Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Up Shit Crack Without A Paddle

It's come to my attention that there is an animal called a pearlfish that thinks it's the bee's knees to live inside the anus of a sea cucumber.

I'm not one to disparage someone else's lifestyle choices, although at first glance this one seems bleak. But it's a scary world under the sea. That's why I live so far inland. Watch any video footage of ocean life and it's clear that a lot of folks down there have to spend all day trying to remain undigested. That nice pebbly portion of the ocean floor suddenly sprouts eyes and a giant maw. Rocks morph into octupi. Half the population is wearing camo. When push comes to shove, you can't always tell if you're retreating into a nice little cave or somebody else's belly.

So the pearlfish prefers to emerge from the cucumber's anus to feed under cover of darkness, when it's safer, and spend the daylight hours under the cover of--well, let's call that darkness too.

That's the pearlfish deal. Find yourself some kind of critter that looks like a table vegetable, locate its butthole--to no one's surprise, this is done by smell--and invite yourself in. Personally, I wasn't even aware that there was such a thing as a sea cucumber, or that it might rent out to fishes. If there are sea Brussels Sprouts, they could go condo.

Pearlfish are found inside several other kinds of critters as well, including clams, starfish, and sea squirts. I do not know what a sea squirt is, and frankly, in a discussion about butthole invasions, I'm not motivated to find out. But the pearlfish was so named because one was first noticed stuck inside an oyster. Perhaps there was a sea-cucumber shortage, and the fish noticed something homey about the oyster, and wandered in and looked around for the cable hookup, and got mired in the mother-of-pearl goo. This is going to be a downside of even your better butthole living. There's always a danger you're going to get stuck in the crusty bits.

Sea cucumbers don't really have crusty bits. Their buttholes are the terminus of a combo respiratory and waste system wherein everything whooshes in and out with some regularity, so the pearlfish need only position himself tail-first and slide in on the intake stroke. If he prefers not to go in tail-first, he can station himself at the door and knock a couple of times, and the butthole goes who is it and opens up, and then it's full speed ahead and start measuring for drapes. (Lest this strike you as primitive, know that you and I are also susceptible to a gentle knocking. Healthy human beings have a reflex response to tactile buttular stimulation, called an "anal wink." Isn't that friendly?) Anyhoo, although I'm not in a position to know for certain, I like to imagine the cucumber finds that the fish feel sort of nice, or they'd certainly fart them out of there.

I'd like to imagine that, but I'd be mistaken. There's not much in this for the poor sea cucumber. Although some pearlfish are quiet tenants, some start eating the sea cucumber's nuts. It just depends. This explains the back-end-first tactic of cucumber butthole invasion. The cucumber is really not interested in having its gonads chomped on. So when the fish tickles the cucumber with its tail, the anus slams shut. Unfortunately for the cucumber, it breathes through its butt, so before long it's going to have to open up again. And when it does, the fish is right there and all ready to back in.



Now, the sea cucumber is not without defenses. It produces a powerful toxin that should, by rights, poison any fish setting up an unauthorized camp. However, the pearlfish coats itself with an especially thick layer of mucus. For protection. Also, lube.

None of this sounds ideal from the point of view of the sea cucumber. But that's the thing about points of view. Every intrusion in a personal orifice is also someone else's chance to lay low and grab a few winks before heading out for dinner.

Nature abhors a vacuum, which is what Nature has in common with my cat, and if you show it a hole, it's going to find something to stuff in there. That's just a fact. There's no real percentage in trying to fight Nature, but I'm keeping my underpants on just in case.

32 comments:

  1. What an existence -- living up the ass of something that looks like it, in turn, belongs up the ass of something else.

    Maybe Richard Gere was a sea cucumber in a previous life?

    Unfortunately for the cucumber, it breathes through its butt

    That's very unfortunate indeed. Think about it.

    I guess there are no land creatures on Earth that share such a residential choice -- but on other planets, who knows? I'd love to see someone make a science fiction movie based on that concept. It would give the "Invasion of the....." theme a whole new meaning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I guess there are no land creatures on Earth that share such a residential choice .."
      Oh, yes, there are. Ever heard of pin worms?

      Delete
    2. Oh thanks you guys, now I'm all itchy. Poor Richard Gere! Poor gerbil, too.

