And the winner is...
Those of you who entered the First Tick Bite of the Year office pool need to check your master grid. Folks who put money down on Val, April 21, 9:45 a.m., shower, or right hip are winners!
The victim is resting comfortably. The perpetrator is most likely doing the backstroke in a Backroads septic tank, having been summarily flushed after his recent plucking.
Just a clue for those of you who entered the pool for the first time this year. Val is always a sure bet. Never mind that her dainty feet never touch a leaf of grass. That her family tramps the grounds willy-nilly, just itching for parasites to hitch a ride on their shoes, socks, leg hair, and jeans. That an army of chickens have been employed to feast on yard vermin from sunup until sundown. Val is always first-bitten.
Short of encasing myself in a Bubble Boy suit, I am clueless on how to end this winning streak. I am the reverse Susan Lucci. A string of 18 Emmy losses? Pshaw! I am on par with a series of first bites to put that record to shame. Even though I take precautions to prevent infestation.
I walk across the wooden porch, down the wooden steps, onto the concrete sidewalk, into the concrete-floored garage, step into my large SUV, drive to work, step out onto the blacktop parking lot, walk to the concrete sidewalk, and into the tile-floored building. And repeat in reverse on the way home. Weekends, the only variable is the blacktop Walmart parking lot in place of the school lot.
Perhaps I could curtail my evening lovefests with my silky dog Juno. But I see no need to break her heart. She has been doused with flea and tick drops. Besides, Genius sits in the front yard with her at his knee for thirty minutes at a time. And he is tick-free. As is The Pony, who circumnavigates the lawn collecting free-range eggs on a daily basis.
I must emit a pheromone that attracts ticks like catnip attracts cats. Ticknip. Flowing from my pores like sweat in a Gatorade commercial. Whereas Hick gives off tick-repelling waves of energy, like those sonic plug-in boxes repel rodents.
In an effort to make lemonade of this phenomenon, I have been brainstorming. The best solution so far is to hire myself out for BBQs and outdoor weddings and camp-outs. Forget those citronella candles and insect foggers. All I have to do is stand in the designated area, and ticks will latch onto me like flies sticking to flypaper.
And I'm environmentally friendly.