Grit Blogs > My Bad Sheep

Worm Talk

A photo of DianeAccording to my mother, there are two types of worms: (1) men (sometimes – subject to an astute woman’s definition) and (b) ground-dwelling.

She may have had more experience with #1 but I can readily claim FAR more experience with  #2.

I never thought much about worms until gardening-fanatic Bill came along. Worms were worms. They lived in the soil. End of story. The fact that some people thought enough about them to produce actual books on the matter only pointed to obsession and an obvious need for psychotherapy.

But Bill’s single-handled discovery of a Night Crawler in our backyard changed EVERYTHING.

For those not in the know, the Night Crawler has a dark-colored head and a pale ‘tail’ (if you can think of a straight line as having a tail – the Night Crawler at least has the lock on the ‘tail’ piece in Earthworm Country through its clever color change). They are BIG boys. African Night Crawlers can get to 4-8 inches long. (So if you harbor a secret Worm Fear, do NOT visit Africa!) 

 Night Crawler

The grosser-than-usual worm, The Night Crawler

Apparently on the ‘Net there is not only much information, but much horror:

1. A website devoted to starting a Worm Farm caught The Peanut Gallery’s eye as he browsed topics of “world news and high importance” using his new iPad. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The man with the bad back and ‘can’t do’ attitude immediately proceeded to dig up about 400 worms (…or maybe 200. It’s a little hard to tell with all those wiggling straight lines).

2. There’s actually an organization called New York Worms devoted to the care and feeding of Night Crawlers. A puzzling statement from The Peanut Gallery that evoked the image of gang colors and alleyway heists before it was pointed out that New York actually consists of more than The Big Apple (which, apparently, is FILLED with worms.) Go figger…I still think gangs are somehow involved and that New York Worms sounds – well – a little slimy.

Night Crawlers are apparently coveted for bait – and are actually for sale. You can even buy them online, with the description including “100% Biodegradable, Lifelike taste and texture.” (Just in case mealtime wasn’t exciting enough and you tire of the mundane in the nightly ‘guess that ingredient’ table trivia session…comes in 3 flavors, too! Awesome…)

Huh. I gots a yardfull. By my estimate, that’s at least $5K crawling around out there, if you factor in a gross of worms per square yard x 2.5 acres and eliminate some yardage under da house.

So perhaps The Peanut Gallery’s latest obsession isn’t absolutely in vain.

I mean, wouldn’t you dig up the garden for a cool $5K?

We could use the money to travel.

Bill sayz we could use the money to BUY MORE WORMS for the farm, as they are ‘good for the soil’. Now we’re moving neatly into Diane’s “soil is soil. They harbor worms. End of story” perception.

Whatever…