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Suicidal Wormsphabet

The other week, the weather turned here in Georgia. It made the worms, turn, too.

Scott and I decided to take the dogs out and found ourselves walking into a worm-abattoir of horror. The cool rainy October night before had fooled a bunch of earthworms into meandering out onto the asphalt and sidewalk and the gravel driveways. Come morning, they had all baked and died.

It was just awful. Literally thousands upon thousands of suicided earthworms, each in a squirmful rictus, each making its own singular, unhappy, final shape. For the first ten minutes I stopped to peel up all the alivish ones and toss them back onto damp grass, but eventually I gave up. There were too many, and some of the ones that looked alivish turned out to be decidedly dead, which, ugh.

Scott: So that’s your line for gross, huh? Mostly dead earthworms, not too gross. Fully dead?

Me: Too gross.

Gross, and such a waste, on every level. Decatur is a town rife with birdhouses. Our full-bellied spoiled birds wouldn’t even EAT them to give their deaths purpose.

Me: Look at this guy. He is just like the letter J. He died in perfect J shape.

Scott: How nice for him.

Me: Look, this one is an S, and this one is almost a number 4! Maybe it isn’t pointless! Maybe they are trying to tell us something!

Scott: … I think they were just writhing.

Me: Maybe the left the grass to try and be something other than worms!

Scott: Like what? Dead worms?

Me: No, more like…a font. SCOTT! THEY ARE TRYING TO BE A FONT!

I handed Ansley’s leash to him and started creeping around with my phone camera, hunting all the letters of my name in worm font, and once I had done that, trying to get the rest of the alphabet. Scott made helpful suggestions about the kinds of medications I might need, and both dogs flopped down and dozed in the street. Eventually he resigned himself and got into it.

Scott: Okay, say you find the whole alphabet. What do you think they would spell out, all these earthworms who are literally dying to be font? What could they possibly want to say to us?

Baby, I have your answer:

21 comments to Suicidal Wormsphabet

  • Sandi

    Wormy days – I hate them. Early in the morning on a rainy day you can smell the worms, see them sprawled and bloated on dark pavement. By the end of the day they’re dried out worm jerky. Blech.

  • If THAT was a book cover, I would buy it IMMEDIATELY. Sell your worm-font to your pub, stat!

  • You do have a creative mind, and that would make a scary book cover . . .
    I think I still prefer the Butterfly Alphabet http://www.butterflyalphabet.com/main/index.php

  • tammy

    You might be a genius. A scary scary genius. Or crazy.

  • Kathy

    LOL! You crack me up.

  • You make me smile. Oh what I wouldn’t do to have some work powerpoints with worm font! 🙂

  • Adding this to the list of reasons I love you.

  • Linda J

    HA! I LOVE THIS! Thank you!!!

  • Jessica (the celt)

    Aw, you’re after my own heart. I used to “save the worms, save all the worms!” when I was a kid. Oh, who am I kidding? I still pick them up and throw them in the grass when I’m out after a rainy, now sunny day. Thanks for trying, anyway. 😉 Only someone who truly wanted to help could have deciphered what they were truly trying to say.

  • I fail to see how anyone could NOT find that awesome. I want to see more words spelled out in worm!!

  • Martha

    That is amazing.

  • Martha

    So, instead of writhing as your husband speculated, they were actually writing? Our midwestern worms are illiterate, apparently.

  • JenniferG

    Hahaha! I too want to see more worm words.

    True story: someone at work complained about all the worms on the sidewalk and couldn’t we do something about it. Did she think someone was putting them there on purpose? Surprisingly, she did not make a peep about all the green piles the geese left!

  • Melissa

    I knew where you were going with this before I ever got to the picture. And yet it was still so sad when I saw it.

  • Therese

    Sciencey answer: worms grub up out of the soil when it rains and the soil gets saturated because they can’t breathe underwater! But, alas, they stay out too long and get fried by the cruel sun.

    During the summer in my vegetable garden, worms come out at night when it’s all dewy and moist on the surface. They all stretch out and are gi-nor-mous in the moonlight, and that sight is far, far scarier than the scorched-earth-sidewalk of death, I have to say. But I still try not to step on any crispy corpses. Because, ew.

    p.s. I concur with Marisa and Storyteller Mary, — that wormy image would be a fabulous book cover.

  • Therese

    And I think you should name that font “Vermes” because:

  • Therese

    Oh, boo. My science was more myth than science. (I hate it when that happens.) Per http://www.learner.org/jnorth/search/WormNotes3.html :

    Q. Why do worms come onto driveways and sidewalks when it rains?

    A. Dr. Dennis Linden, Cindy Hale, and other worm experts say that worms do NOT surface to avoid drowning. In fact, they come to the surface during rains (especially in the spring) so they can move overland. The temporarily wet conditions give worms a chance to move safely to new places. Since worms breathe through their skin, the skin must stay wet in order for the oxygen to pass through it. After rain or during high humidity are safe times for worms to move around without dehydrating. It is true that, without oxygen, worms will suffocate. But earthworms can survive for several weeks under water, providing there is sufficient oxygen in the water to support them.

  • Brigitte

    Hey, there’s people who make money selling prints of words like that! A new sideline for you, perhaps? 😉

  • Chelsey

    This is why I read your blog, because I laugh every time. Thanks for that