Tuesday, June 20, 2023


Last week I was really busy chainsawing pine logs into fireplace-sized pieces and whacking the tall grass and weeds at the south end of the property with my trusty weedwhacker. By the time I got back to the house, I was so exhausted that I barely had time to eat a snack and brush my teeth before I dumped my grimy clothes into the laundry basket and dove into bed. I remember the precise time - ten p.m. - because of what was on the radio at that time, when I suddenly felt a sharp stinging sensation on my backside. Damn! A mosquito! I thought, and decided to roll over onto my back, crush it to death, and deal with the corpse in the morning. As it turned out, I never made it to morning, because I felt so restless and unsettled that by three a.m. I was up again, in my dressing gown, cleaning the living room. That's never a good sign. Once the living room was polished and dusted within an inch of its life, I wondered if I could fall asleep again. I decided a hot bath might help. So I ran a fragrant bath, took off my dressing gown - and that's when I remembered that we're supposed to regularly check our skin for the presence of ticks. And that's when I remembered the "mosquito bite" of the night before. If you've never seen an insect half embedded in your skin before, let me assure you that the sight of it is not conducive to sleep. My sister in Kingston is an avid hiker, and she's had a tick bite before. She mentioned that if it's still alive, rubbing a dab of dishwashing liquid on it will cause it to back out of your skin in a hurry. Mine appeared to be deceased, so I got the tweezers, grasped it firmly as close to my skin as possible, and pulled it out, hoping to get it out all in one piece. I succeeded. After photographing it, I did what any normal person would do: I posted it to Twitter, asking for a firm identification, ASAP. Results came in immediately. Deer Tick. It might carry Lyme Disease. Get antibiotics. I had a hot bath and slept until the pharmacy in our little village was open. Within an hour, I had my antibiotics and was safely home again. I've been incredibly low-energy since than, but the pharmacist has been very attentive, following up with me to ensure I'm okay. Tomorrow I'm going in to the city for my last haircut before my beloved hairdresser, Tania, gives birth. I won't regale her with any descriptions, or any photos. But I'll show you, because you're not likely to go into labour.
And because I'm there, I'm also going to have lunch with my favourite airline pilot. In a restaurant. Far removed from other people. And insects. Thank you for watching my Tick Talk.

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