Monthly Essays

They Bug Me

So many things bug me these days, and my poor friends are hearing me vent over the state of the world, but right now bugs are bugging me.

We need rain, and since I have new grass, planted over the new French drains that were installed because of too much rain last spring, I’m having to water the grass.

The moment I walk out on brown, crunchy grass and turn on the hose, I’m attack by swarming herds of insects. Gnats, sure, but there are some tiny black-winged creatures, too, like miniature butterflies. They land on my face and my glasses. I look like the crazy person I am as I wave an arm to disperse them while putting my thumb over the end of the hose to spray water, much like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. Sometimes I spray close to my face to scare the critters away. That works for a nano-second.

These are biting insects. A favorite place is behind my ear. I’ve been doctoring a bite there for days. It healed and then a kissing cousin of the critter that bit me took another bite out of the same place.

Something bit or stung me so severely on the upper arm that the area from my elbow to my underarm swelled up. I ended up taking Benadryl. I thought I could handle it. I took one pill at 5:00, then sat out on the screened-in porch reading more of the most enlightening memoir of guitarist Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, learning what a quiet sheltered life I’ve led. Even his sensational world (sometimes depraved [junkie years], sometimes heralded [songwriter years], but always intense) couldn’t keep my eyes open. By 6:00, I wandered upstairs to lie down on top of the covers—just for a moment. By 7:00, I forced myself to get up, brush my teeth, put on my jams and go to bed for the night.

When my brother called at 8:30, I was barely coherent. Keith Richards would be ashamed of my drug intolerance.

This morning I tackled the rock garden, using clippers to cut the now-spent lilies of the valley. Again I was attacked.

“Don’t you know this insect repellant will kill you?” I screamed at the flying armada. That was an empty threat. I know Off doesn’t kill insects. But I had Off on my face, my neck, my legs, my arms. It would probably do me in. Lilies of the valley are poisonous, so they’d probably harm me, too, but the flying insects were impervious.

One creature flew in my ear and another flew in my mouth as I used language Keith Richards would have approved of. Finally, Keith and I have something in common.

 

P.S. We had a good shower yesterday, so I should be off the bug’s buffet menu for a few days.

 

 

Doctor Sarah's Dare by [Veda Boyd Jones]
Deception and Secrets–At a celebration dinner, Dr. Sarah Madison’s friends from high school days tell her she’s way too serious, intimidates men with her intelligence, and has lost her sense of whimsy. They dare her to ask out a complete stranger and not tell him she’s a doctor until she’s manipulated him into going to a fundraiser fashion show.
Across the restaurant, three doctors in Kansas City for the AMA convention discuss their college days. One asks Dr. Marshall Adams if he still has IT, the ability to pick up any gal he wants. They dare him to ask out the woman at a nearby table; she’s been casting icy glances their way. He accepts the challenge.
Thus the clever deceptions begin.
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