Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Attack of the Mutant Blood Sucking Creatures

I have blogged numerous times about my extreme hatred of mosquitoes. How mosquitoes are a scourge to me. How even Deep Woods Off is merely an aperitif to the mosquitoes who feast upon me. And you know how I have tried almost every remedy known to humankind, including fans, vitamins, vodka (wiped on the skin, which may have been my big mistake because if I’d have drunk the vodka at least I wouldn’t have cared.) The newest mosquito remedies I’ve heard of are Listerine and fabric softener sheets.

I haven’t tried either new remedy. In fact, I’ve “come to terms” with the fact that I am a mosquito feeding ground. And I can live with that. Assuming that I buy cases of topical Benadryl gel.

Then I discovered that there are worse things than mosquitoes. I suppose I should have known something like this might happen. I have always attracted blood thirsty feasters. When Cal and I were first married, we went sailing in San Diego bay. Afterwards, we were pulling the catamaran, and my legs were stinging. I assumed it was salt water on freshly shaven legs. It wasn’t. I stepped out of the water and discovered clear jelly-fish like creatures turning pink with my blood. Cal and I ripped them off. Over the next couple of weeks my legs got severely infected. It was an omen.

A couple of months ago, I woke up in bed yelling. Some creature the likes of which I have never seen was biting me. I ripped it off my arm and flung across the room. Cal thought I’d had a nightmare because the “alien bug thingy” I described couldn’t possibly be real. Even when I pointed out the fangs marks on my arm, he was doubtful. But he agreed to look for it since I said I couldn’t go back to sleep until it was dead. When he found it, he said, “Oh, wow! I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.” This was also an omen.

The final omen occurred on vacation. One evening we were swimming at the beach. I finished my saltwater frolic and sat on my beach towel to let the salty water dry on my skin. (There’s nothing like the taste of salt water on your lips. Bliss. I really am a selkie.) Anyway, after a few seconds of bliss, I felt stings. I opened my eyes. Big black flies were clustered on bare skin, sucking my blood. I swatted. They circled and came back. I covered myself in beach towels; they found the edges and flew underneath. Needless to say, the beach outing came to a quick end.

And these bites did not respond to Benadryl gel—I wanted to scratch my skin off. Thankfully, the bites have faded. Especially since my kids told me I looked creepy with bites all over my neck. The bites were everywhere, but the neck ones were particularly nasty. But here’s the thing. This time I recognize the final omen. The Apocalypse of Mutant Blood Sucking Vermin is coming. Prepare yourself. And remember, Benadryl probably won’t work.

P.S. Yesterday I posted a short excerpt from the sequel to Screwing Up Time. Click here to read it.


  1. Well, hopefully it will provide a respite from the technology Imps?

    My poor little two-year-old is a mosquito magnet, too. And wouldn't you know it, the house we moved into is right near a wetlands, so guess who gets feasted on every time she sets foot outdoors! My family has a history of allergies to DEET, so she can't even get the full protection. Poor thing! I keep telling her it's just because she's so sweet. I'm sure that's your problem, too :-)

  2. You must have some really sweet blood. Good thing vampires aren't real :) I have heard of the dryer sheets, but I doubt with the way bugs are attracted to you that the sheets will work. So sorry about the bugs. Hopefully you they weren't out there every time you went to the beach and that you were still able to relax and have a nice vacation. My worst mosquito encounter: the state of Michigan - I believe the mosquito may be called the state bird. I remember visiting relatives there and not wanting to get out of the car when we arrived due to the huge cloud of mosquitos that were around the car just waiting to attack.

  3. Oh, that's horrible! I'm soooo sorry!

  4. Taking B vitamins over a period of time makes you less of a target; you do not taste so good to the vermins. And, though the natural B's generally work better in the body, the synthetic certainly taste worse and have a stronger more unpleasant fragrance, seemingly warding off more vermins.

  5. I thought I was the world's biggest bug magnet, but it sounds like you have me beat. Sorry about that. NOT a title I wanted to have. I eat a good bit of garlic. Not sure if it actually helps any, but it tastes good, and I don't have to worry so much about vampires ...

  6. I wonder if guys are ever sweet enough to be magnets? I'll get covered with bites, but I only remember ONE time in our almost 45 years of marriage that Wayne had a bite. I think his skin is too leathery and tough, so they come suck on me instead. I bought a bug repellant pin, but when I wore it, it couldn't be was covered with skeeters and flies who were resting & digesting my blood. Luckily we don't have many biting bugs in San Diego...other than black widows and tarantulas. Black widow bites hurt, but luckily I haven't tangled with a tarantula...yet.

  7. Oh goodness, your blood must be very tasty. Maybe you have like special fairy blood or something. :P

    I wish I had something useful to say or a magic remedy, but I don't. I can only hope that you are now non-itchy and bug-free.

    So...what WAS that thing nibbling on your arm as you slept? Wait, do I want to know? D: