Bastard wriggling things
Saturday night we went out in Bristol to celebrate Matti, Steve, and Emma‘s birthdays. Among the many strange conversations of the night, I was given a blog request by the well-coiffed Matt the Builder. Worms.
Apparently the job he’s been working on has involved a lot of earth moving, and a good percentage of that earth is actually worms. It’s a mix of earthworms and slow worms, which are actually quite a bit faster than the earthworms. I picture this all as backhoe buckets full of wriggling masses.
It’s the type of thing that makes me feel a bit wrong. I’m not keen on wriggling things. A few years back, a bin bag ended up somewhat hidden in our back garden. When we found it, it had become full of maggots. They flowed out of the top like a fountain. I had nightmares.
Anything like that freaks me out a bit. Snakes are passable, but still just wrong. Eels are that same sort of wrong in water. My biggest fear for our animals is that they’ll end up with worms and I’ll be petting one of them and a worm’ll just casually crawl out of its ass and say hey to me.
Things without legs shouldn’t be able to exist, let alone thrive. The whole slithery body thing bothers me so deeply, I should probably be a militant lesbian with a food phobia about various pastas. (I’m not, just to clarify.)
So doing a quick bit of research for this post has made me a bit queasy. I mean, wriggling masses of weirdness just isn’t right.
The quick facts on earthworms:
- Earthworms are basically a big tube of shit with a few blood vessels. They’re pretty much living colons.
- Earthworms are hermaphrodites, with more balls than you have, plus some spunk buckets, and a section of eggs. If they were a person, you’d stare on the bus.
- They reproduce by a process that’s separate from copulation. They fuck, then go away and mix up all the fluids on their own. Then there’s something about a cocoon.
- As I excitedly remembered from elementary school science, some varieties of earthworm can also reproduce asexually. If you chop one in half, you end up with two worms that are essentially clones. (Not sure if they can then do the earth worm jiggy jig and come up with an army of clone babies. I shouldn’t think about it too much.)
- There are lots of types of earthworms, and the people who study them are freaks. No getting around it. You study worms, you’re a weirdo.
The quick facts on slow worms:
- Not worms. At all. They’re lizards. Not even snakes. Lizards without limbs. And with eyelids. Freaks.
- They have a skin where the scales don’t overlap, which makes them sort of weird for reptiles.
- Like most lizards, they’ll shed their tail to get away from a predator. The tails look pretty much like a scaly turd
- They’re carnivores, feeding on slugs and worms. So their whole existence is based on things in their own shape.
- You can attract them to your garden by putting some black plastic or metal in a sunny place. They’ll slither under there and have a little camp out.
- They live to be around 30 years old in the wild (up to their 50s in captivity). There are slow worms older than me.
- In the UK, they’re protected. Because the pussies keep getting themselves killed by cats, you can’t intentionally kill them or do anything to harm them. I won’t tell if you do, though.
- The same law means you can’t sell them, despite ‘slow worms for sale’ pops up when you do a Google Image search for the damn things.
- The females have a stripe and the males have some blue spots, but not always and since they all look like scaly dicks, it doesn’t make much difference. As they’re reptiles, I suppose there are some eggs involved. I wonder if it’s legal to crush them…
So there you go… worms and slow worms, both disgusting things, but apparently good for the earth. But they say that about everything. I bet all sorts of extinct things did all sorts of great things for the earth. Dodo egg shells probably cured cancer.