#59 – The Early Bird

Yesterday, a distasteful habit of yore came back to bite me in the ass.  One of my favorite “party tricks” used to involve eating worms.  As a young adult I thought nothing bespoke “cool” so much as a live earthworm
dangling from my lips, and then vanishing down the gullet before an astonished bystander.  But like so many good things, the pastime eventually fell by the wayside, mainly due to practical considerations (i.e., a desire to get laid before I turned seventy).  As a result, prior to last morning it’d been a good twenty years since I last sucked down a tasty annelid. 

It’s not as if I intended to renew the habit again yesterday either.  As it happened, I was simply minding my own business, recharging the ole’ batteries with a brief nap in our backyard.  If it hadn’t been for my wife’s agreement to watch her niece and nephew for a couple of hours, and her bright idea to let them “help” with her gardening, I no doubt would’ve continued my siesta without incident. But somewhere along the line, Sophia’s five-year-old nephew Franco found a handsome specimen of a worm and dropped it on my slumbering nose as an amusing pratfall.  All I can say is, apparently ancient reflex activated and – without conscious thought – I popped the invertebrate into my mouth, chewed and swallowed. 

As regrettable as my spontaneous dietary exercise seemed, the unusual morning snack alone didn’t land me in the Gambino family doghouse again.  Sophia failed to witness my “performance”; and though obviously enthralled, Franco didn’t rat me out … then.  Instead, what ultimately did me in was the unfortunate sequence of events later that day. 

Franco apparently thought my worm disappearing act so entertaining that he decided to emulate me. Just before getting called into the house for bath-time, the tyke found another earthworm in his own backyard and carefully tucked it away for later.  He unveiled the specimen while sitting in the tub; his tongue rolled out with its wiggling “passenger” perched atop like a limp surfer on a boogie board.  As his astonished and disgusted mother looked on, the lad closed his mouth and gulped noisily (before opening again, to confirm the successful performance of the “trick”). 

I won’t share the grisly details of Gina’s reaction.  Let’s just say Franco’s mom didn’t join him in the tub shortly after merely because she felt like blowing bubbles.  I will point out, however, that during the thorough scrubbing of both occupants, my ratfink nephew decided to volunteer the inspiration for his revolting conduct, thereby leaving me once again persona non grata with the Gambinos.



Franco and I may’ve snacked on his brother


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