Return of the Bloodsuckers
by Mad Dog
turns out that leeches have made a comeback after falling out of favor,
much like hip huggers, fondue pots, and our civil rights, which
hopefully will come back soon.
||Medicine’s gross. I know
this because I’ve watched medical TV shows from Dr. Kildare to E.R.
to Extreme Makeover, and any career that involves sticking your
hands into gushing bodily fluids is just plain gross. Luckily there are
people who seem to enjoy this, which is a good thing because there are
times when I’m glad they’re around to sew up gashes in my leg, push
bones back in my arm, and generally do things to my body that I wish
didn’t have to be done. But my gratefulness for their existence
doesn’t make it any less gross.
So it’s not surprising that with
all the high-tech medication, instruments, and equipment at their
disposal they still like using gross low-tech medical devices like
leeches. That’s right, slimy, nasty, disgusting, blood-sucking
leeches. You know, the same ones proto-doctors used in the Middle Ages
to cure everything. The same ones that are responsible for barber poles
having a red stripe, an homage to the days when you could walk into a
barber shop, grab a copy of Playdamsel, plunk yourself down on a
stool and ask for a shave, haircut, and bloodletting. And yes, the same
leeches who refuse to get a job, preferring instead to lounge around all
day living off welfare. Oh sorry, I started channeling a Republican
there for a second.
TSO is a yummy,
lip-smacking beverage that contains — hold onto your lunch —
thousands of pig whipworm eggs. Live ones. And you thought Instant
Breakfast was gross.
It turns out that leeches have made a comeback after falling out
of favor, much like hip huggers, fondue pots, and our civil rights,
which hopefully will come back soon. Doctors are using them to suck out
pooled blood after performing a skin graft or reattaching a limb. “The
good news is we sewed your arm back on. The bad news is those black
slimy things attached to you are leeches and you need to leave them on
for a couple of days.” If you want some of your own — maybe you just
want a unique pet around the house or would like to keep one handy in
case you ever need a body part reattached but don’t feel like going to
an icky hospital to have it done — you can get them from the Carolina
Biological Supply Co. for only $14.45 each. Or $14.05 if you order an
economy pack of three or more. They’re cheaper if you don’t want
“medical quality” leeches, but I advise that you don’t skimp. Hey,
you’re worth it.
In case that treatment isn’t
disgusting enough, pray that you don’t get an inflammatory bowel
disease anytime soon. This is a classification of medical conditions
that includes colitis, Crohn’s disease, and having eaten gato tacos
disguised as carne asada. Scientists at the University of Iowa
(motto: “Like a real university only duller.”) have developed a new
treatment they call TSO, which in testing cured the symptoms in most of
those who tried it. And you know most of them were anxious to try it
since TSO is a yummy, lip-smacking beverage that contains — hold onto
your lunch — thousands of pig whipworm eggs. Live ones. And you
thought Instant Breakfast was gross.
By the time it hits the U.S. it will probably be available
in Creamy Vanilla, Sour Chocolate, and Zesty Tuna Wasabi.
The scientists think the reason pig whipworm eggs work is that we
don’t have enough parasites in our stomachs. As I’ve always said,
you can never have too many parasites. It seems we used to have plenty
of them but we’ve gotten squeamish over the past 50 years and just
don’t like the idea of pinworms, roundworms, and hookworms building
condominiums in our stomachs. Imagine that. In developing countries,
where people have learned to peacefully coexist with their inner worms,
they rarely get inflammatory bowel disease. Scientists aren’t sure why
this is, but like the reason behind why we don’t see baby pigeons, why
Mickey Rooney got married eight times, and the eternal question, “Why
can’t I have a dog if I drink all my TSO?”, the answer is simply
They’re going to market TSO in
Europe first because people over there will eat things we won’t,
things like blood pudding, haggis, and lutefisk. Of course we’re the
ones chowing down Peanut Butter Puff cereal, Space Food Sticks, and
Velveeta, so you have to wonder if that’s really a good marketing
plan. Of course they’re going to need a better name than TSO.
Something like Bowel-Kleer. Or Worm Eggos. Or I Can’t Believe It’s
Not Better. It’s all about marketing. After all, changing the name of
the fish from slimehead to orange roughy, and the fruit from Chinese
gooseberry to kiwi fruit, made all the difference in the world. Though
truth be known you’d probably get more children to eat slimehead than
orange roughy. Especially if you served it with sour apple gummi bear
Drinking pig whipworm eggs probably
isn’t all that bad. After all, they’re microscopic, they’re eggs
so they don’t wiggle as they go down, and I’m sure the scientists
are smart enough to add some flavoring to the drink. By the time it hits
the U.S. it will probably be available in Creamy Vanilla, Sour
Chocolate, and Zesty Tuna Wasabi. Then all they’ll need to do is get
the participants on a reality TV show to drink a gallon of the
stuff without throwing up and they can slap a label on the package that
says, “As seen on Fear Factor!” Toss in a few leeches, some
herbs, and a drill bit to cut a hole in the skull to release evil
spirits and you have the makings of an All-Natural No-Carb Medieval
Household First Aid Kit. No family should be without one.
©2004 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country.
Read them while you waiting for the leeches to finish dinner.