usolee

A Lesson From Lumbricus Terrestris

Entry from May 10, 2010

I knew something might happen when I left that box of earthworms under my sink. I knew it…

We had a boys day out fishing a little while ago. Ryan, Reggie, Dale, Jerry and I got together on a pier in Makino on a sunny cold Saturday. I was the last to get there because I rode my bike. When I got there Ryan was tending to his grill bbq-ing all kinds of meat. Dale and Jerry were tending to their baited lines cast in Lake Biwa. Reggie was tending to his iPhone. We exchange manly greetings and quickly ready our beers for a toast.

About a beer later Dale and Jerry head to the nearby store-more like a home where the owners sell various items, to get some bbq sauce. It wasn’t surprising a bunch of guys forgot the bbq sauce and only realized they needed it after eating plain bbq-ed meat for a while. After all, we were there to kick it. Yes, there were fishing poles and we were on a pier. But sometimes, particularly this time, fishing is the head-fake. The real reason we were gathered on that pier that sunny cold Saturday afternoon was not to catch fish, but to simply be together…and kick it.

The tastiest of the meat was the squid, in my opinion. Second would have to be the chicken or beef. I don’t know how Dale ranked ‘um, but he started putting my number one choice on his hook. Good thing he did, because somehow that reminded me of the box of worms I bought on the way over. “Here, you guys wanna try these?” I offered. Jerry opens the box and rips open the dirt-filled bag in it, pulls out some wriggling worms and baits his hook. Dale uses some as well.

Maybe the worms were too small, maybe the fish weren’t hungry, maybe we were casting from a bad spot, whatever the reason no one managed to catch anything. In fact, the only thing we pulled out from the lake was my soccer ball Jerry kicked in. That, I must say, was a shinning example of dudes problem solving. With our powers combined, we fished that ball out using some kind of extended broom we found laying around and a plastic bag. Go go gadget style.

A long strip of clouds covered what little sun there was left for the day, so we decided to pack up and go home. I had an hour long return trip in front of me so I opted not to join in the post ‘fishing’ izakaya trip and start my ride home. When I left my apartment it was sunny and semi-warm but by now it was already starting to get cold. I was underdressed so I wanted to get home asap. I wrapped my lava lava (from P.I.C. the one we used for our last Samoan number during the 2008 luau) around my torso and upper back for added insulation and rode home.

About an hour later I made it to my apartment safe and warm from the long ride. I put my bag down and jumped in the shower.

Well relaxed and warmed up I walk to my kitchen and start unpacking my bag. Buried amongst all kinds of snacks and empty beer cans was the box. Yup, that box. The one with a bunch of skinny worms in a bag that Jerry ripped open just a few hours earlier. “Should I throw this away?” The first thought to cross my mind. “Naw, we might go fishing again.” The second thought to cross my mind. “Well, where should I put this thing?” The third thought to cross my mind brought up memories of what happened to the first box of worms.

You see, this was in fact the second box of worms I bought. About 5-6 months ago I bought the exact same box from the exact same store and didn’t even end up opening the box until earlier today when I got the message that the boys were going fishing. When I opened that first box months after buying it and took the bag out, the dirt was a completely different color and I saw no signs of life. Actually, there were very small organisms moving around but I couldn’t tell what they were. I knew, however, they weren’t cut out to bait fish and I certainly wasn’t going to touch them. As disappointing as this discovery was, I was equally surprised by the fact that there was still life in this small plastic bag after spending months and months in a box in a refrigerator. Yes, I kept the first box unopened in my refrigerator for a really long time. Why? Because the only part of the conversation between me and the tackle shop owner I could understand was something about a refrigerator. That’s right, she said a little something about ‘in the refrigerator’ and a whole lot of something else.  Storing worms in a refrigerator?! I thought it was a bit strange but what do I know about worms? Little did I know, I was about to learn something about these creatures first hand.

So there I am standing in my kitchen holding the second box, first box snugly at the bottom of my trash can. I just made the decision not to throw it away so now I’m thinking about where to keep it. I got flashbacks of that tackle shop lady and refrigerators so I opened my refrigerator door. Just as I was about to place the second box on the bottom shelf I caught a flashback of Jerry opening the box, grabbing the bag of worms, and ripping it open. “Can’t have an open bag of worms in my refrigerator,” I thought. “Can’t leave them out on my balcony either, they might get eaten or run away.” Even till this day I don’t know why but I ended up thinking, “Under the sink!” It’s funny how I considered them running away on my balcony but figured they’d stay put under my sink.

Later on in the week I was in the shower when I realized a long really thick hair on the floor making it’s way towards the drain hole. The next day I noticed some lint had accumulated in one of the corners of my dinning room. A couple days later I noticed more and more lint and strands of clothing laying around in my apartment. This was getting out of control, I couldn’t even think of what piece of clothing this was coming from. I hadn’t even been wearing black that much lately. Plus, after stepping on a few of these pieces of clothing, i noticed that sometimes they’re stiff and hard like dried spaghetti and sometimes they’re soft like play dough. When I stepped on one that was soft and mushy, I took a closer look. Yeah….

Worms all over my apartment floor. In the kitchen, dinning room, bathroom and some in my living room. All at various dried up states. Most were already very dried up. They must have been the early escapees.

I immediately connected the dots and heard that voice in my head say, “What else did you think would happen?! Leaving a bunch of worms under your sink… told ya so.” After I vacuumed up countless corpses I checked the source under my sink. Not a single worm was left in the bag. Everyone made a break for it.

I guess the moral of the story is:

– Earthworms move faster than you think

– Don’t go fishing and not use up all your worms

– When you think out of the box, you end up in a vacuum

– Clean your apartment frequently to avoid worm build ups

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