Friday, April 23, 2004


When I say I enjoy the variety of my job as a research assistant I am NOT referring to the particular "variety" of removing 6 to 8 two-inch cactus spines from my calf. Yes, a cactus leapt out and bit me as I walked by, just minding my own business. An entire cactus arm (chunk? piece? appendage? limb?) detached from the mother plant and clung to my leg, snarling ferociously. I never noticed the snarling; cactus spines almost never hurt going in. It was the weight of the cactus limb hanging on the spines embedded in my calf that I noticed. I looked down. Oh crap. I'm in the middle of nowhere with no tools and I have to get this off me without making it worse. In the end I just grabbed the cactus limb as best I could and yanked it out. All the spines. All at once. OUCH. Small cactus spines who were growing up to be two-inch killers happily dug into my palm and fingers, delighting in the fact that they were too small for me to really see. This caused me much pain as I took notes in class. I finally found some tweezers, which helped, but I couldn't get them all out.


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