Dad went bushwalking the other week. A few days later, he found a lump on his back and went to see the doctor. The doctor took a look at the lump and got some nurses in to have a look at it too. Then they all stood around Dad while the doctor cut into the lump on Dad's back and took out a cattle tick.
"Did he keep the tick?" I said to Mum on the phone.
"No," said Mum. "They put it into a jar and had to send it off to Sydney for testing. Apparently, they can kill dogs, so they put him on some medication for a week."
Well, that's more or less how Mum told the story. Dad tells it a little differently. Every week or so he writes two or three-page, boring letters with sentences like this:
Had a quick lone lunch. Helen showed up an hour or so later. Had to rush in to the Terrace again by bike. Forgot to buy the newspaper. Really vital getting the news paper on Monday. Only way to get a decent T.V. Times. Slow for the rest of the day. Saw some suspicious looking men over opposite this P.M. Obviously measuring up the land where all those nice trees are.
God, the old fart must have a boring life. When me or one of my brothers is down there visiting him, he'll even write about us and send off the letters to us later in the week. When he's not concerned with killer cattle ticks, that is. Speaking of which, here's how he tells the tick story:
I had been worried about a growing lump on the rear of my neck. Doc immediately identified it. A cattle tick. Everyone surprised it had not much effected me. A minor operation soon removed it. I am on medication for seven days. As a side effect to that I cannot go out in the sun. I will be super sensitive to sunlight.
This is where some people might have left it, but not Dad. A couple of paragraphs later he says:
Found some contradictions in the tick information. The entomological advise is that ticks climb up vegetation and wait to catch a host brushing past. Never more that half a meter. However, the medical information states that the vast majority of tick infections in people are on the head and shoulders. That is well above half a meter.
And that's not all:
Found a medicos paper about a case. They took forty one ticks of this guy. Also ticks have killed more people than the funnel web spider. Roughly twice as many.
Makes you feel reassured, doesn't it? I'll be seeing him this Christmas - that is, if the killer ticks or funnel web spiders don't get him first.
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
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