Phone rings. My tech answers:
Tech: Hello, this is XXX Clinic, how may I help you?
Kid: Do you have tapeworms?
Tech: ….uh, not personally, no….what do you need exactly?
Kid: So, well, we’re doing a scavenger hunt and we need to find a tapeworm. I’ve already called 12 other vets and no one has one they can give me.
My tech agreed to loan the kid a tapeworm from one of our plastinated displays on the promise of its safe return. When the kid showed up, she asked who the heck would have assigned these kids to find a tapeworm and the kid replied, “My biology teacher.”
I think that teacher is insane. Other than pestering the local veterinary community for help, how the heck are kids supposed to find a tapeworm? Hunting down stray cats and looking under their tails for the telltale proglottid segments? Eating some undercooked pork and hoping for the best? I simply can’t fathom the idea of sending 12 year olds on the loose trying to find something that may potentially infect them with a parasite. I guess that is why I am not a biology teacher. That’s just gross (and I say this as someone who has my bachelor’s in the subject and loves biology.)
I’m concerned word will get out that we have a stash of tapeworms and the rest of the class will come knocking tomorrow.