The Livin’s Easy

Well, boys and girls, it’s summertime.  Time to go outside, enjoy the sun and maybe even travel a bit.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Well, I used to think so.  But now I’m not so sure.  Because I am a coward.

This has been true for my entire life, as my brother Fred would attest.  Anything where there was the slightest hint of danger, I would not do.  Well, except for playing on the railroad tracks.

I’d gotten over my cowardice.  I learned to taste new foods, try new activities, travel.  But now?

Now,  thanks to the internet, well, everything is dangerous.  And I always learn about these dangers.  And therefore, everything terrifies me.  Even those things that I never expected to be so damn frightening.

For example, I love being outside.  Walking by any body of water makes me happy.  But two weeks ago I found a tick chowin’ down at the top of my leg, right on a nice healthy vein.  He was a tough sucker, and I needed John’s help pulling him out.  And you know that at 6 a.m. there are better ways to start your day.

But!  Did I panic?  Heck no.  I’ve been bitten before.  I know what to look for (large red target and/or flu-like symptoms and/or anything odd).  Lyme’s Disease ain’t getting me.  No sirreeeeeee.   I am, after all, a fake medical professional.

At about the same time, though, I started getting a bit concerned about other dangers of summer, lurking about me.

Is Sunscreen Flammable? Asked the New York Times.

“How the hell should I know?”  I responded.  “You’re the authority.”  So I read the article .  I am, after all, an Irish American woman still awaiting my first tan.  I use sunscreen religiously.  (That gives me my excuse for never going to mass.)

The answer is, in a word, yes.

Beware. This can happen to you as easily as it happened to Nicholas Cage. (Thanks, Google)

But again.  I am not stupid.  I am a fake medical professional and I have a brain.  I will not spray myself with any aerosol and cook over an open flame.

Naturally, summer got more complicated.  Because just last week my husband sent me an article that I would really rather not have read.

Remember that tick?  Well, funny thing.  It wasn’t your average tick.  Nope, it wasn’t a dog tick or a deer tick.  It was special.  It was a Lone Star Tick.  And it may, just may, make me sorry for all the comments I have ever made about Texas.  Which is now my very favorite state in the union.  Really.

We were once so close. (Thanks again Google. I feel close to you too.)

Apparently, bites by Lone Star Ticks can, in rare occasions lead to an allergy to red meat.  And this allergy, like the allergy to peanuts, involves serious hives and anaphylaxis and can lead to death.

As an unapologetic, albeit infrequent carnivore, this news has me a wee bit concerned.  I immediately began feeling sick to my stomach because we had barbequed burgers the night before.  Then I re-read the article and realized that nausea was not a symptom of the Lone Star Tick allergy, so it immediately went away.  It was an amazing cure.

Right then and there, I decided ENOUGH!  I will not subject myself to these deadly summer-born illnesses any longer.

I am moving to Antarctica.

I was just starting to pack my brand new luggage when I read this:

Samsonite recalls Tokyo Chic luggage after chemical scare

HONG KONG – Samsonite, the world’s biggest luggage maker, is to replace the handles on its American Tourister brand’s Tokyo Chic inventory, amid claims some products contained high levels of chemicals that may be carcinogenic.

Winter just can’t come fast enough for me.

72 Comments

Filed under Humor

72 responses to “The Livin’s Easy

  1. I am so there with you. Got me a good ole deer tick bite last week that has me desperately searching for red-rings of Lyme disease. Even though the local infectious disease specialist says there aren’t any Lyme disease ticks here. Hey– there’s always the first one, right?
    Just spent 3 hours booking 3 hotels for a yes, 3 day vacation, since I had to read all the kooky reviews by kooky people so I could avoid kooky travel dangers.
    Let us remember that the home is the most dangerous place of all, as we head out into our Dangerous Summers. :)

  2. Oh, whatever you do, don’t go to the beach with its contaminated water, rip tides and jellyfish. Surely there must be some safe underground bunker we can spend the summer in??

