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.
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.
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:
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.