July 26th, 2010

The Worm Gene

Becca Sanders

Is there a gene for worm infatuation?

If so, I have it – and I passed it along to my daughter. From the time I was nine until well into my teens, I made a small fortune selling nightcrawlers to the neighborhood fishermen. Those slimey things kept me in candy, trips to the community pool, movie matinees, and crap from Woolworth’s throughout my youth.

The technique was passed down to my from my grandfather. After a good rain, I’d put on my rubber boots and my rain hat, grab a bucket and a flashlight, and sneak around the yard, snatching up my prey before they knew what hit ‘em. The trick was to grab them and pull them out of their holes gently yet firmly so they wouldn’t break. On good nights, I’d get twelve to fourteen dozen. For those of you who are afraid of worms, I’ll say it slowly just to bother you: nearly t w o h u n d r e d W O R M S.

Every so often I’d let my older sister come with me. At some point, in the later years, we figured out what certain worms were doing when they were lying so close together – almost attached to one another – and coined the term “wormy spermy.” My sister would call me over when she stumbled upon one of these late-night worm trysts. She lacked the speed and skill necessary to pull off the coup of worm-hunting: two worms at once. Sweet victory!

Once home, I’d put them in my special worm cooler in the basement fridge, which housed two things and two things only: worms and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. (The beer was my dad’s.)

Often our neighbor’s son-in-law would stop by on a Friday and buy my entire stock. This kept marketing costs low.

I thought about all of this recently after a heavy rain. Our driveway was covered in worms, which crawled onto the pavement in an effort to save themselves from drowning. My husband J. took the kids outside while I did some chores. After awhile I looked out the window to see daughter F. bending over, pointing at something, and then I heard her piping, two-year old voice say, “OOOoh, cute, cute! Worms!”

That’s my girl.

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This Weeks Tip

We did a review a while ago of dry shampoo. Here’s an alternative when you don’t have time to wash, but want to get rid of the oily-ness. Sprinkle some baking soda on your hair, comb through then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer. (note: You can also add a little scented baby powder to keep your hair smelling clean!)