Sunday, June 04, 2006

Identifiable Flying Objects - IFO Invasion

For reasons unknown to me, I have this strange affinity towards flying objects.

I was born in Kota Tinggi. Once, there was a flying keris there. Thrown by a laksamana and became the cause-of-death of a sultan. All over a prized jackfruit. I was brought up in Kluang. And kluang is bigger than a bat. I did my schooling in Muar. Now, here in Muar, a lembing once went flying. Thrown by an awang in the name of a dayang. Romantic in a gory sick morbid way. But romantic nevertheless. Do excuse my exaggerations. I am after all a Johorean. I come from the land of Big Foot. That big foot thing must have been started by some poor sod that had the misfortune to catch a glimpse of my hairy big hobbity feet. Must be during some kenduri. Exaggerations, I insist. My feet are not that big. Or hairy.

As a toddler, I was once attacked by a whole swarm of bees. You get my drift? Bees have wings? They fly? Yes? Good.

It was all thanks to my sister. She showed me a beehive, gave me a stone or stick I cant remember and asked me to throw at the thing. But not before she retreated to a safe distance away. In the split second after the thing was split open (good throw that was), the bees came after us or to be more acurate, the bees were after me. My sister was bigger and ran faster. I, on the other hand, didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to wait. Oh, it was painful. But my sister thought it was hilarious. Oh well. She has four children and there are many beehives around. My time will come.

And some years after the bee attack, I found a bird sitting in one of the rooms in our house. It was sick and I took care of it until it was fit to fly again. And then, over the years more sick birds started to fly in for shelter. Some died, some regained their health and flew away. Bird flu was not known by the public yet so I wasn’t worried.

This thing with birds continued on. I had birds just fell into my hands while I was on the bed reading. And I must have caught three or four birds with my bare hands too. Wakwak, ciak rumah, merbuk, tekukur etcetera. Since I don’t believe in caging birds it has always been just catch, nurture and release. A few years back, a baby bat fell infront of the house. It was making such a big racquet crying out for its mom. I took the thing in, hang it among the only plant I had in the house which was bunga telur. Well, I know bunga telur isn’t a plant at all but it would do. The baby bat died the next day and I cried oceans for it. A baby is still a baby, batty or not.

And when we moved into this apartment, a bat decided the phone lines stretching on the ceiling right infront the door would make a nice place to hang around. It did. Every night, during happy hours the bat would be hanging there with its picnic basket. I wouldn’t mind it so much except that in the morning we would always be greeted with bat droppings and food leftovers. Right infront of the door, you see. What would our mothers say! So Yamtuan put some newspaper on the phone cable and our little friend had no place to hold on to anymore. He left.

Last weekend we went back Yamtuan’s kampong. We chose to sleep in the living room. The kids fell asleep fine. But just as Yamtuan and me were cosy and ready to drift to Neverland, a bat flew in. Now I thought bats were supposed to be using ultrasonic state-of-the-art sensors to help it navigate, you know with them being blind and all that? Yes? Well, not that bat. It flew haphazardly, got hit by the fan a few times and almost hit us a few times too. I was more afraid for the kids. Bats bite and they might cause the Cujo disease. You know, from Stephen King’s novel? Rabies? What choice did I have but to catch the thing? I threw a blanket on it, caught the thing and threw it outside. We slept fine after that.

The next night, again, just as Yamtuan and I were ready for some sleep, the bat came. It flew like a drunken pilot was behind the control board. This time Yamtuan handed me a broom. I was supposed to play batminton with it. I was supposed to smash when the bat served. Bola lambung was not allowed. Play to win.

Serve. One all. Outside. And service over. And SMASH tangan kiri! A TKO! Cantik pukulan! Kemas permainan! Uber Cup! Hehehe… Pasukan Johor menang mudah! 21-0!!! Esok cuti!

I am sorry bat. But I was certain that I didn’t smash that hard. Just enough to win (stun it so I could put it outside).

