Wood Worms

Wherever I go, there life is. Whatever I’m doing, there I am.

Sometimes it feels like I’m being followed. No matter how far away I go, no matter how sneaky I think I am by stealing off to Italy, despite my best efforts to change my name and identity—when I wake up the next morning, there I am . . . again!

Today’s Lunch

Some fairly entertaining things can happen in the course of a day. Garrison Keiler once said that “God has a great sense of humor. The only problem is that most of the actors can’t do funny.” It’s true that I take myself much too seriously most of the time, and a perfect example is when I woke up to find the dreaded tarlo, wood worm had come for another visit. Within seconds I heard myself saying things like “I’ll get’em! They can’t get away with this. I’ll have to show them who’s boss.” How interesting that the wormish intruders were gnawing on the age-old antique table that used to be the scrivania del capo, the boss’s desk. That’s right! “I’m the boss around here and don’t you forget it—especially you lowly worms!”

The Fiesole Arsenal

Maybe it’s my highly evolved sense of angst that keeps me on the somber straight and narrow. Maybe it’s my unyielding need to control everything that seems to bring out or highlight my worst traits. All I have to do is zero in on one of those “scenarios” that push my self-created buttons, and off I go on a mission. There is also a sub-theme of self-validation at play in this pathetically comical story—that primal need to assert myself to prove that I still have it (which means I probably don’t).

So off I went to buy my “weapons” of the day to combat those pesky invisible critters. No matter what else I had planned, this new emergency took priority. Once again, I found myself trying to get past this new reality—the sad truth is that eventually, the wood worm always wins.


The fact is, any efforts are futile, because the big anti-tarlo brush of life is going to daub stinky goo on me as well, no matter where I try to hide. So I shift my perspective and relax into it. Suddenly, I find myself actually enjoying the game, playfully railing on the unreasonably strong fumes. Half smiling, I fall back and moan at the rudeness of it all, playing on the drama for all it’s worth. But most of all, I have a good laugh at myself, knowing that surely this life was never meant to be taken all that seriously. My day magically transforms into a funny frolic with the forces that be.

There’s a lot to be learned from a wood worm!

Note: You may also enjoy our story called “Ham Anyone?





  1. Can’t wait for the follow-up story – did you get them? On the farm in IN I have bees that bore into the porch ceiling and leave piles of sawdust on the floor of the porch – I think I need for you to visit and get “control” of this situation for me!!!!!! This story made be laugh outloud!!!!


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