      Delete
    3. Well, I didn't invent the sea cucumber.

      Delete
  2. For some reason, I feel the need to go hoick up my lunch now. I couldn't even watch the video.

    I have no problem with blood. I have no idea why I have a problem with this!!

    "It's not you; it's me." :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My apologies. The photograph is a little stark.

      Delete
    2. No apology necessary. I'm still trying to figure out why I'm reacting this way! I've had two kids and two scopes - you'd think I'd be immune :)

      Delete
  3. Yay! I've been waiting for this. I am NOT disappointed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh right--were you my "alert reader?" I lose track sometimes. Thanks!

      Delete
  4. Armored underpants might be better. Most critters are really just a glorified tube. Stuff goes in one end, gets the nutrients sucked out, and then leaves by the other end. Just fancy straws, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least that's how it works when everything is working properly. I found myself wondering the other day if there is ANY critter that does not poop, because it doesn't waste anything it eats.

      Delete
    2. I sometimes suspect fundamentalists don't -- not because they don't waste anything, but because they're so completely full of.....

      Delete
    3. And then there's the tick...

      Delete
  5. It puts a whole new focus on 'home is where the heart is' doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Did you know that my girl, Abigail, wrote her dissertation on sea cucumbers? More specifically, it was on small scale fisheries in Mexico caught in the middle of sea cucumber wars created by the high demand by the Japanese for their purported aphrodisiac properties. I'll say this: you do make them sound very sexy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did not know that! That speaks well of her. Not knowing anything else on the subject, I'll just go out on a limb here and say I've about had it with Asian men and what they think they need to kill to get it up. Had it, I say.

      Delete
  7. Well that's far more than I ever wanted to know about sea cucumbers and pearl fish. I'd heard of both before, but imagined a sea cucumber more resembling an actual cucumber, rather than a roll of dough liberally sprinkled with poppy seeds. And of course I always thought a pearl fish was just a regular fish with a lovely pearl lustre to the scales. Now if I can just keep my image in my head for a while, I'll forget everything I just read here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No you won't. In the middle of the night, that other image will come back to you.

      Delete
  8. I've enjoyed many a sea urchin in various sushi places, portland included, but sea cucumbers I don't remember seeing on the menu. So, if you don't mind, I won't give this one undue fault.

    My son, over in the north section, on Borthwick, says there is a bit of snow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We got a foot of snow. Possibly the most I've seen in forty years.

      Delete
  9. As I was reading this, I kept looking for the metaphorical aspect, suspecting it must be political, because...why wouldn't it be, considering the subject matter. But these creatures are disgusting enough on their own. No politics required. I hope you didn't have to watch too many videos to come up with this one. That would be unfair to any researcher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Au contraire! I'm endlessly fascinated with this stuff.

      Delete
  10. Hilarious! This is yet another piece of unwholesome knowledge that is going to take up permanent residence in my brain right beside the mental image of a spiny echidna's four-headed penis, leaving no room for facts that might actually be useful someday. Like f'rinstance, my new address and postal code.

    I'd try to fake indignation over that, but I have to confess I'm looking forward to seeing the expressions on the nurses' faces in a few decades when I'm in a care home, completely senile and mumbling vaguely about swimming up a sea cucumber's anus. (Except I probably won't use the polite version of the a-word...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, now the idea of getting old and Alzheimer-y doesn't sound so awful; I have lots of icky and disgusting things stashed in my memory to surface when I can't remember where my room is. Such fun I will have!

      Delete
    2. Y'all can get your own room. I have no intention of going up a sea-cucumber's ass. Mainly because of the underwater thing, though--it looks right comfy in there.

      Delete
  11. Thank you for making me belly laugh on this cold, cold winter's day.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Dec. 2016 issue of New Scientist had an article you might like, concerning the anus: "...for all its essential functions, the anus is a very understudied organ...Humans and plenty of other creatures have a through-gut, which starts at the mouth and ends at the sphincter...generally de rigueur for creatures that have a front and back, right and left sides, and an upside down...For animals that lack this bilateral symmetry – sponges, stinging jellyfish, anemones – the digestive system is more like a cul-de-sac..." i.e. Nutrients are taken in, swished around, and waste is expelled back the way it came in. Fascinating stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...and pearlfish are expelled back the way they came in. Yup!

      Delete