  3. Perfect. I’ll bring the wine.

  4. Geez, now I’m getting a case of the phobias.

  5. You are right that with more information comes more of us being scared of our surroundings.. ironic I am thinking…

    • You’re right Christy. I wonder if “knowing” what to be afraid of makes you look less silly than following superstitions. Will folks be looking back at us the way we look at people from 100 or 200 years ago? Probably!

  6. If I were a plagarist, I’d steal this line! “an Irish American woman still awaiting my first tan” Me too!!! But I do have an impressive number of freckles!

    • I’m so glad you’re not a plagarist! Actually, I plagarized it from myself, as I use it whenever it fits. But it’s nice to know that I am not the lone paleface amongst my bloggin’ buddies. With constant intense exposure to the sun, I can manage no more than a “beige.” Sigh.

      Don’t your freckles connect and make you look tan? I have none. Apparently that bit of German in me didn’t allow freckles.

  7. Hey, save me a spot in your bunker, Elyse!
    My biggest problem lately is that I can’t even go outside to get bit by a tick. My body apparently considers grass and tree pollen to be evil. If I even so much as open a window, I will die. I’m doing a post on my allergies right now.

  8. GOF

    You might get savaged by a feral penguin if you go to Antarctica.
    Wonder if your ticks are the same as our paralysis ticks? They kill dogs and cats and even horses and if you get a big one on your head they can cause a week of serious migraine-style headaches.

    • Nooooooooooo. Feral penguins? There are no such things, GOF, don’t you lie to me. Those cute guys wouldn’t harm me. Unless of course they spread ticks the way Bambi does.

      But thank you so very much for adding to my paranoia about ticks, GOF. I wasn’t sure if you were pulling my (now tickless) leg or not, so I went to the Oracle (Wikipedia) and learned that there are indeed ticks that induce paralysis and even death. But GOF, you alone are not stuck with them. They are here, in North America. Probably in my back yard.

      I am going into a plastic bubble NOW!

  9. Dear Elyse, thank you for yet another reason to stay nice and safe and cozy on my couch, where I never pull muscles, get bitten by killer bugs, catch diseases or get blown up by terrorists!!!

  10. Hi,
    The bunker idea sounds good, although here in Oz dark places like that breed our deadliest spiders, the “red back spider”, you just don’t know what might be lurking in the dark corners. :)
    Loved the video, it has been a long time since I have heard that song.

    • Ewww, I don’t like spiders. Especially poisonous ones. Perhaps a nice attic will be more appropriate. I may have to think about my grand protection strategy some more.

      Glad you like the song, Mags, I do too!

  11. We are the same person! I can become symptomatic just reading symptoms. I had the Lyme bullseye TWICE and was misdiagnosed TWICE..why? because I “looked too healthy to have Lyme disease” I am a tick magnet and actually considered wearing Frontline.

    • Wait — don’t you work with a doctor? I have that complex too. So yes, you’re right. We are one in the same. Although, I will admit that I am not fond of convertibles, so I am not topless as a general rule!

      Bad luck getting Lyme’s Disease. It is nasty; I hope you are better.

      • An ankle & foot surgeon…no diseases that I can’t cure. It’s so funny you say that about the convertible…most of the time I find myself thinking about falling rocks..o, yes I’m insane, but apparently in good company!

        The lyme is better, but it has it’s moments.

        • My husband has a little convertible — I never drive it. But mostly not through fear of debris but I have too much hair and seeing while driving is generally a plus.

          Perhaps I should work with health problems that don’t require medicine. I read about side effects and develop them all — especially the ones I can’t identify!

  12. It’s a summer mine field out there, but I think I’d rather combust in a slather of sunscreen than get frostbite from sitting in an igloo. We’ve had a few fake medical people practice here.. so if you are looking for a temporary job…. as magsx2 said… only a few spiders to contend with :). Oh and a few snakes.

    • You have a point. Especially after I just went over to see your latest post which warmed me up immensely. (Of course, you didn’t mention rip tides or the Prime Minister who drowned …)

      We have spiders and snakes here too. I don’t really mind either as long as they don’t bite me.

