Toxoplasma gondii redux

Driving to town the DJ is talking about toxoplasma gondii on the radio.

Everything the DJ says, Shrimp Box says first.  Except, the DJ is getting it all wrong.

Mice, rats, Shrimp Box is yelling.

Often, while driving, you see people yelling in their cars and wonder what they’re so excited about.

Parasites! is the answer.

Their life cycle something something, they move from rats to cats and back. They mate in the cats’ intestines or something, he says.

According to the DJ, toxoplasma gondii is why people are extroverts.

Shrimp Box doesn’t know about that.

He’s oversimplifying, he says to his daughter.

Also, I said toxoplasma gondii is my favorite parasite, but it might be cordyceps, when I think about it.

Also, 22% of Americans are infected? So what? There’s a town in the Czech Republic with a way higher rate of infection, he says.


And it doesn’t just make you extroverted. It has different effects on men and women. Men it makes paranoid or something. Women warm and social or something. But it makes everyone take risks. Just look at the rats and mice, they run up to cats and stuff and get eaten. They examined motorcyclists who’d been in accidents, and they had a higher rate of infection than the general population.

I had four cups of coffee this morning, how many did you have, he yells.

This is called getting the day off to a good start, he yells.

And nary a garbage truck nor student driver was seen that morning as Shrimp Box made his appointed rounds, and at work someone gave him a snack made of beans that had been exposed to gamma radiation or something.

What do we say to death? yells Shrimp Box. We say, not today!

Take the stairs to the shrimp box

Shrimp box is in a much better mood now that the kid is home from Hungary. The rains have started, cold rains that make the doorbell hum until it catches fire, so he took it apart preemptively, feeling a little like a bomb squad guy; and the gray cat has disappeared, and his wife (Shrimp box’s wife) is still in Japan, and his other daughter is in Vienna living her life, but the kid is home. He makes fruit salad for breakfast, honey dew melon and peach, and the kid eats some cereal too because she had missed cereal in Hungary, where her family stuffed her with everything else but cereal.

Shrimp box is glad to have meaning in his life again.

He wonders about the tortoise, and will it have to come inside now that it is getting colder and wetter.

Shrimp box listens to a video on Vimeo while taking a shower. He wanted drone music, but it turns out to be more metallic, and only by a band called Drone. Oh well. It sounds as if the vocalist is hollering ‘take the stairs to the shrimp box’ and Shrimp box decides to change his name to Shrimp box and to write a song with absurd lyrics, since he never understands song lyrics anyway.

The kid is so happy to have access to coffee again. Apparently Hungarian children do not drink it. She talks a lot in the car on the way to town.

‘I was reading old blog posts,’ Shrimp box says. ‘When I came home from America after going to my father’s funeral, you said, Boy am I glad you’re home, I forgot what you looked like. I only remembered that you had white hair, and that you’re nice.’

‘I said that?’ the kid is bemused.

The rain gradually peters out and stops entirely during their drive into town.

No idea why…

This morning I took the back way to work, through the Vienna Woods.  In one village, I had to stop my car and wait while a group of chickens crossed the road.

It’s going to be one of those days, I thought.

Sunrise this morning

Gamma took pictures of the sun on our way to school this morning. Here are a few: