Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tick Mountain

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog, you are likely already aware of my deep aversion towards ticks. That is, if you actually read the posts.

If you just come by for the spectacular scenery, and or Entrecard drop, then you probably don't realize how much I hate them. Then again, you probably aren't reading this, so it really doesn't matter.

If you are new to the area however, and stopped by because of my outstanding blog name and or avatar (for those social networking users) then, Hi there and welcome! By the way ticks scare the bejeebers out of me!

Just so you know.

Anyhoo, this little phobia of mine has become quite dangerous and is very likely to get me into trouble sometime. Let me give you an example of what I mean.

Last summer I was driving to the grocery store. Earlier that day, I had been on a hike, and as it was getting cool out, I had put on a black sweatshirt (the color is important here).

About halfway to the store, I am stopped at a stop sign and notice something moving on the sleeve of my sweatshirt.

As I start driving again, I simultaneously inspect my sleeve. Big mistake! It was a tick. Just one lone tick, making it's way down my arm, along my black sweatshirt.


Ticks are also black.

Do you know what went through my mind after I finished screaming? Yes I did scream. Loudly.

I kept thinking how many other ticks were on me, that I couldn't see because they blended into my black sweatshirt. Not only that, but where did the first tick come from? My neck? My hair? My shirt? My pants?

The possibilities were endless.

I was positively freaking out. Shudders, screams, much flailing of the arms, hyperventilating, and rising panic all ensued, at the thought of the possible hordes of ticks dispersed along my body.

And all this was happening while I driving on a two lane, windy, mountain road.

As I tried to brush the phantom ticks off me, I would swerve into the oncoming traffic, but luckily pull out, just before a car sped past.

Sensing imminent danger. I hastily spun my car around, and sped home as fast as I could. Once there, I ran into the house, shedding clothes along the way, and jumped into the shower.

After a good, thorough scrubbing and inspection, I was convinced that it was safe to leave the confines of the shower, and put clean clothes on. I never went back to the store that night, as I was sure my car was infested with those bloodsuckers.

All that commotion for ONE tick.

And that? Wasn't the worst episode. Allow me to share just what happened on the night of the scariest tick moment of my life.

The scariest tick moment of my life happened when my husband and I were very first dating.

Since we were a new couple, we did wild and crazy things, such as staying up late on weeknights, eat junk food, and go for late night bike rides and hikes.

As usual, one night after work, I made my way over to his place for dinner. It was late, since those were the days when I worked until almost nine every night.

Sometime after dinner, we decided it would be fun to go on a late night hike. There was a nice hiking mountain right near his house, so we drove up there.

I don't think you are supposed to hike there at night. Especially at 11 pm, but what the heck. Rules were made to be broken right?

The view was spectacular.

The weather comfortable.

The trails, thin and grassy. That should have been my first clue. Long grassy weeds in the hills? Tick city.

Just so you know, I have been on hundreds of hikes, in all kinds of terrain, and I have never once picked up a tick. Never. Ticks were the absolute furthest thing from my mind.

Our walk was lovely, but was stopped short when I felt something crawling up my leg. As I bent down to brush it off, I noticed it was a tick.

Trying to be cool, in front of my relatively new boyfriend, I tried to minimize my panic and flailing arms as I furiously checked myself for more.

When I noticed yet another one, all hell broke loose.

Obviously I didn't mean to shriek so loudly. But, I just couldn't help it. I flew towards the car, and started a massive inspection.

My boyfriend somewhat alarmed by my loss of composure/coolness, followed at a more sedate pace.

The more we inspected me, the more ticks we found.

Clothes started flying off of at a rapid pace. Ticks were hiding in every nook and cranny. Apparently they like armpits.

Soon I was .... well naked. As in buck.

I was still furiously inspecting my body, when I noticed the bright police lights shining in my direction.

Oh dear god.

I flew into the car, but was too scared of my clothes, to cover myself up, so I just huddled with my arms crossed over me, as best I could in the front seat, with the cop light beaming at about a million watts into the car.

I can only imagine what our little scenario looked like. A young couple in the mountains late at night, near a parked car, the woman completely naked. The only odd part would be the fact that my boyfriend was fully clothed, and we were standing outside the car.