The next morning, I started to have pain around the eye socket. By the time we reached KL, my right eye was hurting real badly and the whole half of the face was painful too. Like I am a shuttlecock that have been smashed or something. The pain spread all the way down to the neck and then the shoulder and the upper chest. My eye was really hurting. The whole side of the face-neck-shoulder was painful to touch. Even washing the face was painful. And my vision started to blur too. It wasn’t the usual red-eye conjunctivitis. There was no redness, no discharge, no itchiness. Just pain. White pain. Red pain. Pain pain.

I thought I was going blind as a bat.

I went to see the eye specialist. He said my eye was abraded (whoa!). He gave some eye-drops, painkillers and some other things. He said it could be allergy or excessive dryness. But he wasn’t sure. And he said it wasn’t muscular pain I was experiencing. It was the lymph node. Oh whatever, all I know was whatever the reason, it was causing me pain and affected my vision 2020.

Two days after that, things didn’t improve much. I was still in pain and I realised there was this thing at the edge of my eyelid. Like a growth, like a mole. And that spot was the most painful.

This morning, I went to see the doctor again. At Pantai Bangsar, the doctor is bald and cute but the smile is a bit plastic (Anedra, i have asked for his number for you).

And you know, he looked at the newly formed mole in/on my eyes and happily announced that he knew now what was causing all the trouble! Yes! It was a tick! No! A TICK! How can? How can? Using forceps he forced the thing off my eyes. The tick took with it a tiny piece of my skin and it was REAL no-nonsense pain. Oh My God! I now have a permanent tick mark on my face! Hehehe… that cant be all that bad, can it?

But really hehehe… I am thankful that it was JUST a tick and not something more sinister than that. And I am sorry to the bat for thinking that it was some cosmic arrangements to make me feel the pain of the bat that I played batminton with. The tick could have been hosted by the bat. It must have flown over from the bat to me during the match. And the bat didn’t bat one eye at this! Bad bat!

And all this while, I thought my affinity was only towards birds and bees. Apparently it includes bats and fleas too.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Fleas and ticks transmit diseases to people as well as pets.
Lyme disease is by far the most often reported tick-borne disease in humans in the United States: 13,083 cases in 1994, up from 8,257 in 1993. Most reports came from the Northeast and North Central regions of the country. Symptoms include fatigue, chills and fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and a red, circular skin rash. (See "Getting Lyme Disease to Take a Hike," in the June 1994 FDA Consumer.)
The next most prevalent disease from ticks is Rocky Mountain spotted fever, characterized by fever, headache, rash, and nausea or vomiting. It affects more than 500 people each year, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC received reports of 415 cases of human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis, a disease also transmitted by ticks, since it was identified in 1986. It is similar to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but usually without the rash. In 1994, scientists identified another similar disease, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, or HGE. About 170 cases have been reported.
The organism that causes the tick-borne disease babesiosis infects red blood cells, which burst and die, resulting in hemolytic anemia. Patients develop a malaria-like fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting; those with no spleen are at particular risk of developing severe disease. The reported incidence of babesiosis is about one-tenth that of Lyme disease, or even less, according to Sam Telford, Ph.D., a lecturer on tropical public health with the Harvard School of Public Health.
Lyme disease, HGE, and babesiosis are all transmitted by the deer tick. Ticks have been found to have any two of those disease-causing organisms. "I believe it's only a matter of time before we find a tick with all three," Telford says. The lone star tick transmits human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis.
Many exposed people never develop the diseases. Roughly 5 percent of the coastal Massachusetts' population has antibodies against babesiosis, Telford says. "We believe it's about the same for ehrlichiosis. For Lyme disease, it's maybe three times that."
Fleas or an infected animal can transmit bubonic plague. Seven cases, including one death, were reported to CDC in 1995, in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Oregon. Another 13 cases, also including one death, were reported in 1994, in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.
Symptoms of bubonic plague include fever, headache, vague discomfort, and very painful, swollen lymph nodes near the infection site. Septicemic plague is more serious because the bloodstream is infected, as is pneumonic plague, with its overwhelming pneumonia. Antibiotics are used for treatment. A plague vaccine is available for special groups at very high risk.
Early diagnosis and treatment give humans the best chance of recovery from these and other flea- or tick-transmitted diseases.


