I’ve always been a shitty type of girl: none of this stool or feces stuff for me. My love affair with four-lettered words began at a young age when there weren’t too many outlets for frustrations and anxieties. Cursing was something I could do behind the bathroom door with no one the wiser, particularly my parents. Then years later, another incident occurred. During a physical, with the obligatory stool specimen, I found out I had a fish tapeworm: Yeah, a slimy, spaghetti-like monster growing inside me.
Immediately I ran to the library to immerse myself in everything I could about this dybbuk that was eating my food and draining me of vital nourishment. I looked at pictures of these creatures with their two sucking hooks at the top of their heads. Ugh! Unless you happen to be another Diphyllobothrium latum, I suppose you won’t find them pretty. According to one book, the average length for a fish tapeworm runs from thirty-to-fifty feet.
The worm makes its home in a human host by attaching to the wall of the small intestine. Then it goes on to lay its eggs, a gift to your body’s solid-waste depository, to be subsequently released into the sewer system via the toilet. How pleasant! I looked up and ran my eyes along the length of the library’s ceiling, trying to picture my worm. It was at least as long. “Shit! Double Shit!”
My choice of profanity made me think of the only bright side to this disgusting, fine kettle of fish. Ha-ha! Now I could use my favorite word—SHIT—as much as I wanted, and the longer I pondered my predicament, the funnier it seemed. Soon I came up with an endless supply of shits: fucking shit, no shit, shitsmear, ugly shit, even you lucky shit. With its variegated forms, it is probably the most popular term in the English language, and that doesn’t even take into account its offshoots like doggy doo, crapola, brown babies, cow pies, and brown tracks on your underwear.
There’s a shit not only for the physical act itself but for the expression of just about every emotion. The single idiom—holy shit—can describe anything from anger to happiness to sadness and pleasure by the user’s inflection alone. Still, I would have preferred to have not gotten into this shitty mess in the first place. And how did I? By eating Sushi, that’s how.
So to make a long story short–or shorter–a few months later, I went into the hospital, drank some foul-tasting medicine and washed the worm from my body. Good riddance to it and (need I say?) good riddance to Sushi forever.