Pack Them In Like Parasites
ADAM MICHAEL LUEBKE
Stay where you’re wanted
“And what would you do if you found your friends were leeching off you? If you found them overstaying their welcome and eating all your food?” asked a frantic woman who spoke into a rusty microphone that sent her voice ricocheting all throughout the small high school gym where the illustrious philosopher, Hubert Humdinger, had been speaking.
It is those kinds of questions that irritated Humdinger [pronounced hum-din-jer] back then as much as they do now. The petty, personal type.
Humdinger had just finished a short talk that outlined the premise of his then-new book about simple methods of healing from within called If Everybody Would Just Stand on Their Heads Awhile. The gymnasium talk was the first in a two-stop book tour that he was hoping would turn into more, but never did.
“With friends like those, there are only two ways to go about it,” the musk-scented philosopher answered the woman after a brief pause.
“You can either poison their food and see if you can get away with it, or,” and that is when Humdinger did his usual little hacking cough, one quick qawhh, “or, you can turn off the heat, cancel your utilities service, let the refrigerator go empty, and then hunker down into days of deep meditation until your worthless friends can’t stand it any longer and leave.”
The woman pulled at the front of her thick jacket to draw it closer around herself. “Thank you,” she said, coolly. The heavy gymnasium lights flared off her dark sunglasses. “But I was hoping for something more specific.”
The bleachers were half-filled. It wasn’t a bad turnout. Everybody was quiet as the tension grew. Somewhere a mouse must have stirred. Humdinger, who sat on a pea green couch on the stage, crossed his leg over his knee, exposing the white flesh above his black sock, and replied, “Then do like me and don’t keep friends in the first place.”
That talk was in 1969 and if anybody has a videotape recording of it, it would sell for a bundle.
Packed in Like Parasites
When it comes to friends, I mostly go with the Humdinger approach. Many friends will lead you down dark alleys. They’ll suck your energy and whip your spirit. I only seriously tried once to keep a gang of friends. It was when I first moved to California.
Getting and keeping friends somehow got me into casually eating sushi. I don’t know how I missed the warning signs. Who would eat anything raw other than a fruit or a vegetable?
I’d moved from North Dakota to get to where the action was. The Golden State. Where the real art and intellect was being produced. To the cultural center of the world. Or so I thought. Like a secular Old Baghdad with never-ending potholes and a sleazy twist. Or a rundown Atlantis without the mystical forces.
But that was all a big farce. An illusion. All the action I thought was happening in California was really just a set of TV shows put on for the Midwest. There’s nothing out here but people and deception. Confusion and inconvenience.
Somehow sushi outings became the core of my social maintenance. We packed people into booths, brought friends of friends, and got loose with all the new contacts. It was a friend free-for-all, and the sushi bar was the hippest venue. I pretended I liked it. Maybe because there really is no good sushi in North Dakota, unless you can get it flown in express, so it felt distinctly West Coast. A splurge. It felt like a fulfilling of what I’d missed out on back at the farm.
I gave up raw fish soon after. It wasn’t difficult. I couldn’t stand one more bite of it. The quivering, raw sliver of eel strung to a ball of rice. Doused in soy sauce so I could stand the taste and chew it before it came to life in my mouth. I also stopped keeping a cadre of friends. They’d been trained for social outings. Trained for constant outward stimulus. They ran me ragged. They sapped my energy.
“People,” as Hubert Humdinger says about life in California, “leaving their small towns and communities across America to be packed in like parasites because the climate’s more than all right. And once they’re there, no matter how high the cost of living, the hours spent in traffic, or the struggle to keep a high-paying job, they cling to the warm, slushy sidewalls of their misery because they think their only other option is to get flushed out.”
I asked him how he really felt about everybody moving to the big cities, to the coasts, to California. He snuffled and wiped his nose with the back of his hand.
“Shouldn’t have left in the first place!” he hollered. “To leave from where you’re wanted to try to live a privileged life where you’re not welcome is like sneaking under the dress of the First Lady and holing up in her large colon and waiting for your windfall.”
He scratched his neck and cleared his throat. “There’ll be wind all right. Plenty of it. But not the kind that does you any good. You’ll spend most of your time and energy hanging on with everything you’ve got.”
It was when I brought up my old sushi days that Hubert Humdinger got on a storytelling roll about his two-part lecture series. One of the best things in life is to get Hubert Humdinger on a roll. You can only hope it goes on for hours.
Yeah, you got them unless you freeze ’em or fry ’em
It turns out my instinct to avoid sushi was right all along. To eat sushi is an act of bad judgment.
Kind of like moving away from one’s community to pack himself into the squeezing social grind and hope to find a fine enough spot to catch some scraps from what the other seventeen million stationed above him missed.
Most fish carry a parasite called diphyllobothrium. This parasite can be killed by cooking a fish, or freezing a fish. If frozen, it should be at a very cold temperature for at least a week. You see, most parasites hang on through thick and thin, waiting for the glory days to come back again. You’ve got to be more relentless about getting rid of them than letting them stay.
You probably think you’re too clean to be infected because you live in the modern world where food is sterilized. Nutrition as well as parasites destroyed.
But that just isn’t true. Ask your doctor. If she acts like she doesn’t know what you’re talking about, keep asking until she admits that somewhere around 90 percent of Americans have horrific creatures growing inside of them. That surgeons often see them and ignore them.
It’s not shocking, nor is it hard to believe. The American diet is the best diet on earth for a whole range of worms and flukes.
But nobody says anything. Nobody truly wants to know. It disturbs our reality. It shakes up what we believe. It makes zoning out to the television a little less relaxing. We don’t want to imagine that our constant craving for sweets is from the greedy pulse of parasites. You wouldn’t want to imagine that the secretions of these writhing entities into your bloodstream actually prompts your brain to desire their favorite foods.