Blogger anedra said...

If ever you need someone to drive you or hold your hand when you need to see that champion of a bald doctor, CALL ME. You hear?? CALL M.E = ME!

You're a pal for life oody!!

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo friend, nasib baik tak mengunyah masa baca your post. The tick pic is GROSS!! Geli le...Readers must have to be as blind as a bat to not be able to see such a big pic!

4:07 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

for you anedra, anytime. Anything round and glossy i will always do a pre-evaluation for you.

You happy i happy maaaa...

Dear ticklish,
ahhhh... it is there for a purpose. Gross isnt it? That's the bottom part and it is soft and spongy. After a meal, it bloats up round and pink and soft. And the legs are like tiny little feathers too. When it is stationed at the eye, you cant tell which is leg and which your eyelashes.

6:27 PM  
Blogger AuntieYan. said...

Odd, kalau Melayu,Tick tu cakap apa ek??...kutu ke??...isyyy...geli le....kalau tak silap Auntie, dia ni memang sukalah menenggek kat tepi-teoi mata tuh....menghisap darah...nampak kecik je...penangannya dahasat sungguh!....:-)
Alhamdulillah....dak ok kan?

10:33 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

entah le auntieyan,
lice = louse = kutu.
flea = kutu.
kaki lepak = kutu
sudirman dalam 'pelangi petang' = koo too
tick pon kutu la kot. ke pijat ke amende ntah.
sakit auntieyan... alhumdulillah benda tu dah dimusnahkan. Yamtuan kata 'pirik-pirik' kan. Tobat tak nak main kelawar lagi.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous ariel said...


was rolling about in my chair laughing.. hahahhaha... so sori dear.. hope you are feeling better now..
i think in the land of serambi mekah, dat sorta creature is called '~ppigghah' - spelled as pirah but pronounced with a sabdu in front and to put a stress on the R. My mummy told us, sekali kena boleh demam ... and it is no lame old kutu you.. it sticks so well dat yes, your skin would come off as a result.. you poor thing hehehe... wei.. before i get fatter , lets meet up la you.. :-P

12:21 AM  
Blogger Irfan Dzahier said...

Now I know why bat flew into ur house the nite after ur sis wedding....
The ultrasonic couldn't detect you coz u r so tiny...
har har har har
it's all make sense now...
next time, wear sumtin on ur head...songkok ke anything that ultrasonic bat can pick up....
Dun ever use a bat to bat a bat.... cheeerss geng...

9:40 AM  
Blogger OOD said...


i dah tanya my serambi friend. She said the thing ppighah always infest cows one. You see, once i worked for a leather company. I know for a fact that malaysian cow produces cheap leather because of too many tick marks. Sumatran cows are valued because they are almost tick-free.
Should they make leather from me, i guess i can only be made into water pouches... i am a low grade leather, boooohooohooo

let's meet let's meet, but bring ridsect with you!

1:36 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

irfan dzahier bradder,

even songkok will not make me detectable. A tarbus and me on stilts?

*waving fist at you*

1:38 AM  
Blogger dr in the house said...

I have always enjoyed your quirky style of writing. I missed it a lot when you went on hiatus.

Your main aim is to tell us the agony of being bitten by a tick, but you've managed to bring us back nostalgically to your 'affinity-towards-flying-ojects' past, beautifully!

It'll be in no time that you'll be telling us that you've been abducted by aliens and flew in one of their UFOs!!!

4:49 PM  
Blogger hana_kirana said...


kelakar! seperti biasa...! :D

10:36 PM  
Blogger Irfan Dzahier said...

My dear Ood...

U used to be so tiny that blood donation drive drove u away..(tak cukup berat)... Now that you have blown out of porpotion, why dontcha try ur luck again.... and have that stealth mode remove...

I think Kluang ppl have stealth setting 'on' la..jez like alor star ppl always shining bright...

8:29 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

Dr House,
i exaggerate a lot, dont i? Everything i say must be taken with buckets of salt! Hehehe..

Hana Kirana,
heyho you!

Irfan Dzahier,

11:28 PM  

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