Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Alive!

I just spent the better part of two hours getting freaked out, yet again, about the bedbug problems that have been making headlines in the last few months. Even the frilly underthings at Victoria's Secret are game. It seems that not even the haughty Lincoln Center is immune to these disgusting bloodsuckers.

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Google returned 2,280,000 results for the search query "bedbugs." Yum. That's a lot of reading. Let's start at aardvark, meaning, at the very beginning, with the WikiPedia article. Let me summarize: they're disgusting. Unlike cute caterpillars that morph into beautiful butterflies and unlike the industrious and useful bumblebees that make our fruits and vegetables and pretty flowers possible and most certainly unlike the fierce and ninja-like praying mantis that rids us of other nasties, like flies and spiders, bedbugs exist only to SUCK YER BLOOD! Arrgh. I'm itching all over.

*So, I read further, itching and scratching all the while. About how they secret themselves in cracks and crevices, like my beautifully refinished hardwood floors, or in my pillows, mattress and boxsprings. How they lay in wait for the deepest hours of darkness to stealthily creep onto one's person and, with their "beaks," take three bites from his or her sleeping form. The three bites are so characteristic that they are termed by those in the know as "breakfast, lunch and dinner." Very nice.

I also read about the cost to "control" the critters, which can run into the thousands. You should know that without "final solution" insecticides such as DDT, banned here now, exterminators, excuse me, pest management experts, can only assure that treatment can be administered, NOT that the bugs will be eradicated. Lovely.

And I also read about folks' personal fights against these animals and have gleaned a variety of preventative methods that you can be damned sure I'll be applying in triplicate starting tomorrow. I have already crossed off my list any trip to the movies, despite the fact that I love the movies and am missing lots of stuff I really, really want to see. Christmas gifts will need to be solids only, no silks, leathers or polyesters. And when I travel, I stick to the top hotels because I know that they know that I know their reputations are on the line.

I feel better already. Still itchy, though.

Part of this paranoia has to do with having been bitten by something earlier in the year. It may have been a tick or it may have been a spider bite. The doctor could not tell me and blood tests were not positive for tick antibodies or whatever it was they would have looked for. I still bear a pencil-eraser-sized bruise on my thigh at the bite site, though and no one is quite sure why. Great, huh? I've been mouth-raped by an alien species.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to end. Those living in the city have to contend with cockroaches, waterbugs and,of course, the aforementioned tiny terrors. Out here in the country, we get everything else. At the moment, waiting for me to manage it, is the following:

Yes, I realize that you can't see anything but a light fixture, but I assure you that there is a beetle of unspecified capabilites warming himself near those 11 watt CFLs that glow with such inviting light. What to do? I could climb onto a stepladder and try to suck him up with my 7 amp Hoover, but I probably can get the nozzle into the fixture. And I just cleaned that darn lamp, too. I could take the shade down, being aware he will likely fly off, scaring the living crap out of me as I subsequently drop the shade, shattering it into a thousand deadly shards which will take hours to clean up, if I could even get all the glass. And, he'll get away. Might as well let it be-etle. Get it? Ah, ha, ha, ha.

The fight continues, but the bugs will prevail. They won't get my rotting corpse, however, as I have made sure to be toasted upon my demise. Take that!

*I absolutely hate the modern convention of adding "so" to the beginning of a new paragraph, as if the conversation had been going on all along and you, the new listener or reader to the schoolyard or bar-side group already in progress suddenly walked in or by and nearly, but not quite, destroyed the rhythm and pace of one heck of a ripping yarn. So, I consciously put that in there to annoy myself. Thanks. Oh, and stop using that hipster crap please, or I will eat your young.

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