Protozoa. Helminths. Ectoparasites. Blood mites. Organ crawlers. Skin burrowers.
The only benefit to you is that you’re racking up a continuous stream of good deeds. As one poor Indian man said when he found out he was close to having a fatal infection of tapeworms, “Thank Heavens I was providing for someone’s family all this time.” His wife and children had left him years ago after endless poverty.
The good news is that you can kill some of your parasites quite easily. With a prescribed pill or powder. The bad news is that if you’re too good of a host, and really, you are, then they’ll likely be back in one form or another.
Easy-Does-It, but It’s Going to Take Patience
Another way to get rid of parasites is what my friend, the exiled cultural philosopher Hubert Humdinger calls the “easy-does-it” method. “Don’t rock the boat too much, my friends,” he once told that kindergarten class in Ohio (before he fled the USA for the colder, less hospitable regions of Northern Europe), “when it comes to intestinal tract parasites. Harsh treatment is not good for you, nor is it fair for your guests.”
This was Humdinger’s second stop on his tour. The teacher had seen his book in the window at the local store and thought it was for children. She thought there would be practical how-to’s for kids, like how to do headstands. She figured there’d be colorful pictures.
Humdinger went on to explain to the kids that a gradual change in lifestyle was the preferable way to get rid of the hangers-on.
“Fewer sugars and simple carbohydrates will deprive your parasites, combined with natural repellents such as fresh garlic, tumeric, and ginger. Add very hot peppers to your meals to blind the suckers,” he said. “They’ll surely think about moving out on their own.
“Also, don’t discount the power of a dry fast. No food and water for at least 12 hours. Do it for a whole month like the Muslims. Parasites hate that. It dries them out. You’ll learn self-discipline in the meantime.”
At that point the teacher was shooting my old friend a series of sour looks from her desk. She thought he was going to show them how to play games and do exercises.
Little did she know, Humdinger doesn’t play games. He’d always been out to change the world. Until his books were banned and burned in the early ’70s for containing too many potentially life-changing ideas in close proximity to one another.
There were many reasons for the Humdinger Purge. One was that the USA did not have a need for good citizens to take time out of their working day to stand on their heads to gain extra clarity in their thoughts or reduce their risk of stroke or memory loss. It had become kind of a craze in Ohio.
It wasn’t good form for the working classes. Some humans work better knowing less. That’s what the American public system of education is for. It wasn’t healthy for the schoolchildren to start believing they held destiny in their own hands. The Rockefeller Board of Education decided on that right away.
That was back in a more innocent time, when government agencies actually took for granted that people put into action what they’d read. Now they don’t waste their time suppressing ideas. They hire screenwriters and TV producers to flood the common household with the correct ways for humans to act, and without having the burden of thinking at all.
There were other cheap and natural cures in that book for a whole host of illnesses, but they’ve been lost and Humdinger refuses to remember them. That was in 1969. It was even said the Manson clan had taken to doing headstands for the rush and relaxation of it, and to thwart potential Alzheimer’s. Since then, Charlie’s been called a lot of things, but forgetful has never been one of them.
The Manson girls had sung silly songs about him, according to less than reliable sources. Songs with lines like, “Hubert Humdinger, he’s our man, if he does a daily headstand, then of course we can!” Until Charlie became jealous of the esteemed philosopher and they too burned the single copy they had.
It had been brought by one of the girls who’d drifted in from Ohio. She had come to be set free, and had found the single most electrifying man in California. Maybe the greatest thinker the state had ever produced. He understood reality one hell of a lot better than Ronald Reagan or Richard Nixon. He was a little off, but in 1969, being a little off was what was in.
You can’t napalm Southern California for a little more wiggle room
That morning kindergarten class Humdinger spoke to probably never realized how blessed they’d been. So many today wish they could read a line of Humdinger’s original work, not to mention actually see him in the flesh and hear him speak. Even if he spoke about tapeworms.
Really, all we’ve got from him other than what I report is a short poem about a common housefly.
“You’ve got to change your inner climate to such a degree,” he’d said, finishing up his talk with the children, “that the parasites decide to move out. Because parasites are living creatures, too, and basically, they’ll hop a piece of raw fish or undercooked meat like a hobo hops a train and they’ll take the whole bumpy ride down your gullet to find better weather.”
Humdinger thumped his fist on the lectern. “You must monitor your trains better, kids! You must set up more security in your supply lines! You must not provide such a sweet climate.
“But you can’t just poison them if you’ve allowed them to settle down and have families, just like you shouldn’t poison your relatives for overstaying their welcome, or napalm two-thirds of Southern California to create a little wiggle room for whoever survives. You must use the ‘easy-does-it’ method against your parasites.
“In life, anything more than ‘easy-does-it’ means you’re probably going to cause a mess for yourself and build enough bad karma to haunt your Hereafter.”
He raised a finger to punctuate his final point. “Basically, you never want to force anything.”
Humdinger admitted that most of the talk that morning went over like a rhinoceros strapped to a hang glider. I asked him how California might change it’s climate to solve its parasite problem.
“Everybody should have stayed home,” he said, “instead of flocking to the better weather or the big, grand old cities to lose their autonomy to be packed away into boxes so they can work and drive, drive and work and be completely reliant on how much the government or the corporation throws down to them.”
At least you were out there trying to make a difference in 1969, I tried to reassure him.
He shrugged. “I was only planting seeds. Forty plus years later, I’m still searching for the first sprouts.”
[Header photo from Wikimedia Commons, 1901, McKinley visits LA; Equal Rights campaign LA GeorgeLouis; bleachers photo courtesy of Vanderbilt University Special Collections; fish with tongue-eating louse from Wikimedia Commons]