04 April, 2019

Scared Tickless

Way back in 1954 when The Creature from the Black Lagoon was released, my entire family piled into Kelvin, the 1951 Studebaker, our only car, and away we went to the movie theater.

The dripping reptilian-looking being that climbed onto the land to terrorize the countryside put my mother to sleep. Thinking back, the movie house was dark and cool (we had no air conditioning at home), and it was the first time she'd been able to sit for more than 20 minutes all day. My father, just a tall boy that shaved, loved watching the wet peril. My sister ate Raisinettes and planned her wardrobe for the upcoming week - always the princess.

Filmed in black and white, and as fake looking as Tammy Faye's eyelashes, that Lagoon Dude is laughable today. On that evening long ago he traumatized me. Later at home in our twin beds my sister dreamed of spotlessly polished Saddle Oxfords and I waited, wide awake, for that death-is-coming-for-me night to be over.

Fast forward several decades to my having seen and lived to tell about it - movies in which bats were dapper dressers speaking proper grammar in fancy British accents and all sorts of dead things returning with ravenous appetites. I hardly flinched.

The tick, tick, ticking of the clock in a dark and otherwise silent house doesn't bother me at all. Did I just say that ticks don't bother me? What a whopper. With warmer and hotter weather finally due for Spring and Summer, blood-sucking, disease spreading, disgusting arachnid relatives (ticks) will be making their appearances in all the contiguous United States of America and Hawaii. These terrorists are bearers of maladies known, and still being discovered.

I'm not ashamed to say that ticks scare me. Staying inside is not an option (for me). Insect repellents are strongly recommended by the CDC. Head coverings are too.

In trying to keep this from sounding like a sermon, it may seem I'm making light of a serious issue. Not so. People who have contracted Lyme's Disease from tick bites suffer long term - some for a lifetime. Protect yourself, your kids, and your pets.

We'll see you in the mountains.


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