The guys at coffee klatsch yesterday were expressing revulsion at the large worms that were found in the intestine of the North Koran soldier who deserted, and needed surgery for the guns shot wounds he received as he fled.
It’s a bad case of the “ick-factor.”
From the pictures I could find on line, it looks like round worms – they look like Ascaris lumbricoides which I have vague memories of being taught about in medical school, floating around with detritus in murky jars like snow-globes – prompting a lot of revulsion and excitement (we were at that stage of being sincerely worried we had every ailment we learned about).
There is something particularly icky about worms, despite the fact that about 10 percent of the population in the developing world lives with some kind of worm in their insides and it often doesn’t do any harm – though I have to say a nearly starving North Korean soldier probably doesn’t need some parasite sharing his breakfast.
We’re an icky kind of people here in the “civilized” world. We get icke-ed out rather easily. If we did but know it, we spend our whole lives cohabiting with a lot of what would seem seriously icky creatures if we could see them.
Take Demodex mites (you don’t have a choice), they live in and on the skin of your face, hair follicles and sebaceous glands – tiny little things with long bodies and stumpy legs, but related to spiders and crabs. They come out and maraud around on your face at night, lay their egs, and eventually get so FOS they die (they have no bung hole, and some people claim they finally explode – but others say no, they just die and dry up and all that fecal-type material dries up and goes away).
Or if you’ve had a pillow for two years it is claimed a third of its weight is made up of dust mites, their droppings and their carcasses.
So don’t think so badly about this poor soldier. He’s just like the rest of us, everywhere. Just playing host to various other of God’s creatures.