~Deb said...

The shooting part doesn't alarm most heterosexual woman, it's the drawing of the gun that's important.

;)



What's weird brother Jon?

~Deb said...

Okay you really need to get yourself out of Hamburger Harry's and start writing again missy!

Casually Me said...

Get a New York Cell Phone. This is not a threat. This is a friend of a friend making a suggestion. Have a nice day. (LOL)

Jon said...

Deb had a link mistake in her pleading to get Amy to get a NY cell phone. Are we sure she's not blonde?

Myrsurv said...

Sorry I am replying so late but just read this intriguing tale of bugs.
Approximately how many of these little bastards will I have to capture in my eye before I am considered a woman of experience in this field? I have none as bugs prefer every other area in my body than my brown eyes. Hmmmm, I always wanted to have the light eyes of my dad but capturing gnats in them was not exactly the reason…

~Deb said...

Haha!!! Did I link something wrong? Oh I'm sorry Tamar!!! Ackk!!! I gotta fix that!

~Deb said...

Sorry! All fixed! So I'm a little technically challenged. *shrugs*

Myrsurv, what's up? When we going to Hamburger Harry's?

tamar said...

~casually me & jon~ ah, you guys are a riot! Yes, I need a cell phone anyway, so it could apply to me too.. BUT I'LL NEVER GET ONE, DON'T GET ME STARTED!!

~myrsurv welcome back! you can be an expert after 2 bug trappings.. you probably don't get them in your eyes because you have mountain bugs where you live.. my bugs are swamp bugs, so they're a little dizzy and don't realize that nothing good can come out of their journey into my eye..
ps my sister was reading me some of her book today about kharmic twins, and I thought of you instantly..

~ deb happy fourth!! hope you're doing great.. xx

Jon said...

Hamburger Harry's sounds like my kind of place. When are we going?

Jon said...

Oh, and happy 4th

tamar said...

~jon happy 4th to you too! why don't you meet us all for karaoke on Thursday?

Jon said...

I would love to, but there's this thing about airline tickets costing your left ___ when you don't book ahead. That and I need to take my son to an orthodontist appointment.

But tempting...

Myrsurv said...

trying to sell me a calling plan, Deb?
Our friend Tamar goes to these hamburger places, however, she does not eat four legged animals, I think she prefers the no leg type - sushi might be the thing to do but you might want to fax her the menu first and save some time. And don't ask me about her drinking abilities...I have a whole post I can write about it.

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