A dark soaking wet day. The rain is pouring down. Through the trees, I can see the low area of the woods, which is currently an inland lake. I’m told that in late spring, it’ll be a temporary marsh crawling with frogs. This makes me unbearably happy. Unfortunately, at the moment it’s just…rain. The little birds can’t hang out under the feeder, because it’s a puddle. I refilled the big covered platform feeder, and the cardinals perch there, looking grumpy.

It was pouring last night, too, and we were out at a book signing for my buddy Mur. While walking back to the comic shop, I spotted a nightcrawler on the sidewalk, a really big eight-inch earthworm who was booking down the street. This was a worm with a mission. The people coming down the sidewalk didn’t see him and almost stepped on him. I stopped at the worm. 


It says something about our relationship–or about Kevin’s unshakeable goodwill towards all living beings–that I can utter his name in a plaintive tone and look down, and the man immediately pounces on the wayward worm barehanded (I was gonna flip him onto my credit card, myself…) and places him in a planter that appeared to have sufficient drainage not to drown the little guy. 

I grant you, it’s a worm, but damnit, I remember that scene in Hounds of the Morrigan.

We made it back to the comic shop, and Kevin went to wash his hands. I was mentioning the worm rescue to our buddy Cmar and crew.

Now, Cmar is an infectious disease doctor at Johns Hopkins, and seems to work primarily with STDs. (Or at least, those are the bits he brings up in conversation.) This has skewed his worldview in fascinating ways.

CMAR: He’s washing his hands?
CMAR: Good!
URSULA: Why, can you catch something horrible from worms?
CMAR: Yes. Worm syphilis.
URSULA: …worm…syphilis?
CMAR: Filthy little earth-whores.
URSULA: …you know, it WAS walking the street. Well, crawling.
CMAR: And that’s why you wash your hands. Because when you handle a worm, you handle everyone that worm has ever slept with.
CMAR’s WIFE: (puts head in hands)

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