Worry worms and worry warts

I didn't fret much about leaving my worms in charge of the condo over Spring Break. Didn't figure they would serve liquor to minors or host loud toga parties while I was gone. I was pretty sure they couldn't use the phone to order late night pizza deliveries, and that they couldn't escape from their Rubbermaid home to play Twister in the living room.

Our weather has been so crazy I didn't know whether to set the thermostat on heat to come on at sixty degrees, or to air condition if the indoor temp rose above eighty. After some two a.m. pondering, I decided to program the furnace. Worms can't wear hoodies*.

Since worms will eat and re-eat their available kitchen waste several times, I was sure they had plenty of goodies to get them through a week. It was all healthy and organic--no Slim Jims, Twinkies, or Doritos. They would probably love the dark peace and quiet, since I wouldn't be popping the top off the worm bin twice a day to see if they were behaving themselves! Maybe they would chant "Om".

So before leaving I just popped the top of the worm bin one extra time to holler, "Keep the home fires burning," and "hold the fort!" Then I hit the open road and forgot all about my little vermi pets.

After a week, I found the red wigglers all down in the bottom half inch of bedding. None of them were up in the trendy penthouse bar. I was so proud of them! They deserved a reward, so I added a bit of watermelon rind, a dead houseplant, a rotten piece of red pepper, and all the inedible parts of a fresh pineapple from Kroger to the worm bin. Too, too, too much! Little worms who had been wearing saffron robes and carrying begging bowls were suddenly in Las Vegas. Now I had created a situation requiring worry!

Each time I opened the bin, a small flying insect zipped out. I could smell the contents from a foot or two away, which isn't a big deal, but still a sign of imbalance. So the worms are on a new diet this week. Read my lips, as Bush The First said--No new fruit. Just egg shells, coffee grounds, and cardboard for awhile, guys.

Worry warts are a different animal than worry worms. Being a nerdy little kid back in sixth grade P.E., I had to be square dance partner to the kid with warts all over his hand. His name was Brent. I bet nobody names their baby boy Brent nowadays, since it's an acknowledged pre-existing indicator for warts.

Do you want to do-si-do and Allemande Left with the wart boy?? There are many reasons why I haven't done much dating since my divorce. Fear of wart square dancing is a major one!*

But what about warts? They don't come from toads. According to MotherNature.com,

...warts are benign skin tumors that can occur singly or in large packs on just about any part of the body. And while each type carries its own special name, all are caused by various trains of the fiendish papilloma virus. It masterfully tricks the body into providing it with free room and board in a sheltered "house" that is know medically as the wart proper...

Medical treatments don't seem to be any more effective than old-timey remedies. Some people rub warts with a raw potato. In my family, we sold our warts to my Granddad for a dollar. He got the wart. We got the buck. The wart went away eventually, and we bought Tootsie Rolls or malted milk balls with our dollar. The power of suggestion, removal of stress, and strong belief in a cure can knock out many warts. Which reminds me, worms can't wear boxing gloves.

*Worms can't wear petticoats!

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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