Monday, July 30, 2007

Not much news, but all frickin' KINDS of arthropods

So I had a few minutes to kill yesterday and I thought to myself, "Self, how can I use these few minutes to the greater benefit of my blog-reading public?"

Okay, I didn't think that at all. I thought, "Hey, I know. Let's learn more about those dead bugs we keep finding by the dog's water dish."

Happily, their very name makes them suitable blog fodder. We have lawn shrimp. Terrestrial crustaceans that look very much like shrimp (but wee). They jump out of their usual habitat (the porch drain) when it gets too wet. Of course, they then find themselves on the sidewalk, where it is too dry, and promptly die. And when they die? They turn pink like little cooked shrimp.

Now, I was trying to find a picture of one for you, but the Wiki let me down. I looked up "lawn shrimp" and not only was it not in there, the top suggested result was "Forrest Gump." Then I looked up "Crustacean," which of course is in there, but in the course of scanning for my particular breed of crustacean I came across the phrase "tongue worms." You know I love you and I'd do about anything for you, but I just don't think providing a photo of the lawn shrimp means that much to me.

In other news, Alex asked me for a favor that involved looking out for scorpions today (I didn't find any), my sister had a run-in with chiggers, and Robin has lice, or did until I spent all afternoon getting rid of them. Julia doesn't have any but I think I'm going to give myself a treatment. I showed Alex what they looked like on Robin and asked him to check my hair, but somehow I remain unconvinced by his "Well, hmmm [Groom Groom Groom] Ummm, well [Poke Prod] No, I think it's just dandruff. Here, turn toward the light some more. [Riffle Peer Tug] Yeah, it's probably just dandruff."


Sheryl (papernapkin) July 31, 2007 4:24 AM  

Liiiiice! Man, I hope Julia and Alex don't get them.

Anonymous July 31, 2007 12:25 PM  

Oooooh, head lice -- fond memories of when our kids were little, Hey, if you have the slightest inclination to try a non-chemical route, this treatment is getting a great deal of positive buzz from young families in our community. You have to get past the "disclaimer" part of that page to read the how-to, but it's very very simple.

And, may I be the very first to express my appreciation that you stopped short of detailing the "tongue worms" for us!


Jennifer July 31, 2007 7:34 PM  

Thanks for the suggestion Carroll! I don't know if that product is available here, but it sounds interesting.

I went ahead and took the pharmaceutical route this time.

We've been lucky, in that Robin is 8.5 years old now and we've only had two outbreaks so far - and just one of the kids had them this time.

If it ever becomes a more frequent problem, I'll probably look into gentler ways of treating it since I am, in principle, opposed to bandying poisons about the place if I can help it.

Anonymous July 31, 2007 8:27 PM  

That's it...forget it! I'm not coming for the retreat! I don't like bugs...especially lice! YUUUUUUUUUUUUUKKKKKKKKKKKK!

Jennifer July 31, 2007 8:29 PM  


Two outbreaks in eight years. Don't you see what that means? You're safer here than anywhere. You should stay longer.

Charlotte July 31, 2007 10:55 PM  

Bad luck with the lice, and THANK YOU for not posting photographs of the shrimps and the worms. I remain truly grateful.

Anonymous July 31, 2007 11:08 PM  

Actually, I meant to clarify that sugggestion to include the fact that Cetaphil is just an "any old drug store carries it" type hand lotion. And no, I don't work for them -- just happened to read about it in the office of the local dermatologist who did the research and went public with the efficacy of the treatment. I have a feeling you *might* be able to perform the same miracle with other similar lotions, although I really have nothing whatsoever on which to base that "feeling". (Sometimes the two cents' worth of a complete stranger is worth, well, just about .02!)

deedee August 02, 2007 6:15 AM  

I think my husband is just about as efficient as yours when I've asked for the same kind of search.

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