Think I’ll Go Eat Worms . . . Not

I was going to describe yesterday’s trip to buy school supplies, complete with my mixed feelings of shock, pride, and inadequacy when hunting down a calculator with required square root, exponent, and cosine functions—for my fifth grader*—and trying hard to set a good example for Sunny in my favorite office supply store, when all I wanted to do was join the chorus of, “If you get one, I get one, too!”

But this morning, a friend of mine—you can thank her later—sent me the latest in an off and on conversation we’ve been having about a flow chart she’d sent me:

Mongolian Death Worm

I’d said that the whole thing looked sadly familiar, but that I really wanted to kill off a character with a Mongolian Death Worm.

She told me no.

I persisted, claiming that I really needed an interesting plot point, and she finally said this morning that I was welcome to kill off my characters (I’m paraphrasing slightly) but please NOT with a Mongolian death worm:

“First, how would you explain that it got there? Second, what the hell is a Mongolian death worm anyway?”

I gave it a generous second or two of thought and answered:

“Mongolian Death Worms are a delicacy in the finer Asian danger-fusion restaurants right now.  If you remove certain parts of the worm, all the diner experiences is a warm glow and, an hour or two later, a colonic purge that is near-orgasmic in its intensity.

So it would be very easy to simply ‘forget’ to remove the certain parts of the worm (or switch worms) so that the diner/victim experiences an excruciating, karma-satisfying death.

Or so I imagine, since I refuse to google ’em.”

She e-mailed me back, saying that she’d changed her mind and I HAD to drop a danger-fusion restaurant in my new WIP and murder someone via Mongolian Death worm.**

I’m taking that as a victory of sorts.***

SandwormIt turns out that she’d been picturing these Dune-like sand worm things—which I have to admit would take some finagling to be a realistic murder weapon outside of Frank Herbert’s universe^—while I’d immediately assumed it was a sort of hagfish/tapeworm thing, with a hint of fugu and maybe a soupcon of that psychotic shami kebab in the “Polymorph” episode of Red Dwarf. 

I don’t know what influenced my friend’s vision, but  mine stems from my fascination with what people will Hagfishhappily eat if they think it’s trendy—other people, I mean—and my inability to rationalize the existence of the hagfish.^^

And this fascinates me, how two people can come to completely different assumptions.

Three, really, because after I described the Death Worm differences to a co-worker,^^^ she looked at me for a second and said, “Oh . . .  I thought it was something from the Kama Sutra.

Now there’s  a game of Clue . . .

What’s YOUR Mongolian Death Worm Like?

What Would YOU order at a Danger-Fusion restaurant?

Is fifth-grade math going to be THAT COMPLEX?!?


*Found it in pink.  Who’s the Mom?  I’m the Mom.  Boo-yah.

** “It was Chef Antoine!  In the Bathroom!  With a Mongolian Death Worm!”

***Though I’ll have to set it aside for the right story . . . or the really, really wrong one I’ve always wanted to try . . .

^”It was Paul!  In the subway!  With a Shai-Hulud!”

^^I don’t lie awake at night or anything, but ugh.

^^^When you giggle in a library break-room, people ask questions.  Oddly, they don’t seem to mind the answers.  And sometimes they run with them . . .

Zoo Day!

This morning, my husband and kids dragged me away from my laptop mid-scene to visit the zoo before the heat index peaked.

I confess—I grumbled at first.  Mid-scene.

But there were lorikeets and wallabies:

Fast wallabies.


The kids didn’t want to feed the birds, who were feeling feisty, but Janie took some great photos while I kept still and let the noisy little guys fight it out:

And yes, my nailpolish is green. Several ‘keets took nibbles, in case it was edible, and then complained.  Loudly.

Most of the animals didn’t seem to mind the heat, though the bear and wolves stayed in and the lions had all melted into golden puddles.  The bobcats just sneered at us from their little cave and even the dromedary was leaning against his fence and muttering about the humidity.

But the lizards were friendly.

And the monkeys were out and about.

 Or, as Sunny’s godmother would say,

Not all the monkeys live at the zoo.
At the dinner table, I see one or two . . .

My favorite monkeys.

 There was also more adult entertainment on offer, for those who were bored with all the wholesome family stuff.  I give you:

Raging turtle lust! 

The smaller turtle clearly had a headache, but the larger turtle clearly didn’t care.  There was a little girl there, a bit younger than Sunny, who was fascinated and asked all kinds of questions.  Her mother had no idea what to do and her father was too busy sniggering behind his video recorder to help. 

Later, I saw mother and daughter feeding the giraffes.  Alone.

Apparently, turtles like to take their time.

Egrets, I’ve had a few . . .

 . . . But they don’t include spending time with my family.*



*Or the four-hour nap they let me have this afternoon.  Seriously, I almost slept through dinner.  But I did get that scene finished first!