M. Giant's
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Monday, January 31, 2011  

Well Preserved, Part III

So after we set up a time for Febrifuge to come over and help with the worm-dissecting, Trash happened to be on the phone with our sister-in-law and happened to mention the upcoming...procedure. Which is when M. Edium's cousin, then-eight-year-old Deniece, asked, "Can I come too?"

So by that evening, between several phone calls and a trip to Office Max, we had everything you need to dissect a worm: dead worms, wax paper, pins, a magnifying glass, a razor knife, a Physicians Assistant, and a third-grade girl.

Febrifuge had come prepared. In addition to a little cork pad and some additional tools (I almost said "utensils"), he'd also brought a camera to take the photos you see in this entry, printed MapQuest directions for the inside of a worm, rubber gloves, and -- best of all, if you ask me -- his old lab coat, which he gave to M. Edium. So that's something my kid has in common with the young Flint Lockwood.

When it was time to get started, I positioned myself on the far side of the kitchen, with a center island between me and any viscera. Don't judge me, though. Trash went all the way upstairs.

The kids, though, were there for the duration. Never once did they show any intention or even desire to flee.

But as you can see from the number of pins they used, the worm tried to make a run for it.

I'm not going to throw up close-ups up the dissected worm up here, but it's not because Feb didn't take any. It's just because I don't want to make you throw up.

But I'd have to say that every meaningful sense -- the most meaningful being that I had to have almost nothing to do with it -- the worm-dissecting was a complete success.

Except for one thing. In our downstairs freezer, we now have one dead frog and eleven dead earthworms.

A week later, Trash was cleaning out the kitchen freezer and asked me to take a few items downstairs. I said the downstairs freezer was full.

"But you said last week there was plenty of room," she reminded me.

"That was before the frog and the worms were down there," I explained.

"They don't take up that much space," she scoffed.

"They take up a lot of psychological space," I said.

Oddly, though, I've kind of gotten used to them. M. Edium has talked about doing more dissections in the future, but I think a more likely -- and frankly, not undesirable -- outcome is that they'll just sink to the bottom of the freezer, never to be seen again until either the freezer breaks down or we move. And one of those will have to happen before I die, because I don't want to end up in there with them. I take up a lot of psychological space too.

posted by M. Giant 6:37 PM 4 comments


I don't even want to tell you what kinds of things lurked in our downstairs freezer when I was a kid.

Not that my folks were serial killers or anything, mind you. It's just that I grew up on a sheep farm. The kind of sheep that were butchered for meat. My parents had a few regular customers who wanted the, erm, *more unusual* parts of the lamb or mutton they'd purchased. Unusual bits that meant we had white paper packages labeled with things like "eyeballs" in the freezer next to the ice cream. Talk about the psychological space taken up down there - better diet aid than Jenny Craig. *NOBODY* wanted to have to go retrieve something from the downstairs freezer.

I'd suggest that an eyeball might make for a cool dissection, but I'd make myself throw up if I did.

Well done M.Edium and Deniece and a special thanks to Febrifuge for the photos. A very special thanks to you for NOT posting the worm close-ups. *shudder*

(I'd have been upstairs with Trash, by the way - I can't even be in the same room when my kid is scooping out the pumpkin for jack o'lantern creation.)

By Blogger Heather, at February 2, 2011 at 9:26 AM  

Having gotten to dissect eyeballs twice (primary school and secondary) I can tell you that they do make for cool dissections. Even if they still did squick me out a bit. OK, a lot. It was because they kept looking at you... yep, still squicks me out.

(It didn't help that the teacher in the class had a habit of saying "all eyes this way" and naturally the boys next to me picked up their eyeball and swung it in her direction.)

Congrats to M.Edium and Deniece for the successful worm dissection and hope you guys have lots of fun with the frog one. Way cooler to do, not least because the muscles and stuff are more recognisable. If you can get a rat to cut up that's even more interesting again, honest. Especially the digestive system for some reason.

(M.Giant and Trash, you might want to be... having dinner somewhere else, possibly in the next county, for the frog. If they get a rat I'd suggest maybe Canada.)

By Anonymous lsn, at February 2, 2011 at 4:27 PM  

You guys are great parents, to indulge the curiosity. Look at those smiles!

Our daughter wants to be an ER nurse, and is anxiously awaiting her chance to start dissection. Right now, she's in a phlebotomy course, and my husband & I are both trying to figure out ways NOT to be test draw subjects.

The "psychological space" cracked me up.

By Anonymous Brandee, at February 7, 2011 at 2:27 PM  

Cutest dissection of a dead thing ever.

By Blogger Bunny, at February 8, 2011 at 11:53 AM  

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