For You, Daddy!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Scorpion Queen

   

Before I get to the title story, I have a little, um, business to take care of.

The day my last post went live, I got this notification via e-mail.

The Hook liked your post on For You, Daddy!  
  They thought The LLONNGG And short Of Itwas pretty awesome.You should go see what they’re up to. Maybe you’ll like their blog as much as they liked yours!
Great posts worth seeing from The Hook:

Want less email? Modify your Notification Options.

   

Okay, so The Hook liked my post, you say? Yes! But that’s not all. Look closer. Um, there’s a list of his previous posts, you wager again? YES! Gosh, you guys are good! Keep going! You’re hot! Hot! Hot!

You have no idea what I’m on about (now)? Oh.

*silence*

The first post, people! The first post! IT’S THE HOOK’S BIRTHDAY!

I clicked on that link because I was curious about the date, and for whatever reason, I assumed it would be later this year. Oh, how wrong I was! His lovely wife informed me (and the rest of the readers) that it was recently past. 25 February, to be precise.

Well, Vampire Lover AKA The Hook’s wife did write on his birthday proper, but I missed it. I just could not understand how. True, I do not often get to my PC every day, sometimes for days in a row,  but The Hook’s blog, like a couple of others, is RSSed. Therefore,  I am (supposedly) notified of all new posts, I railed in my head. So how did I not get to see this one?

When I found out that I missed his birthday nearly three weeks later, I went a little, um, ape in my response to Marcy’s (Orples’ brain mama’s) comment in my previous post and a comment I made on some unrelated post on The Hook’s blog.  

The Hook has two blogs.

One is called ‘The Book of Terrible’. (http://thebookofterrible.wordpress.com/)

The other is ‘You’ve Been Hooked!’ (http://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com/)

I have RSSed ‘The Book of Terrible’ because ‘You’ve Been Hooked’ is based on The Hook’s interests i.e. comic books and science fiction. I am not a comic book fan (excluding Commando, Westerns, Archie and a couple of ‘toons.) I am not a SF (sci-fi) buff either. So I only read ‘The Book of Terrible’.  

On his blog ‘The Book of Terrible’, The Hook writes terrible posts. No, no, I do not mean his style of writing is terrible. His posts are about terrible things, mostly. I like that. Because sometimes, I froth at the mouth over those issues, too, but only to my little circle. It’s heartening to see that there strangers across the globe who feel the same. I’ve got to admit that I am equally hooked on The Hook’s rants. He’s funny when he cuts like a knife. *giggle*

When drafting out this snippet for his birthday, and gathering together all my data, I realised that The Hook’s birthday was mentioned on his blog that I do not read i.e. ‘You’ve Been Hooked’. And hallelujah! I finally got to the bottom of how I missed The Hook’s birthday.

So now that you all know what I am all in a tizzy about, let me tarry no further.

I may be late, but the wish is just as heartfelt, Hook! This is no occasion for the usual characters in your posts; only the classiest of celebs for you.

Happy Belated Birthday, Hook!
This image is from http://www.mcollectiveblog.com/

Thank you also, for being a responder to all the comments on your blog. (That’s kinda important to me). Oh, for being a great sport, too! 🙂

Have a wonderful year, Hook!  

And now we return to our regularly scheduled programming.    

:::  :: ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::     THE MAIN ACT      ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::: 

First, please look at this picture.

Snackies, mmmmm!

   

Have you composed yourselves? Yes, that is a scorpion I am about to sink my jaws into. No, it is not made of plastic.

During my time in China, I used to attend the annual food festival (duh!) in my city. Years earlier, I had seen heaps of crickets and grasshoppers in Bangkok, but was too chicken back then to try something that looked far from “just like chicken!”

The very first year I attended the food festival in my city in China, I saw these creepy crawlies being sold. To be eaten. I had heard aplenty about Chinese eating scorpions and voila! I was presented with the opportunity to blend in with the locals. I shuddered when I first saw the varieties of creatures on display. I went through all the stalls with more “normal” food, but my mind was on these things. An hour or so later, I had psyched myself sufficiently and I was ready to gnash my fangs.

I picked out four “items”. Let’s look at the photograph once again now.

