“How far is this House of Squirm from the station?” carped Banjax.
“We’re almost there,” I.B. replied, and the Meguro Parasitological Museum is no freak show, I might add.
The two continued walking until they arrived at their destination.
“Nice building—two stories of swanky squirm! I wonder if they play ‘I’ve Got You under My Skin’ as background music.”
“Can it Banjax,” I.B. snapped.
“Well, if Mr. I.B. Curious wants a mute mate, he’ll have one. The tapeworm’s got my tongue, and it’s not going to relinquish it until we leave this place.
“You won’t shut up,” I.B. said knowingly.
The museum was a sight to behold—chock full of specimens, a virtual treasure trove of information, which could be used in desultory conversation or to amuse one’s dinner guests in pre-prandial palaver, preferably with a pasta entree.
“Hey, they’ve got an English-language guidebook here, “ I.B. said as he picked it up.
There were two pictures on the cover. The one on the upper half looked like the hair of Medusa encircling a chicken’s foot. The one on the lower half looked like salmon roe embedded in vanilla taffy.
I.B. opened the book and began to flip through the pages, stopping for a moment at page five.
“Hey, listen to this: ‘Some parasites live in one host while others move from one host to the next over their entire life span.’”
“Itinerant little buggers, aren’t they?” Banjax quipped.
“Well, some are, and some aren’t. Let me continue reading this, will you?”
“The host in which a parasite achieves sexual maturity is referred to as a definitive host.”
“Those guys get it on in your gut,” Banjax barked, “amorous congress in the bowels!”
I.B. continued reading, ignoring his friend, “The host in which a parasite develops to some extent but not to sexual maturity is referred to as an intermediate host.”
One hour and two parasite-themed T-shirts later, the duo find themselves on the train, a day well spent.
“You want to see the paper, I.B.?”
I.B.’s eyes bug out at the sight of a front page story, something about a species called AIB, open jawed and instinctually adhesive, a smooth savvy cestode…. There was some guy mentioned in the article, as well. He was saying that he “had no choice but to act,” as he attached the suctorial disks to the alimentary canal of the definitive host.
– Jack Napes