It's not so much the actual lake water that scares me, but more what is without question dwelling in the water unseen that is ready to slay or maim me that I am bothered by. I can handle being in any lake depth I can clearly see the bottom of, as long as there is no other living being, plant or animal, in sight. Even now, as I write this, I know that statement is suspect, because - leeches. You can't always see leeches, but they are there. It's at this point that I hear several friends laughing and saying (in British accents, I don't know why)(I don't have any British friends)(which is a shame)(Although I do pretend to be Adele at least once a day while I'm
Information from Wikipedia that is UNQUESTIONABLY TRUE:
"The majority of leeches live in freshwater environments" (A.K.A. Lake Huron)
Gnathobdela: In this order of "jawed" leeches, armed with teeth, is found the quintessential leech: the European medical (bloodsucking) leech, Hirudo medicinalis. It has a tripartite jaw filled with hundreds of tiny sharp teeth. (WHEN DID LEECHES GET JAWS? Like I needed another reason for the Jaws theme music to play in my head during the tri? Also, leeches are "armed with hundreds of tiny sharp teeth". Awesome.)
Rhynchobdellida are "jawless" leeches, armed with a muscular, straw-like proboscis puncturing organ in a retractable sheath. (This joke writes itself.)
Most leeches are hematophagous, as they are predominantly blood suckers that feed on blood from vertebrate and invertebrate animals. (Coincidentally, I am a vertebrate animal. And apparently I am below leeches on the food chain. Leeches are legitimately hunting me.)
Wikipedia, what should I do if, heaven forbid, I get a leech on me?
Common, but medically inadvisable, techniques to remove a leech are to apply a flame, a lit cigarette, salt, soap, or a chemical such as alcohol, vinegar, lemon juice, insect repellent, heat rub, or certain carbonated drinks. These will cause the leech to quickly detach; however, it will also regurgitate its stomach contents into the wound. The vomit may carry disease, and thus increase the risk of infection. (To recap, if a leech attack wasn't bad enough, if removed improperly, said leech could vomit into your open wound and infect you with Weird Leech Disease, which I'm pretty sure is how people turn into vampires.)
I never planned on being a vampire. All I wanted was to stretch the limits of my physical endurance by competing in a triathlon. This is suddenly becoming way more dangerous than I anticipated. If my post on Monday seems all, "Hey Blog Friends, come over to my house so I can feed on your blood," you can probably assume I was hunted by armed leeches in Lake Huron during my triathlon and caught a Weird Leech Disease that turned me into a vampire. Heads up.