The smile before the …

  

In my left hand (that is, on the right side of the screen), I have a black scorpion and a centipede. In my other hand, white scorpions and crocodile meat.

As you will notice, some of the white scorpions are missing on that skewer and that’s because I had already eaten three when this picture was taken. They were deep fried like the centipede, and I liked the crunchy feel of both – the centipede and the white scorpions. They did not have a discernible flavour. As for the barbecued crocodile bites, just like chicken! I kid. The croc meat (is there a word for it, anyone?) was very tender, but it felt distinctly striated. The more obvious taste was that of the spices sprinkled on them.  

So you’re thinking, “Okay, they’re all dead meat. (Ha ha!) So what, huh?”

Well, dear friends, they all look dead in this picture, but the big black one? Notice the mild apprehension writ on my face? Oh, you can’t. Because of my handiwork.

Well, I was a little scared. For good reason. That big, black scorpion was alive. Apparently, this variety of scorpions tastes better and is healthier if eaten alive. Who am I to question Chinese philosophy when the rest of the globe is going gaga over ginseng and gingko? So I opted to have the big daddy as per the chef’s recommendation.

Now all these creatures are bred for consumption, so they aren’t like their evil wild cousins who deliver the kiss of death. I understood that much.

What got lost in translation was the bit about tearing into the tail first because …. well, read on.

Legs first!

  

I was intimidated by the occasional, ever so slightly swerving sting. Common sense would dictate getting rid of that which bothers one the most, right? I was too busy being scared to think straight. Which was a good thing really. Because that fright came in handy. I ate one set of legs on one side easily. As I gently clamped my teeth down on the second set on the other side …

WHAM! The <expletive of your choice because my repertoire is lame> thing stung me on the left corner of my mouth.

The Revenge of the Scorpion!

   

I slammed hard on the panic button and I began to hear the angels strumming their lyres. I had just one Chinese colleague (who barely spoke English) with me because all the other colleagues I had gone along with that day were not as stupid brave as I was to try any of these things, and they wandered off to try out other foodstuff. So barring one known, flailing, nervous wreck, I had complete strangers around me and they …. they merely laughed. Yes, LAUGHED at my reaction at being stung. That got me very angry. 

Here, I was dying and these people around me were laughing?

Within minutes, a huge crowd swarmed around me as I sank to the ground. My mouth hurt like a mother. I could feel my face get warm. I thought it felt swollen, too. Not a known English speaking soul around me and my pleas for “Hospital! Doctor!” fell on uncomprehending ears.

Suddenly, I heard someone speak English. An odd accent (for China), but it was English alright. Hallelujah, they speak English in heaven, I thought.

As I opened my eyes hesitantly, I noticed a distinguished looking gentleman crouched at my side. He forcefully assured me, “You are okay. You are okay.”

“St.Peter, I’m NOT okay. I’ve been stung by a BIG scorpion!”, I blubbered.

The gentleman patted my arm gently and kept repeating, “You are okay. You are okay. I am not Sant Pedro.” in an accent that began to make sense after a while.

I also realised I hadn’t gone anywhere and was still on terra firma. Quite literally! I was on the ground. I sat upright when I felt a little better.

As I patted the corner of my slightly throbbing mouth, the kind gentleman went on to explain that there is no venom in the sting of these scorpions, but it still discharges a “liquid”. (A dry sting apparently is deadly for a scorpion. Irony much?) The discharge doesn’t kill or paralyse humans, merely discolours the area within a 4-inch radius of the sting point.

And the discolouration is the same deep, shiny black as the scorpion. Great. I’ll live, but now I’ll look like I got into a brawl with someone so hammered, he (women don’t punch, they pull hair. I think.) couldn’t tell my eye from my pie-hole. Wait, it gets even better.

That stain that I (proudly) wore would last for 6 months, he explained further, and would start to fade off after that. Stay with me, people. There is a good ending to this saga, I promise ya.

Remember the smart gentleman who reassured me he was not St.Peter? His name is Dr.Aprile Pazzo. He is an entomologist-cum-toxicologist-cum-something else as well, and he was visiting from Turin, Italy. He was mighty thrilled (in a mad scientist kind of way) when he saw me after I got stung. He had come to China to study this very effect. He said he had seen this – a non-venomous scorpion sting – in clinical trials only and he was in China at the time to research Chinese scorpion stings.

