All Entries Animals Business and Work Entertainment and Show Business Humor Leisure and Sports Pets and Animals

You Can’t Teach an Old Flea New Tricks

April 20, 2017

If you’ve ever tried breaking into show business, you know how hard it can be. There are countless auditions, disappointments and the relentless competition from other actors. Maybe you should try it as a flea!

The Birth of the Entertainment Industry

Records of the earliest flea circuses date back to 14th Century Asia, but they didn’t hit their apex in popularity until the 16th Century in Great Britain. While there are over 2500 species of fleas, Louis Bertolotto found only the females of the Pulex Irritans species worthy of a place in his line-up: “…I have found the males to be utterly worthless, excessively mulish and altogether disinclined to work.” Hmmm… some things never change.

In the beginning, finding fleas to audition for parts in his show was relatively easy – largely due to poor hygienic standards and the number of mangy dogs running free in the streets of London. But, as people began to bathe regularly, circus owners had to pay as much as half a crown per flea. Considering that the average life span of a flea was only several days to weeks, this represented a very poor return on their investment. One circus owner who toured Europe with his traveling show depended on his wife to send him new shipments of entertainers in envelopes through the mail. That worked well until Postmasters began vigorously hand stamping all letters and parcels. read more

All Entries Animals Health Home Life Humor Medicine

Take One Leech and Call me in the Morning

April 20, 2017

One of the last things a patient imagines seeing as they look across a sterile operating room are leeches, maggots and scum-sucking fish. But, all three have earned a solid place in the medical community based on the results they achieve – simply by doing what comes naturally.

The Flies Have It

Maggots are nothing more than fly larvae: one of the most basic forms of life. But to many patients with wounds that refuse to respond to conventional treatment, they are a godsend. For the majority of people recovering from life-threatening wounds, contusions and limb re-attachments, antibiotics provide much of the follow-up care they need. But for a small percentage of patients who do not respond to modern medicines, maggots slither in to fill the gap.

Unlike most other living creatures, maggots thrive on dead tissue. Applied to a dressing that is made in the form of a small “cage”, maggots are applied to almost any area that does not respond well to conventional treatment. The 1mm maggot thrives on consuming dead tissue (a process called “debridement”), while ignoring healthy areas. After several days, the maggots are removed after having consumed up to ten times their own weight in dead tissue, cleaning the wound and leaving an ammonia-like anti-microbial enzyme behind. read more

All Entries Animals Family Home Life Humor

I Remember Hugh

December 18, 2016

We lost Hugh today. Somehow, he managed to slither out of our second-story bathroom window and was run over by an 18-wheeler carrying a load of chickens headed for a KFC. Considering the amount of time he spent futiley chasing birds, it was a humiliating end to an otherwise, distinguished life. The only thing that could have been worse was if he had been flattened by a truckload of squirrels.

Nevertheless, we’ll miss Hugh. But, it was his time to go. After all, he was 12-years-old and beginning to show early signs of dementia. From time to time, he’d confuse his water dish with his litter box, so he’d foul his water and walk around the living room with litter crumbs covering his lips.

I bought Hugh for my girlfriend, hoping that he would provide her with companionship while I was away at work. Unfortunately, he took an instant disliking to Natalie and spent the bulk of his days asleep behind the refrigerator licking his balls. That is, when he wasn’t spraying the couch or her expensive suede pants. read more

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