I’ll be honest, I’m a little tubel* concerning what I should be writing about right now. You see, this last weekend I was sick, which always spurs my creative muse into action.** I also created my very first piece of pottery, which (though it is small, irregularly shaped, and ugly in color) I feel demands its own special acclamation. And then, to top it all off, I had a large, poisonous centipede frolicking around IN MY SHORTS this morning (and, if you know me at all, you will understand that this is something that needs to be shouted from the rooftops). So, there is my dilemma: I have a smorgasbord of available content, but I only have time enough to write a single blog post.
I’ll do my best to fit it all in, but be forewarned, I may have to sacrifice a few subtle nuances and periphery flairs, such as cohesiveness, coherency, and quality, to get the job done. I hope you’ll understand.
So, let me just say that getting sick on a Friday afternoon is completely unreasonable. Yes, I understand that we are still reaping the consequences of humanity’s fall in the Garden of Eden, and that we are all destined to suffer pain, sickness, and death until Christ returns and establishes a new world order. But a full-blown sinus infection at the start of a weekend? COME ON! That’s just plain excessiveness.
Anyway, due to this outrageous turn of events,*** I was forced to limit any and all recreational activities to things that could be done while sitting and moaning. Sometimes I rallied my strength enough to stand and moan, but since this seemed to inevitably result in me moaning whilst prostrate, I eventually gave up on it.
With these limitations in place, it proved to be somewhat fortuitous that my little clay pot had finally dried. This little pot was the culmination of many weekends’ worth of puttering. Ever since I realized that most of the ground where we live, excepting the small area around my house, is predominately made of clay, I have wanted to try to make pottery with it. This dream was only amplified for me when I discovered that the Iski themselves used to make pottery, but have since forgotten how. The pottery people have all passed, and they took their pottery prowess with them. The dirt around my house is filled with shards of old pots (and, presumably, old potters), but no one here knows how to recreate them.
After much trial and error, and learning useful terms such as “grog” and “get all the sticks and junk out of the clay before you try to make something out of it” I was finally able to mold what appeared to be a close replica of the broken artifacts that I had found around my house. I had let it air-dry for a week, and now it was up for the ultimate test: fire-blasting it in my home-made forge. And, most surprising of all, it passed the test! My little pot got so hot that it was glowing cherry red, and it never exploded! In celebration, I blew my nose and went inside to lie down on the couch.
By the time Monday came around, I was still feeling under the weather, and I was still kind of bitter about the lack of weekend fun, so I decided that I would work from home. I was casually typing away on my laptop at the kitchen table when I felt a slight scuttling inside my shorts. Personally, this is not a feeling that I am particularly fond of. In my life, I have had a bee, a rat, and a ferret carouse through my nether-regions (not at the same time), and not once has it ended well. As far as I’m concerned, my legs are the only ones welcome in my shorts.
I pulled my shorts leg up to see what it was, but I couldn’t find anything, so I went back to typing. A few seconds later, I felt it again in the same spot. “Maybe a fly keeps flying in and getting stuck?” I thought. Again I pulled back my shorts and looked, and again, I found nothing. A little while later I felt it AGAIN, but this time in my other shorts leg. “This is just getting silly,” I thought. But I was wrong. There is absolutely NOTHING silly about finding a 3-inch long, poisonous centipede meandering unchecked along your inner thigh.
I don’t know how you go about ranking your different experiences in life, but for me, this was immediately pegged as a “worst case scenario.” Honestly, it was difficult to even process what was happening. I had never let my imagination wander to such a dark place where this could ever be possible. I think I can truthfully say that, if it wasn’t for the fact that I was wearing boxer-briefs, I would probably have experienced what medical professionals refer to as a “heart explosion.” There is little chance that I could have lived through a centipede stealth-attack like this in underpants with compromised security.
After a second or two, however, I was able to come to my senses and call to my wife, “Rochelle, dear, could you please help me dispose of this creature? It is interrupting my work.” Because Rochelle is not always a good listener though, all she ended up hearing was “AAA! AAA! HELP!”
Following a shouted conversation, wherein my wife asked me what I wanted her to do to help, and I informed her that the person being actively assaulted by a poisonous arthropod shouldn’t be expected to do all the thinking, the situation eventually diffused itself, with the centipede exiting of its own accord and promptly being doused with insecticide, but not before carving its own special place in the scar-tissue of my mind.
If you are a regular subscriber to our blog, then you might recall that this isn’t the first encounter with this particular species that I’ve experienced since moving into the tribe. Hopefully, we’re not looking at the start of some sadistic semi-annual tradition or anything…
* “Tubel” is Tok Pisin. Literally, it means “two bellies.” Idiomatically, it means “undecided between different ideas.”
** My muse absolutely THRIVES on whiny trivialities.
*** Just the one event, really.