He requested me to accompany him to his hotel to make further notes. I believed him, and along with three worried colleagues in tow, I went back with him to his hotel.

Oh, he went nuts! He photographed away! A dozen or so full frontal shots and from various other angles. Distant shots and close-ups. All above shoulder only, folks. Just sayin’.

Then, he called his colleagues back in Turin and yammered on excitedly with free hand flailing, the way Italians do so well.

Now here’s the best part: Dr.Pazzo’s colleagues had not seen a “real life specimen” either. Ever.

So they wanted to see me and put me under the microscope or in a Petri dish or whatever these research types do at Dr.Jekyll Central.

This was not my predicament!
This image is from http://weknowmemes.com/

   

They offered to fund my entire trip. From the south of China to the north of Italy. Did I agree? Is that even a question?

Before I left, I was not excited about the trip to Italy really, because as my family and friends know, Europe is not my cuppa really. (Asia has my <3.) What made me say “Si, si, si“…. what? Not like that! Dr.Pazzo told me I would be the focus at some entomology conference. I would be featured in some medical publications. Now tell me, what woman does not dream of being a centrefold? Get in line, The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine. 

In China, I got two months off at the end of the academic year (June and July) and I went to Turin then. O Shroud of Christ, thank you for moving over to make place for the new star in town back then.

I had my mind on something else divine though. Turin is the home of Ferrero Rocher. Sigh! 

Turin’s Star Attraction
This image is from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

  

Turin’s Star Confection
This image is from http://most-tranquil.blogspot.in/

  

Turin’s Star Nobody

  

Until I went to Italy three months later, life continued as (un)usual for me in China. I got stared at even more after that because of the prominent, black patch at one corner of my mouth. It was quite pretty, actually. I think I might have even talked to little Ebony. 🙂 Little did the gawpers I encountered everywhere know that I was someone famous. Well, in the world of toxicology, at least.  

Shortly after my memorable experience at the food festival, Dr.Aprile Pazzo went back to being a Man in White, um, in the lab in La bella Italia. He kept in touch constantly until I saw him and his buncha boffins in Turin a few months later. Each time he called and chatted politely, and enquired after my health tenderly, I knew he was merely concerned about half my face, not the rest of me. I did not care. My mug took me places! Pun definitely intended.

Incidentally, Dr.Pazzo has the following message for all of you.

“YOU GOT PUNK’D, SUCKAS!”  

Aprile Pazzo in Italian stands for April Fools’ Day.

 
 
 
 
 
 


Thank you, orplesmj monaghan, Cheerful Monk and The Book of Terrible   for commenting on my last post.

Thank you, orples, The Book of Terrible and mj monaghan for liking my last post.

***********************************************************************

P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 



 

 

 

 

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6 Comments »

  1. Where do I begin?
    You’ve honored me once again, dear lady.. and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    When i started blogging I had NO IDEA if anyone would care enough to listen to what I had to say..
    It took some time, but people began to pay attention…
    Here we are, a year and a bit later, and I’ve met some wonderful people who utilize the World Wide Web to air their grievances, their pain and anguish with past lovers, their pics of the world…. and of course, to honor their loved ones.
    Your father is smiling down upon you, content in the knowledge his love lives on through your beautiful work.
    I’m not a religious man, but God bless you, young lady.

    Like

    Comment by The Hook — Sunday, 1 April 2012 @ 8:31 am |Reply

    • > Where do I begin?
      – What? No, Hook, where do I begin? This is the longest comment I have seen you write since I began reading your blog ‘bout 4 months ago. Is it really you, Hook?

      Or are you messing with me, you ..some.. weirdo … blog hacker? 😉

      >You’ve honored me once again, dear lady
      – Okay, lest you think I’m like, really, really nice (which I like, really, really would like to think I am!), let me tell you why I did what I did.

      I wished you for your birthday for the following reasons:

      1. I like birthdays. Not just for the festivity alone, because I like to celebrate the fact that we’ve notched up another year AND we have the good health to be aware of it.

