Thursday, June 07, 2012


Over the Mermorial Day weekend, my husband and I road tripped to Connecticut -- SANS CHILDRENZ -- to attend the wedding of one of his college roommates.  It was glorious.  You know how, when you were a little kid, you bounded out of bed and greeted every morning with enthusiasm because you could do whatever you wanted?

It was like that.

I didn't even sleep in!  There was just too much me-time to enjoy.  My husband and I were simpatico in this.  For the double-overnighter, he brought like six books.  I brought my laptop and my workout gear. 

Yes, that's right, WORKOUT GEAR. 

I have not spoken of my recent efforts to trim down my Stay Puft Marshmallow Man middle, because, really?  Who wants to hear about caloric restrictions and the new equipment at the gym?  It's like talking about the stock market, or horoscopes, or baseball stats.  At least 78% of the people in the room will yawn and their eyes will roll right out of their head.

Anyway, I pulled on this ancient workout gear and went for a jog around the local high school track.  Okay, jog may be a bit of an oversell.  I jog one lap, walk a half lap, etc., 'til I get to two or three miles. You marathoners can hold back your giggles.  My thumb-sized legs are not designed for long runs.

The track was okay, but the flock of geese hanging out in the shot put pit were clearly deciding if they wanted to start a turf war with me.  They'd marked their territory aplenty.  Those two miles were as much an obstacle course as anything else.

Afterward, I headed back to our palatial room at the Econo-Lodge and hopped in the shower to prep for the wedding.  As I scrubbed the sweat out of my hair, I felt something round and edgy on my scalp.  "Huh," I thought, "is that a scab?"  It is well within your rights to be grossed out by this.  I have made no secret of the enormity of my head, and, since I'm fresh out of curb feelers for my dome, I kind of inadvertently bang it on things. I don't even really notice minor injuries any more.  I may be concussed right now.  So sleepy...

But, it was no scab.  No sir.  It was a TICK.

Blech! Uch!  Yuck!  Ick! 

I just pulled a TICK off of my HEAD.  This does not help my aversion to outdoorsiness, Mother Nature!  I don't even know where I picked this thing up.  I didn't brush up against any trees on my way to and from the track.  I bet it was the geese.

My instinct was to drop it and let it go to a watery grave down the drain.  Then the rational side of my brain took over, and decided I should keep it to make sure it wasn't a deer tick.  I have a brother with Lyme Disease, and I want no part of it.  My solution was to stab it with the sliver of gratis bath soap.  Once he was firmly affixed to the sudsy bar, I thought, "Perfect!  Get out of THAT, bloodsucker!"

Except, I still needed to shave my legs, and for that, I needed unfettered access to the soap.  Herm.

My follow-up plan was to scrape the tick from the soap using my razor handle.  This took a few minutes.  Did you know that hotel soap is a more powerful binding agent than, say, God?  No?  Well, now you do.  Finally, I plastered the STILL WRIGGLING TERMINATOR TICK to a shelf in the bathroom.  I went about my ablutions, shaken, but determined to be ready on time for lunch and then the wedding ceremony.

After my shower, I did a little web research and identified the bug carcass:  it was a dog tick.  A DOG tick.  Great.  He couldn't tell the difference between me and a dog.  Okay, fine, ticks aren't picky.  But it is still not a thrill to be munched on by a dog tick.

You'd think this tale would be over now, right?  Bug found, dispatched, anxiety about the contraction of a neurological disease dissipated...  Nope.  We went to lunch, came back to the room, I fiddled around with my computer, then, when my locks were dry enough, I flat-ironed my hair.  All told, maybe three hours had passed since the shower?  And at the end of the flat-ironing, I took a peek in the mirror, hoping to see a sleek siren smiling back.  

I did!

But my visage dissolved into confusion, then horror, then grim determinedness.  I sighed, grabbed a tissue, and pinched ANOTHER tick from my neck.  Clearly, this one had somehow survived the shower, but hid out in my hair until the flat iron evicted it. 

I chose not to share this story with the bride and groom.  But, I *did* check them for ticks when I hugged them and congratulated them later.

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