      If there is a need in Australia for fake medical folks, I may just take you up on that. I will let you know for sure in November!

  13. FYI used to mean “For Your Information”. (unless addressing BMW drivers in which case, it still means “F’ YOU, IDIOT!!!”) But now, FYI means “Fear Your Information”. Why? Because making people afraid of everything helps media to attract more readers and viewers and sell more advertising space, that’s why!

    So get with the program and get scared, Elyse! For the sake of American economic and corporate well being, get absolutely petrified and do your fair share!

    • Yes, we are making ourselves into a planet full of ninnies. We aren’t tough, we don’t fight (we go shopping, thanks to Dubya).

      Me, I’m not too worried about barbequing myself, or about the handles on my luggage. These ticks are nasty, though. (I had you in mind when I wrote the tick portion of this post, Chris. I hope you’re doing well.) And I do love an occasional burger or steak so I will be seriously pissed if I develop this allergy! And I will not take it lying down. Well, once I get out of the hospital, that is ;)

      • Lol – In my original comment, I had this line about how Lyme disease is just a ridiculous myth perpetrated by Christie Brinkley in a sad attempt to get her more publicity, and that no one ever really gets it. I knew that you would get the joke, but I thought that your other readers would think that I was being a BMW driver, so I took it out. :-)

        Thanks for thinking of me. I’m a lot better than I was back in April, but the fatigue, joint pain and flu like symptoms still come and go, just not as bad. I’m still on anti-biotic treatments, and hopefully this will all be behind me by mid to late summer.

        And if you develop an allergy to red meat, well I’ll be seriously pissed for you!!! Lyme disease is one thing, but an allergy to red meat caused by a tick bite, might drive me to devote the rest of my furious life to world wide tick extermination!!!

  14. Great story. As a kid I was always afraid of “isolated summer thunderstorms.” When I looked up what isolated meant, I convinced myself that it meant they seek you out and get you. I still do not like Summer thunderstorms.

    I also find the end of August a hard time to deal with as the longer days dwindle, the cool starts to come reminding us in Wisconsin that winter is coming, and usually allergy season hits big time from the ragweed and molds.

    I read where Summer is America’s second favorite season. I was surprised and thought it would be the top season, but as it turns out, they say folks love the Fall the best.

    As for ticks, in Heaven, I will be a trouble maker and ask God for what purpose were those abominable things created. I once hit one with a hammer, and it got up and kept walking. Ugh.

    Your writing style, story telling and topics are among the very best on the WordPress blogs. Keep up the good work.

    • What a nice comment, Randel. Thank you kindly.

      Ticks are yucky, but it takes a while to die. Thunderstorms? I was scared as a kid — around here, though when caught out in them I expect to have a tree limb impale me. Does that make you feel better?

      But since you said so many nice things, I will make sure that you are not struck by lightening. I promise. You are safe now.

  15. Hahahaha! Omg I loved this post. You are so hilarious!!!! LOL

  16. And thanks to our mild winter, they expect insects here to be at all time high. I’ve already had a tick bite. Yikes! Mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, the fox and raccoons are probably rabid, and there are poisonous snakes and spiders just waiting for a tasty new morsel. And if you get a wound, you could be exposed to the flesh eating bacteria that isn’t curable. Maybe the Mayans were right after all!

  17. Like of you with this video.

    • OK, now I’m scared. Where can I go? Where can I hide. Because that water looks cold.

      Frank, I re-entered the video because it didn’t want to let me play it.
      Great fun. Thanks.

  18. Stop it!

    Summer is wonderful, so what there are a few dangers to be avoided. Slather on the sunscreen and bug repellent. Get out there and live it up.

    • OK.

      Summer is wonderful, and I am laughing at the flammable sunscreen and carcinogenic luggage handle. Not so much at the ticks, though. They’re nasty buggers.