      2. When it is the birthday of someone I like, and they are not averse to be reminded of what I consider a beautiful fact, I like to make a big hoopla of it. One way is to write a personal note telling them exactly what they mean to me and how they make my life just that little more enjoyable.

      3. I kinda took a shine to your daughter who you mentioned when I was barely a two posts young reader of your blog. Being unafraid to ask questions in certain situations, I asked you for your daughter’s opinion about something regarding that post on bullying. I’ll be honest and say I half expected you to ignore my question or diss me. You did neither. How can one not be impressed after that?

      4. You are very patient and respond to every comment on your blog. You aren’t garrulous like me, but I don’t expect that of you or anyone. We all have our own individual styles. The fact that you do say something back to me and everyone is all that matters to me when I choose to comment on your blog.

      >When i started blogging I had NO IDEA if anyone would care enough to listen to what I had to say.. It took some time, but people began to pay attention…
      – There is a gestation period for everything, innit? You were patient, you’re enjoying the spoils your baby now.

      >Here we are, a year and a bit later, and I’ve met some wonderful people who utilize the World Wide Web to air their grievances, their pain and anguish with past lovers, their pics of the world…. and of course, to honor their loved ones.
      – Aye. It’s wonderful that we have a common medium, and such diverse expressions emanating from it.

      >Your father is smiling down upon you, content in the knowledge his love lives on through your beautiful work.
      – Really, Hook? Even when I snipe at the bus conductor for charging me a higher fare? Even when I fume at red tape in the workplace? Okay, if you say so. 😉

      >I’m not a religious man, but God bless you, young lady.
      – I’ll twist a quote.

      I have never attempted cigarettes or drugs in any form, and alcohol gets into my system through the food I cook and my Sunday morning coffee (a dash of Bailey’s, baby!), so my understanding of any of it is inadequate and will make my understanding of the following quote a little skewed.

      Religion is the opium of the people.” ~ Karl Marx

      I’ll second that.

      * Religion makes some people do things they wouldn’t do if they were thinking straight.
      * Religion also gives some a high that helps them sail through the inevitable storms in life.
      * Like opium, not everyone fancies religion.

      Live and let live, I say.

      I subscribe to the second interpretation of mine. My choice to practice my faith doesn’t just keep me afloat, I ride the waves and shoot the curls with The Big Kahuna!

      I will accept your blessings with gratitude because they come from a good heart. And that is what I think religion is about to begin with.

      >.. and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
      – You are very welcome, Hook!

      I am very pleased that you were surprised. It is one of my regular practices, too, to try and brighten someone’s day every opportunity I get, hunger and exhaustion levels permitting, of course. 🙂

      I had decided to try and make my blog as personal as I do my private newsletters with shout outs to the readers. If I can manage to pull the rug from under someone’s feet, that’s even better! What I’m trying to say is, do not buy this ‘Nice Kate’ charade.

      Have a lovely week, a lovely month and of course, a lovely year that began on the 25th of February!

      Kate

      P.S: No, I did not think my original post was long enough. I felt the need to waste even more of people’s time by matching it with this yammering line for yammering line response to a comment.

      Like

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Sunday, 1 April 2012 @ 10:21 am |Reply

  2. Hi Kate … I got punked a couple of days late, because I am a couple of days behind (typical for me, actually) …. but you did have me going with your scorpion story, I admit. That’s okay. I love reading your posts since you always write with such humor. I was kind of wondering where that big black spot around your mouth was, in your photos, but figured maybe you had avoided posting them, for whatever reason … because it didn’t happen, is as good a reason as any I guess.

    I held off on visiting this post until I could actually read it through, undisturbed, because I knew it would be fun to read. Of course, I’m not disappointed at all, even if you were playing an April Fool’s prank on us.

    I’m sure Hook is thrilled you made such a big ta-do over missing his birthday. There comes a point when you hope people will forget another birthday has come and gone. I hit that point about 4 years ago. Although, they do say that he who has the most birthdays, lives the longest, so maybe they should all be celebrated after all. If it makes you feel better, I missed Hook’s birthday, too. I don’t think I got notification of the post either, but we may not have been hooked up then. LOL.

