WORMS'-MEAT, n. The finished product of which we are the raw material. The contents of the Taj Mahal, the Tombeau Napoleon, and the Granitarium.
—AMBROSE BIERCE (1842-1914)
THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
As LEE GOFF settled into his seat for the eight-hour flight from San Diego to Honolulu, the images from the previous day's slide show continued to flash through his mind. A graying surfer-boy who'd traded his hangboard for a Harley, Goff had been struggling with the tedium of his work as an acarologist, or mite expert, at the century-old Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. Worse, the grant that funded his position paid less than Goff had earned as a graduate student. With a wife and two young daughters to support, he was perennially switching from one side job to another, most recently providing security for wholesale gift and jewelry shows. As a beefy Kenny Rogers look-alike given to motorcycle boots and denim jackets, Goff could look menacing enough. Nevertheless, he craved something that made better use of his Ph.D.
Meek's forensics presentation at the entomology conference in San Diego had not gone on long before Goff began to think that