At any rate, he managed to talk to the cop and convince him nothing untoward was going on. In exchange for not getting written up for trespassing, and or indecent exposure, we were told to leave. Which we gladly did.

We drove the short distance home, but I was still huddled in the front seat without a stitch of clothes on, as we made our way down the city streets and stopped at all red lights.

Even in my tick panic mode, I was still worried about the best way to cover my stomach so it didn't look too flabby. Some things never change.

Back at his house, I ran from the car to the bathroom at top speeds, lest his roommate and or a passing neighbor saw my nekked self.

Another furiously long shower, and I was deemed to be tick free.

That was almost 3 years ago, and despite the episode last summer, I am actually getting better now, that I live among the little buggers on a daily basis.

Just the other day, I found one, lodged in my jugular.

I really feel like I'm improving.

After all, I only screamed once, and hyperventilated maybe twice ...


Michael C said...

I think I'm laughing too hard to actually write good enough comment that this post deserves. That is too hysterical...and awkward ;-)

Instead, I am emailing you right now a country song called ticks. You will see why as soon as you listen to it ;-)

~Static~ said...

I can relate. Ticks are disgusting blood-sucking pests. They will just gorge themselves until they burst and die. The only other beings to eat themselves to death are dogs and people.

To make matters worse, brown and tan ticks carry lymes disease. Joy! What a bonus. While they are buried up to their neck in your flesh they are giving you a life altering condition that is untreatable. Little bastards. If I didn't care enough about the environment I would burn all the forests to the ground just to get rid of them.

Of course I am sure they would survive a nuclear holocaust, so that was just a moot point. =P


I had to come by for my daily dose of humor. I hate ticks too but not quite so much as you. Once I had to light a match to my ex-boyfriends butt to get a tick out after a canoe trip. I am scarred for life and decided to end things soon thereafter. Thanks for making me laugh!

Michele said...

Static- You are so bloody right! Those buggers probably would survive. Btw we have the deer ticks (brown ones) up here and I'm constantly on the lookout for lyme symptoms. What purpose do those darn things serve anyway?

Health nut-That is funny!! I don't blame you for ending things. :)

Your story reminded me of one from work. A client found a tick on their cat and poured gasoline on the area with the tick to try to suffocate it. When that didn't work, they lit a match to try to burn it out. Obviously the cat caught fire, so they threw it into the pool where it almost drowned. The cat was brought in to my work, half drowned with a huge burned bald spot, and the tick? Was still attached and alive!!

Anonymous said...

I'm pleased to say I haven't met one yet, but you have my unreserved sympathy! I'd definitely be shrieking if I found one on me.

Michael C said...

Wow, you just posted two kickawesome tick stories. Did the cat need a cat whisperer after that experience??

Pete said...

You should have provided some sort of disclaimer that perhaps those of us who like to (ahem) goof off at work and read blogs should perhaps skip this story, as it packs enough humor to, in this Reverend's instance, result in coffee spurting from mouth onto keyboard.

Well worth it, though! (Despite the odd looks from coworkers.)

-The Rev.

Jenna said...

Ohhhhh -- goodness, I hate ticks.. I found one crawling on me last week and I completely freaked out!

Mrs. Parks said...

LOVE this post!!

Michele said...

Alison-Consider yourself very lucky! And take my advice and stay away from long grass in the hills. Which you must already do, since you've never had one. :)

Pete-I'm so excited my blog is "spit the coffee on to the keyboard worthy"!! That's a first. If this continues to happen, I will definitely put in a warning. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Jenna-You have my very deepest sympathies. But, I am glad, that I'm not alone with this phobia. :)

Mrs. Parks- So glad to you loved it!! I always aim to please. :)

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to comment as just the thought of it made me stop reading half way through and then picking up at the end..I will TRY To read it all the way through but the thought of one of *those* things Can even say the name makes me feel considerably WEAK. Just like Spiders, cockroaches, snakes, scorpions, oh basically anything that crawls and can bite me!

heh heh , OI NO laughing !

I do enjoy your blog x