Heidelberg Dueling Scar


And a few unwanted facial hairs, but at sixty next month, that can’t be helped.

This is the showiest damage, though the most serious and painful part involved the quartet of bite punctures on the opposite side of my jaw. They are in a condition consistent with a resolving abscess (the term used by the hand surgeon who treated my first cat bite over twenty years ago). They may or may not drain but I’m packing them, when I have time, with a revolting soup of warm Irish breakfast tea heavily spiked with Epsom Salt.

Important information:

–The blood all came out of the shirt.

–Due to the antibiotics, which have otherwise proved innocuous so far, I can now fart a descending tonic triad, and possibly the Marseillaise. The change in tone quality and melodic precision is significant.

–He actually got me inside my left nostril, something I didn’t realize until I washed my face with oil and salt.

A person of a spiritual bent was briefly in my house last night, and offered to channel Torvald’s point of view. “I’m sorry I hurt my Mom,” she reported. “It was really big and I was scared but I coulda taken him! I coulda taken him!”

Sounds about right.

That’s Fergie’s ear on the left, by the way — the paragon of cats, giving me aid and comfort. And trying to type on my keyboIOURD.

I think I’ll go back to my bowl of tea now, and make up a story about Schlager fencing in my student days.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Some things I’m not even sure I should know.

This is how dangerous the Internet is: as of five minutes ago, as a result of a random surf, I know that herring communicate their location to other herring, thereby forming shoals, by uttering a high-frequency noise from the heart of their bottoms. The following is from Listverse.com, and features halfway down the list of “Bizarre Scientific Studies.”

I have included some rather charming artwork from the site.


The Study: Do Herring Communicate by Passing Gas Study
Conducted By: Canada and Britain

Two teams carried out this research project. One studied Pacific herring in Bamfield, British Columbia, while the other focused on Atlantic herring in Oban, Scotland. It was discovered that the Atlantic and Pacific herring create a mysterious underwater noise. It turns out that the high-frequency sound was created by releasing air from their anuses. The noise was always accompanied by a fine stream of bubbles. Researchers suspect herring hear the bubbles as they’re expelled, helping the fish form protective shoals at night.

Interesting Fact: Researchers named the phenomenon Fast Repetitive Tick, which makes for a rather interesting acronym, FRT. Scientists say unlike the human version, these FRTs are thought to bring the fish closer together.

My Albino Ex actually communicated by passing gas (he regularly used this method to persuade the co-op board that limiting meetings to an hour was a Good Thing), so I am not sure why this surprised anyone. This sort of purposeful application, while not exclusive to males in the human species, does seem commoner in men, especially those who grew up with brothers.

I grew up hearing my father give French horn lessons all day long, and my theory is that the inevitable rude noises made by people learning to play horns and trombones and tubas have a desensitizing effect: so that when Albino Ex, climbing a short slope on our first date of any description, made a brief but definitive statement, all I said was “Nice pitch, needs work on the diaphragm support.” Later he told me that this melted his heart. Who knew?

What I want to know is if the herring on opposite sides of the world fart with distinctive accents; a Scottish burr, for example. The next time you open a tin of kippers, think about it.