You Worm, We Worm, Eyeworm

According to the Journal of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (a splinter group of the PLO), an Oregon woman had fourteen worms removed from her eye. I don’t know if that is any kind of a world record, but it definitely beats my highest number, which I HOPE TO GOD is zero. What kind of worms were they? Well eyeworms, of course. To be more specific, eyeworms of the variety Thelazia gulosa. What makes this so noteworthy, besides the fact that an Oregon woman had fourteen worms living in her eye, is that Thelazia gulosa has never infected a human before. It jumped the species barrier and it did it here. USA! USA! I cannot figure out whether this is an achievement for the eyeworm, or for the woman. I guess they both deserve some of the credit. The worm for finding itself in the wrong kind of eye (usually horses or cows), but making the best of a bad situation; and, the infected woman for being such a good sport about the whole thing…

Worm scientists assume the unidentified Abby Beckley of Grant’s Pass, Oregon got the conjunctival infestation while horseback riding. “But, HOW”, you demand to know, “did a microscopic nemotode like t. gulosa make it all the way up to the eye of a woman who was also on a horse?”. Well, I LIKE your spunk, kid, so I’ll tell you: It was abetted by Musca autumnalis, which is the Latin term for the “face fly”. T. gulose jumps from the fly’s body while it is sipping your sweet sweet eye-juice. So, the woman’s benevolent act of letting an insect drink her tears was repaid with treachery. I think the she will think TWICE in the future before letting flies hang out on her eyeball…

Be less than impressed… be VERY less than impressed…

This is a very rare event and exciting from a parasitological perspective,” says medical parasitologist Richard “big guns” Bradbury of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Let me just say, at this point, that an excited parasitologist is a frightening thing indeed. I think the exciting aspect to all of this is Ms. Beckley managed to pull six of them out BEFORE going for medical attention. That’s the kind of broad I want to have a beer with… and then creepily stalk until I get the inevitable restraining order. The doctors didn’t even believe her, at first. They waited over an hour for the worm to show up. Imagine a room full of doctors staring directly into one of your eyes. Most of us are uncomfortable with a few seconds of eye-contact.

So, the worms were killed… all fourteen of them. An evolutionary dead end. Imagine if someone had shot Australopithecus… We’d have never been evolved to and the gun would’ve never been invented… well, maybe by dolphins. I never trusted that false smile on their insipid faces. But, the sad thing is, we pruned the evolutionary tree before the species could move to other human eyes and flourish. We’d wiped out billions of superior eyeworms, IN ADVANCE. We are monsters! We need to think of the future of the world and its inhabitants. We need to quit being so humancentric. We need to have some empathy…

And, most of all, we need to quit hogging the eye-juice…

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