I was going to write a short story for the blog today – to take a break from the novel (which is going swimmingly, thank you for asking), but the most interesting story I can tell comes from real life. I found it funny, so hopefully you do too.
I got bitten by a tick last week. A paralysis tick. There’s a beautiful shortcut to the shops from my place, that cuts across a babbling little creek and passed a pond. I saw a beautiful old Joe Blake (snake) sunning himself on the rock – he looked languidly at me before slithering away.
Anyway, long story short, I got home and decided to take a shower (it’s still stinking hot in this part of the world.) That’s when I noticed my little parasite. Grey-black and menacing. I went through my “Dangerous Animals of Australia” (all of them) book, and read the section on tick removal. Then I went to the Queensland Health Department’s page and they basically contradicted everything the old bushie who wrote the book said.
Solution? Doctor’s office.
Now here in Australia we’re very lucky. My doctor ‘bulk bills’, which means they don’t charge me anything, just the government. And they could see me in the next ten minutes.
So I zip up to the doctor. And wait. My normal doctor (Dr Price, a man in his 60s) was there seeing patients. The other doctor who works there is an equally old Indian man, I’m sure he knows what he’s doing, I had no qualms about seeing either of them, whatever, just get this damn bug off my leg.
I should have mentioned where, exactly, the tick was.
It was right next to my testicle.
Anyway, I keep waiting. Both Dr Price and the other Doctor are wandering in and out, seeing the patients who were waiting there before I was. That’s fine, waiting is a skill I’ve spent my life perfecting. Out comes a doctor who I’ve never seen before. She’s in her late 20s, early 30s. She calls my name.
Into the office I go, and she asks me what the problem is.
“I’ve got a tick,” I say.
She replies, “Well, let’s see it then.”
I make some fumbled reply, waving my hands about, trying to explain (delicately) where the tick is (somewhere delicate.) Then my brain goes Don’t be a dickhead, Chris, she’s a fucking doctor. So I say to her, “The thing is, I noticed it when I was getting into the shower, so I pulled my trousers on without putting any underwear on. I didn’t want to disturb the thing.”
She told me to stop being ridiculous and just show her.
Which I do. She takes me into the examination room and has me wait.
When she eventually comes back she’s got those lovely blue gloves on, and instructs me to move my testicles out of the way.
Which I do.
And then as she moves in to remove the tick, it turns out that it had gotten tangled in my pubic hair, and as such had not been able to puncture my skin and dig its way in.
She then complimented me on my thicket of pubic hair, which it was twisting itself in.