Don’t worry, I won’t post pictures. I woke up this morning and felt something on my scrotum that did not belong there.
It was a fully embedded tick, drinking my blood. What a fascinating adaptation – and it really ruined my slow morning wake-up. I had to wait (and not mess with it) until my host woke up and could locate some tweezers and rubbing alcohol, then the matter was quickly resolved.
When I got to my friend Gary’s place in Virginia last Tuesday, we went for a little hike with his dogs, and it turned out that it was Tick Hatching Day on the Susquehanna. The little bastards were raining down on us, and we checked ourselves out pretty carefully when we got back. I was not careful enough, clearly.
Ticks are now carrying not just Lyme Disease, but Zika and a couple of other viruses. I’m happy to hear that, so far, ticks are not carrying alt-right ideology or TERF ideology – so, there is still room for things to get worse. Ticks won’t sink that low, though. You have to appreciate a parasite with standards.
I find ticks extremely unsettling, and used to “eeeew!” when I found them on my dogs. Ticks were what inspired the annual before-spring dog-shaving; long-haired dogs are great places for ticks to lodge, so I usually clippered them down and they each got a thorough check-over, nose-rub, and hugging every morning.
H. R. Geiger’s design for the xenomorph’s mouth and head was inspired by a tick’s.