Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fibre of Unknown Origin Took my baby away

Everyone in the field of delusional parasitosis is familiar with respected authority Philip Dick's theory of 'sibling superiority':
Jerry Fabin, see, comes home from first grade one day, with his little books under his arm, whistling merrily, and there, sitting in the dining room beside his mother, is this great aphid, about four feet high. His mother is gazing at it fondly.

"What's happening?" little Jerry Fabin inquires.

"This here is your older brother," his mother says, "who you've never met before. He's come to live with us. I like him better than you. He can do a lot of things you can't."

And from then on, Jerry Fabin's mother and father continually compare him unfavorably with his older brother, who is an aphid. As the two of them grow up, Jerry progressively gets more and more of an inferiority complex -- naturally. After high school his brother receives a scholarship to college, while Jerry goes to work in a gas station. After that this brother the aphid becomes a famous doctor or scientist; he wins the Nobel Prize; Jerry's still rotating tires at the gas station, earning a dollar-fifty an hour. His mother and father never cease reminding him of this. They keep saying,

"If only you could have turned out like your brother."

Finally Jerry runs away from home. But he still subconsciously believes aphids to be superior to him. At first he imagines he is safe, but then he starts seeing aphids everywhere in his hai
r and around the house, because his inferiority complex has turned into some kind of sexual guilt, and the aphids are a punishment he inflicts on himself, etc.
It is an indictment of the sorry state of contemporary scholarship that this aspect of Ph.D.'s research was omitted from the recent cinematic presentation of his oeuvre.

Recent developments, however, militate against the Sibling Superiority theory. A visit to the Morgellons bulletin boards informs us that the sufferers are now blaming their itching and the fibres in their skin lesions on infestation with a veritable invertebrate bestiary* that includes springtails,1 bdelloid rotifers 2 and dinoflagellates.3 And while I am willing to imagine a four-foot-tall springtail as an enviable sibling, dinoflagellates lie outside my range of disbelief-suspension willingness.** Note also that although I have issues with certain cruciferous vegetables, this does not mean that my elder brother was a Brussels sprout.

If it seems like Riddled is all Morgellons Syndrome, all the time, well there is the entomological aspect to bring it squarely within our core mission terms of competency reference statement.

The disappointing side of these developments is the absence from the Morgellons menagerie of Crosse's electrogenic mites, produced from inorganic salts through the Power of Electricity:

These wee beasties seem to account for the observations admirably what with fibres coming out their wazoo:
The skin of the back appeared chagrined, or as strewed with an infinite number of very small tubercles, of which a certain number, larger than the others, distributed here and there, serve as a base or bulb for long hairs or silks, which are at least as long as the body of the animal.

All these hairs fixed and raised on the protuberant back of this kind of acarus, give it the appearance of a microscopic porcupine, to which the elongated snout also contributes.
I am familiar with the feeling of a chagrined skin of the back from when the Frau Doktorin is watching the ice-skate racing on the Sports Channel and comparing my physique unfavourably with theirs.

The Riddled Amateur Dramatic Society is half-way through rehearsals for "Electric Vampire: The Musical", based on a story inspired by Crosse and his Acari. Perhaps we could attract the Morgellons crowd as extra bums on seats if we changed the plot to feature bloodsucking springtails rather than a giant mite, but that would not be true to the source material and here at Riddled we do not pander. Also after each performance we would have to wash the seats.

Pet's night at the Old Entomologist

* In their progressive embellishment with corroborative details to add verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing belief system, the hardline Morgies seem to imagine their bodies as mere bags of skin wrapped around a teeming, pullulating mass of invertebrates, combining parasitosis with the Cotard delusion. I have watched Bug and when Michael Shannon starts pulling out his teeth with pliers it is time to walk don't run to the exit.

In My Skin do not want.

1. The only report of springtails parasitising humans turns out to be an amusing case of delusional researchers.

2. The rationale for the rotifer theory is that in adverse conditions (e.g. the human skin), Bdelloid rotifers collapse into a dehydrated cyst state almost unidentifiable as a rotifer, and indeed the sores of Morgellon complainants prove to contain small unidentifiable particles.

3. The only reason why anyone would expect to find a dinoflagellate adapted to estuary water inhabiting the human skin seems to be that Pfiesteria toxin -- if it exists, and if it affects humans -- has been accused of causing "brain fog". Also it features in a best-selling novel!

** The Riddled legal team were not well-pleased with my proposed illustration for the concept of willing suspension.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I did not realize until now that the Old Entomologist had such a strict dress code!

Substance McGravitas said...

If you hate stuff without having siblings to blame you're just crazy.

Okamura described an entire civilization of Homo sapiens miniorientalis, accompanied by their domesticated minidogs (Canis familiaris minilorientalis), worshipping minidragons (Fightingdracuncus minilorientalis), and otherwise engaging in the same range of cultural activities as their gargantuan descendants (including dancing—one photo purports to show “two totally naked homos, facing each other…moving their hands and feet harmoniously on good terms. We can think of no other scene than dancing in the present-day style”).

Couldn't his parents have given Okamura something to play with besides science? Lego would have been smart.

M. Bouffant said...

If you hate stuff without having siblings to blame you're just crazy.

Uh-oh. I've been accurately diagnosed.

Smut Clyde said...

Couldn't his parents have given Okamura something to play with besides science?

See also.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I like him better than you. He can do a lot of things you can't."

Who wouldn't prefer a child who could produce sweet, sweet honeydew?

ckc (not kc) said...

I thought I'd been chagrined in the past, but apparently not.

ckc (not kc) said...

ps. bdelloid rotifers need to buy a vowel