  19. Yikes! You just gave me a few more things to panic about. Ya hear that, flesh-eating bacteria? You’ve got company!

  20. Ticks scare the hell out of me. We don’t really have them here, so they seemed mythically awful before, but then my wife had chronic Lyme for several years and that was nightmarish, so now I consider my fear rational.

    • Ticks are just plain nasty. No reason I can see for their existence. Yuck. Hope your wife is doing better. But I will be really ticked off (pun intended) if I can no longer eat meat. I don’t do it all that often, but …

  21. You’re just overracting. There are plenty of dangers in the winter too: frost bite, injuries from shoveling, accidents from driving on snow covered roads, stabbing deaths from really sharp icicles. Embrace the season and all its inherent dangers :)

    • Who me???? As a news junkie I see all these terrible things and, actually they crack me up. Well except for the ticks. They’re nasty. But the idea that someone would spray themselves with an aerosol and then drip into the barbeque strikes me as something out of the Three Stooges!

      I’ll enjoy summer, Paprika, I promise. Just not the ticks.

  22. I Hate Summer. Hate it hard. I’m definitely a cold weather chick and you’re only helping build my case for banning summer forever. That tick photo scared the crap out of me! Can I rub it in your face here that I don’t eat red meat? Not in a holier than thou type of way but more like an I just got the last chocolate donut kind of way?

    • Angie, I had a snappy retort all ready for you but since in your last post (well, second to last because I haven’t gotten to your last one) MJ Monahan gave me peace. So you, Angie, are Jimmy Carter, holding hands with Meanacham Begin and Anwar Sadat. And I am in awe.

      So I will not save up and send you any ticks. I promise. And you can have the donut — I don’t like those chocolate ones anyway.

  23. 1) stop reading supermarket tabloids like The New York Times…sheesh.
    2) 99.99999999999999999999999999% of what you read on the internet is not true. except for the bits I tell you.
    3) Nicholas Cage is not flammable…he’s just moonstruck…

    • What would I do without the NYT, Coops?

      I actually have been saving the flammable sunscreen thing for a while, because it seemed so bizarre. So I had to share.

      I’m not really such a coward. Except for the ticks. I don’t like things chowin’ down on me.

  24. I’ve got a carpenter starting on a nice little screen porch this week, to protect us from all the summer bugs. After reading this, maybe a hermetically sealed vault would be a better investment. You can come visit when it’s done!

    • Send him my way — I’d love a screened porch! But I am determined to survive summer, nevertheless. I will just burn naturally, the old fashioned way.

      Peg this ended up in spam.

      • In the last week I’ve had several people who have commented before end up waiting for moderation or in my spam folder.

        Who can predict the inscrutable ways of WP?

        • And then there are the bubble replies, which apparently are part of the dot.com bubble because they keep pretending to be real and then vanish.

  25. I’m going to go with Ignorance Is Bliss, and not read any more posts like this while enjoying my summer.
    Besides, I’m my own biggest danger. Starting to make solid plans for my bungee jump!

  26. Oh my God, isn’t it the truth! I can see why people get all sorts of phobias. It doesn’t take much. I saw that article on red meat and ticks and I immediately said to WW, “well, my hiking days are over, dude!” No wonder I have high blood pressure. Between our political arena going to hell in a handbasket, bacteria that antibiotics can’t kill, drugs that turn people into face-eating zombies, and flesh-eating bacteria one can get from a hospital when one goes in just to have a baby, I’m fit to be tied.

    Thanks for reminding me how truly paranoid I am and doing it in such an entertaining way. Now I have to go take a valium! :)

  27. Well, life is dangerous. I love how your mind works. I was right with you on your whole journey. Don’t get me started on sunscreen. Now, I believe, sunscreen with vitamin A in it is dangerous.

    • In the 1400s Paracelsus said “the dose is the poison.” Too much of anything is dangerous!

      And then, of course, there are the folks on the other extreme — like the ones who let young girls burn to a crisp on a field trip because they couldn’t apply or let them apply sunscreen. What a world!

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