Jewish World Review Oct. 8, 2002 / 2 Mar-Cheshvan, 5763
Cupid, the parasite
Back in my dating days, I seem to recall that a dinner and movie combo
was pretty much the norm. In Japan, however, according to the New York
Times, the Meguro Parasitological Museum in Tokyo is drawing young
couples by the truckload. The museum's director explains that the museum
is seen by the young people as a kind of fun house.
Well, I don't know. I've gone to fun houses on dates, wax museums, and
even to a scary Barbra Streisand movie or two, but gaping at hookworms
in formaldehyde never struck me as necessarily a bonding experience. On
the other hand, the museum does house a nearly thirty foot long tapeworm
encased in Lucite, and I have to admit the kind of women I tend to like
would love to take a long gander at that thing, as would I, come to
think of it.
As a matter of fact, looking back on it all, the women I've tended to be
attracted to have an unnatural fascination with freaks of nature,
forensic pathology, serial killers, film noir, traffic safety films,
space aliens, roadside attractions, cheap motels, seedy bars, greasy
spoons, carnivals, geeks, surrealism, weird music, offbeat novels,
Japanese and Chinese action movies, Italian horror, Mexican wrestling,
conspiracy theories, parasites, and cheap food, which is kind of weird
when you think about it. With so much in common, how come it never works
out? The goth endrocinologist I dated whose hobby was torching bed and
breakfast inns, for instance. I thought that was a keeper. But it barely
lasted three weeks, and ended with her hurling her scorpions in amber
collection at my head as I scuttled down the hall.
Maybe it never worked out because there wasn't that catalyst, that
magical place -- like a parasitological museum -- that would have made all the
elements come together. Maybe all it takes to make spark turn into an
eternal fire is a thirty foot tape worm. This particular specimen had
been taken from the intestine of a man who had eaten sushi, which is
something else I love. So who knows? Maybe there's hope for a
relationship yet. If not, at least I'll have a pet to keep me company.
You gotta look on the bright side of things, you know?
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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2001, Ian Shoales