There´s this weird little medical experiment going on in Antigua. There´s a medical research group recruiting people (Americans only?) down to Guatemala to try a new vaccination against stomach-viruses-something-or-other. I really don´t know the details. What I do know, is that these people (usually young or/and students) get paid decent money to kick it down here, try this new medication, and turn in their stool. Yes. You heard me. Turn in their shit.
One day, while working at the bar, I asked this guy what he did for work. He said, “I poop.” You WHAT? My boss turns to me and, totally straight-faced, says, “he´s a pooper.” The kid proceeds in telling me about the research program as I make him a gin and tonic. I laugh and hand him the drink, and ask him if wants to pay now or if he has a tab. He says, “I have a tab…it´s under, “Pooper”.
I look, and sure enough, there it is, a tab under the name “Pooper.”
Turns out, two friendly little ticks attached themselves to my body, (one under my watch, and one behind my knee) to make the trip from the Jungle back to Antigua. Yeah. The unlucky fellow who chose to bunk under my watch must have suffocated before breaking skin, but the little guy on the back of my leg nestled in quite comfortably into his new home until he was *in Bennett´s lovely words* “round like the blueberrry girl in Willy Wonka.” Why I chose to share this story with the world, I´m not quite sure. The worst part of the experience is that when you find the little bugger, you have to resist (with ALL your might) the urge to scream and tear it off your skin. Nope. You must dig though your medical kit, find your tweezers, and carefully go into operation mode so as to not “piss off” the mite into “regurgitating venoms” into your skin.
“In one swift movement, grasp and gently pull the entire tick off in one piece so as not to leave any mouth parts in the skin” the instructions on my medical kit read. Mouth parts! I´m sorry. Please excuse me while I totally wuss out over this.