Selfie alert II

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels - alabaster lantern - afternoon


  1. I almost didn’t recognize you scorpion.


    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says


      Daniel Mitsui can’t have known this when he designed my Korrektiv avatar, but I do have a history with arachnids: In addition to being nibbled, like everyone else, by ticks and the lesser sort of spiders, I’ve also been bitten (on the face!) by a tarantula, and stung by a scorpion. I definitely prefer my arthropods ten-legged, aquatic, and garnished with a twist of lemon.

      Incidentally, Fra Angelico painted scorpions into the Way of the Cross — as emblems on some of the Roman soldiers’ cloaks:

      • It’s been so long since I had one of those arthropods. I’ve only been bitten on the face by a tick. I feel like such a piker. Although it is quite a shock to look in the mirror in the morning and wonder what that black spot under your eye is and …


        • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

          Yeah, might want to have that looked at….

          Here’s a tick tale for the ‘Cool story, bro’ files:

          Around the time I was 13, I went on a camp-out with Scouts from other troops in other towns. Each tent held two Scouts, so assigned that any two tent-mates hailed from different troops. My assigned tent-mate was an easygoing chap from a distant town, and during the course of the day, each of us somehow learned that the other was a Catholic. I think we might have discovered that we had Popish friends in common.

          While trying to get to sleep, I discovered that a tick had burrowed into my belly. Having been warned of the danger of Lyme disease, and trained to extract ticks as soon as detected, I alerted my tent-mate. We turned on a light and produced some tweezers, and he efficiently removed, then neutralized, the parasite. Next, he got out a Bible that he carried with him, and we recited a Psalm together by flashlight, praying that I be protected from any tick-borne disease. And, as it happens, I was.

          We kept in touch. He went on to seminary, and we met up one evening in Rome, when he was studying at the North American College and I was in the city for a few days’ pilgrimage. He’s now a priest of the Diocese of Little Rock. Presumably, the Lord is using him to tweeze parasites out of souls now.

          • You know, I could have sworn that I wrote, “I didn’t recognize you without your scorpion.” What I indeed wrote made no sense.

            Anyway, that tick was dispatched years ago. Fifty years ago, the farmer that owned our house used to keep cows in what is now our front yard, and they ate off of our porch. I’ve been told that the presence of cows leads to ticks and we certainly have them. They aren’t the kind that cause lime disease, and spotted tick fever is pretty rare.

            I’m glad you had such a diligent and prayerful tent-mate. I’m also glad that no one came in while he was extracting the tick. Our very worst tick experience was on our very worst camping trip, and that took place in Mountain View, AR.


  2. Jonathan Potter says

    Author photo for the back cover of Crime & Pushkinment.

  3. Aw, the LA Cathedral? The grim aura of the prison seems familiar.

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