At the weekly college newspaper where Father Scott sowed his oats, his fine replacement atop the editorial feeding chain, humor writer Tom Flanagan, has an amusing story regarding a souvenir from his time in Africa that proved to be more than he expected.
After bringing home a discarded table that didn’t fit in a friend’s suitcase, Tom discovered months after returning home that the table was infested with African termites.
This was a major concern. We’ve all found spiders, ants and other domestic bugs in our rooms before, and even those are always a little disconcerting. But bugs from Africa? I was terrified. It brought back memories of my African safari, during which a guide told me that however small or seemingly harmless any animal in Africa may be, it can probably whoop my ass. Kicking, scratching, stomping, stinging, spitting, biting, poisoning, trampling, ramming: no matter what animal you’re looking at, it can hurt you somehow. I still like my chances against a single termite, but a whole colony? If they can eat wood, how easy would it be for them to dig into human skin? Try Googling an image of a termite; their chompers are diesel. My only solace was that they would hopefully eat all of the wood in my room before they felt the need to turn their attention to me, so our inevitable standoff would be a good ways off.
Father Scott recommends Tom as regular reading — the kid is always funny. Plus, for those of us who recently left academia, or, like Pax Arcana, are now sitting in our creaky rocking chairs longing for the days (Ed Note: There were days? I only remember nights), his column is always a good reminder of the absurdities of collegiate life.