Friday, October 23

i probably don't have tetanus - but bears could be anywhere

Now, lockjaw's something I probably don't worry about often enough.

In fact it's not on the list of things I regularly worry about at all. If you could count all the incidences of worrying that I engage in during the course of a year, you would probably find "Raphael's been attacked by a gang of ruffians (or other) while biking home from school at three o'clock in the morning and no one has found him yet is it time to call the cops?" at the top of the list, followed closely by "bears", and, after that, "mountain lions".

But lockjaw is somewhere on a different list altogether. It's on the "Things I SHOULD Be Worried About Such As, For Example, Lockjaw And Accidentally Hitting A Bicyclist During Rush Hour" List.

Because I'm an archaeologist, right, and we're constantly picking up pointy metal debris and climbing barbed wire fences and sorting through piles of old structural material is why I ought to think more about lockjaw. Or maybe not lockjaw per se (which kills one out of five people, by the way - did you know this? And not tell me?) but definitely tetanus vaccinations.

As it is, I think about tetanus vaccinations only on days like today when I am closing a gate and get punctured by barbed wire. The first thing I think is: "Did I get my last tetanus shot in 1998 or 1999?" And then after that, all my other thoughts go straight downhill, and I will tell you it's hard to be an effective instructor when someone says to you, "I think I plotted my rock pile on the wrong side of the center line," and your reaction is: "Center line? Rock pile?!? Are you CRAZY? I'M going to get LOCKJAW!" Or someone says, "An ant just crawled up my pants and it BIT me," and your reaction is: "Don't you GET IT?!? I'm going to be DEAD by MONDAY! Or eating through a STRAW! Or WORSE!!!"

Okay, I didn't really think those things. But I did go get vaccinated for tetanus on the way home from work, so at least now I have matching, hurty puncture wounds on both arms. I'm symmetrical. And according to the adorably cute person named Stephanie who vaccinated me at the Walgreens mini-clinic, I should live through the weekend unless a bear gets me.

Oh, and also? I learned how to run a backhoe yesterday. I dug trenches and didn't swing the bucket into the side of anyone's skull or anything. Although I guess that has to go on one list or the other at this point.

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