See Anybody You Know?

21 Jun

One of my many failings is that I have no Sense of Serious. Some people have no sense of humor, but everything in my life gets turned into a joke.

Drop a scalpel on my foot? Pfft. Get bitten by a snake? Giggle. (It was a black snake, non-venomous) I was being loaded into an ambulance and one of the EMTS told me that he and his wife would love to have a place like ours. “Let me know if you ever decide to sell.” I grinned at him and told him to at least wait until the body was cold. Poor kid was mortified. Have a near-fatal reaction to a prescription? I made a joke about that, too.

So – while I was working at the local hospital, I discovered the pharmacy had some leeches. Leeches are still used in medicine, mostly in reattaching severed body parts, but they were a cure-all in the 1700s, which is the time period I teach. I figured I’d get a couple of pictures to enlarge and show my students, so I waltzed into their office, and when they showed me the jug (they were in a gallon jug in the fridge) I reached in and grabbed one. I handed my cell phone to one of the girls, placed the leech on the back of my hand, and asked her to take a couple photos.

We had to wait for the poor creature to warm up to body temp, and when it flattened itself out, then arched its neck to set to work, she got several shots. Leeches have three jaws, and the scar resembles a Mercedes-Benz logo. Not being all that status conscious, I quickly removed the little beast. My hand was already over the jar when the supervisor popped up to ask what on earth I was doing. (That wasn’t exactly how she phrased it.) As I released the leech and watched it drop to the bottom of the jar, she reminded me that they were stored in sterile water – which I had just destroyed. Ack! She asked me if I knew which one if was, but by this time it had curled up and was lost among its brethren.

“I really didn’t get a good look at his face”, I replied. However, I did get a good look at her face, and decided to beat a tactical retreat.

Thanks to Gary Delainey and Gerry Rasmussen for reminding me.

2 Responses to “See Anybody You Know?”

  1. A Joyful Chaos July 7, 2021 at 9:22 am #

    Thanks for sharing this story! I sat here laughing way too hard at your answer to the supervisor.

    • thisendoftheswamp July 8, 2021 at 1:45 pm #

      As I said, “NO sense of serious”. Sometimes I wish I could behave myself, but at this age, I figure it’s a lost cause.

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