hElTeR-sHeLtEr: Pandemic Pastimes #8: Psycho parasites

find ways to make fellow pandemic lock-down sufferers feel better about being human



AND YOU THINK YOU’VE GOT IT BAD. SPARE a thought for the above widdle fishie, he said, anxiously using an embarrassing, childish locution to mask the horrors to come. I was thinking of calling this post, “I tossed my cookies so you wouldn’t have to,” but then I would have had to say “SPOILER ALERT” and you might have missed out on the fun.

Humans have got it bad, to be sure. First of all, there’s that waiter who twisted the lime wrong for your vodka and tonic. Injury is piled onto unbearable injury by the handicapped driver who took the one remaining parking spot. Selfish. That’s what amputees are, selfish.

Not to mention that venal little shit, the Provost of Harvard, has just upped the sales tax on the entrance essay and professional volleyball scholarship for your daughter, who would actually prefer to go to waxing college, but it’s all about your bragging rights at the country club, and the real pisser is you’d only just finished saving up for the “Class Valedictorian Special”.

And now to cap it all, little Johnny gets kicked out of private daycare for urinating in class. How was he supposed to know that Cindy wasn’t into it? Another budding Andres Serrano bites the dust! #WarAgainstUrinators is my new hashtag on Twitter, and I can’t even fathom what kind of SJW-Feminazi-Trump Basher would be offended by a little harmless non-consensual golden shower action during Show and Tell.

Seriously? I think you should sue.

However, humans have an amazing facility for bouncing back, which we do by contemplating the situations of those worse off than ourselves, then doing absolutely nothing to remedy the disparity. What, does it say “social worker” on my forehead? I didn’t think so, but thanks for confirming.

I therefore now ask you to put aside your prejudices against parasites, which are nothing like immigrants—immigrants are worse. It’s just lucky for you and me that we sprang fully formed out of the sacred lands of the Mississauga, like Erda in the Ring Cycle, which anyway you’ve always thought was one of the synthetic fabric options on your Samsung washing machine, the three-thousand dollar model that still makes too much noise.

Without further avoidance, meet Cymothoa exigua, but you can call it Mr Cy, or, actually sometimes Ms Cy, for short. You have to be flexible, because this species of parasite can change sex if there aren’t enough females around. That’s right! There are no incels in the Cymothoa exigua population, as you will recall, and that, Murgatroyd McGraw, is the reason.

Nowhere to stick your dick tonight? No problem! Put down that baguette that you’ve hollowed out and stuffed with Philadelphia Cream Cheese, get together with Brad and Biff, toss a fish pellet, and the loser is Mr ManPussy for a Day!

A quick zipless fuck, crown him queen and Down-low Dan is off to make you a sandwich, scrub the toilet and tell you how wonderful you are, except you’ve already fallen asleep. Now, this is living, bro! High fives, if we have hands, and I’m not entirely sure that we do!

Cymothoa exigua is a parasite who—and I’ll just say this quickly to get it over with—using its front claws, severs the blood vessels in a fish’s tongue, causing the tongue to atrophy from lack of blood. The parasite then replaces the fish’s tongue by attaching its own body to the muscles of the tongue stub.

Once C. exigua replaces the tongue, some feed on the host’s blood and many others feed on fish mucus. This is the only known case of a parasite assumed to be functionally replacing a host organ. 

When a host fish dies, C. exigua will detach itself from the tongue stub after some time, leave the fish’s mouth cavity, and can then be seen clinging to its head or body externally. It is not fully known what then happens to the parasite in the wild, and I must give some credit, plus my eternal thanks, to Wikipedia, “The Encyclopedia You Write Yerself!,™” for displaying the C. exigua page when I accidentally looked up a random word while reading a Kindle Unlimited.

There, there. At least you can stop worrying about COVID-19 for a few seconds while you mull this over, and no need for the Hallmark card—I assume, as I generally do, that you appreciate my being one day closer to dribbling saliva and egg yolk onto my bathrobe in the public ward of the Sunset Lodge with just this to show for it.

I’ll post something more pleasant next time. Promise. Once we stop crying.

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