    Anyhow, I’m glad your lip is okay and that you didn’t really get bit by a live scorpion. I do hope that you got to see China and Italy though. That part of your story sounds like it would be an amazing opportunity.

    I’m off to play catch up on the blogs, but wanted to be sure and check yours out now that I have a few blissful moments to enjoy those things that are meant to be enjoyed. 🙂 Speaking of enjoyment, I hope the entire month of April is nothing but enjoyment, for you and yours, Marcy

    Like

    Comment by orples — Tuesday, 3 April 2012 @ 8:41 pm |Reply

    • >I got punked a couple of days late, because I am a couple of days behind (typical for me, actually) …. but you did have me going with your scorpion story, I admit.
      – Bazinga! Sorry, Marcy, I just had to gloat.

      >I held off on visiting this post until I could actually read it through, undisturbed, because I knew it would be fun to read.
      – Ah, the joys of delayed gratification!

      >Of course, I’m not disappointed at all, even if you were playing an April Fool’s prank on us.
      – I’m glad to hear that. Thanks for being a good sport, too!

      >I’m sure Hook is thrilled you made such a big ta-do over missing his birthday.
      – More taken aback than thrilled probably. Hee hee!

      Since his wife wrote a special post for his birthday, I figured Hook was open to being wished by everyone. There are a handful of you (and you know you are one of them, Marcy) who spend a considerable amount of time reading and commenting on my posts. I am grateful for that.

      One way to express my gratitude is be equally loquacious on your sites. Which is a slam-dunk for rubber gob me! 😉 Once I got kinda comfortable with you all in the blog world, I felt like doing what I do in my family ‘n friends newsletters – include shout outs to felicitate, celebrate, encourage and of course, tease the readers. 🙂

      I gingerly (!) attempted it with MJ and Elvie Rose in an earlier post of mine, and was not shot down by either … so try stopping me now! Bwa ha ha ha ha!

      >If it makes you feel better, I missed Hook’s birthday, too. I don’t think I got notification of the post either, but we may not have been hooked up then. LOL.
      – Oh no, you, too? You also are one of the regulars on his site. I think you missed that post because like me, you, too, read only his ‘Book of Terrible’ and not ‘You’ve Been Hooked’. His wife wrote his birthday post on the latter blog.

      >I do hope that you got to see China and Italy though. That part of your story sounds like it would be an amazing opportunity.
      – I was in China for five years. But no, not been to anywhere in Europe, unless you count my time on the Europe side of Istanbul 19 years ago. For whatever strange reason, I am simply not drawn to Europe. So I have to constantly endure the growling of my few grouchy friends and relatives scattered around that continent. But I have an easy solution for our woes – the mountain comes to Mohammed, you see? 😉

      >I’m off to play catch up on the blogs,
      – Oh, it’s a game I am forced to play frequently, too, because my assignments take me around where I (admittedly gladly) do not have access to the Internet.

      >Speaking of enjoyment, I hope the entire month of April is nothing but enjoyment, for you and yours
      – Thank you, Marcy! April is definitely going to be nothing but enjoyment because 13 days from today, Mount Everest is going to do its tour of duty to Mohammed. I mean, Bestie Boy is coming to visit me! w00t w00t!

      Kate

      Like

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Tuesday, 3 April 2012 @ 10:47 pm |Reply

  3. Dear Kate, I’m coming back to comment on this post. Give me a day or two. I’m still processing the info. I’ve had your post open on my screen for 3 days now.

    Like

    Comment by mj monaghan — Thursday, 5 April 2012 @ 2:27 pm |Reply

    • Hey MJ, take your time. I have miles to go before I sleep, too! 😉

      You should see what I do on Marcy’s blog! (http://orples.wordpress.com/) She posts pictures I like every day, but I don’t get the opportunity to read each post after they go live, leave alone comment. But let something like that get in my way? Phat chance! About once a week, I comment on a stash of her posts. Hee hee!

      Well, truth be told, while her pictures are a big draw, her sweet nature is the real reason I chirp there. Like you, she responds to every comment. Much as I love the sound of my own voice, I like it even better when the blog author pipes back. 🙂

      Kate

      Like

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Thursday, 5 April 2012 @ 10:37 pm |Reply


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