This post proceeds in two parts for the following reason: what occurred in the hours after initially drafting Part I was far more entertaining than anything I could have written after my boss rudely interrupted me, requesting my presence at a meeting I forgot to put on my calendar. Hence, it no longer flows with the initial post. I am also structuring this blog in two parts because I am so thoroughly disgusted and disturbed after Part II, that I no longer wish to revisit, in any way, shape or form, Part I. I haven’t even proofread this post … I know, this neurosis wins over that one.
Part I — Alternative Title “Naiveté”
Since an earlier post was about how much I love traveling, I thought I would follow up today by talking about how much I fucking hate traveling. There’s sick people everywhere, touching things, breathing, spewing their germs into the disgusting recycled, trashy air. Even worse are people with babies, spitting and oozing germs with every touch and contaminated toy thrown across the aisle. In an aircraft, these things are not just the horrifying germ factories they normally are on the ground. They become these monstrous epicenters of epidemics, rivaled only by an Ebola-infected monkey tossing it’s shit at every moving being, which is terribly deadly but also not found in the United States.
And if you think that’s gross, which I inevitably do because babies (especially white ones) are just gross, there’s an even worse threat you encounter when traveling. Because I can’t even say it’s name without breaking into hives and locking myself in the kitchen closet, I’ll just say that they rhyme with ‘red rugs’ and they infest your house and feed on you at night. And unfortunately, they aren’t vampires.
When the red rug infestation hit the press a few years ago, I was in New York and absolutely convinced I had picked up some red rug bites, and some of the rugs themselves while there. I even spent time drafting an incredibly technical, grammatically perfect, and undeniably insulting email to my favorite hotel there, setting forth the full extent of my mental agony and, yes, pulling the allergy card. The fact that the bites were coming from a spider infestation in my own house has had no effect on my fear (they only ride in on an army of spiders now in my nightmares) and since the hotel didn’t offer me anything free, I didn’t feel the need to clarify the situation. But since then, my city has over taken NYC as one of the worst breeding grounds for red rugs, and at this point I’m scared enough to walk down the street, let alone travel to a hotel and then have to come back through this hell hole of infestation.
Part II — Alternative Title “Regret”
At one point in my drafting the above, I did an image search to include a picture of a red rug, for purposes of grossing you out as much as I was grossed out by merely thinking about it. When I was interrupted with work, while at work, I came back to find a horrible, hideous, and absolutely fear-inducing photo of my worst nightmare. After taking a good look at it in the course of rushing to clear my browser, I faintly remembered finding a dead bug on the bathroom floor some six months ago. Much to my dismay, my recollection of that bug was that it looked oddly similar to what I had stared at on my computer screen and was now burned into the screen, my brain, or both.
And that is when I started itching incessantly, and went straight to the bathroom to look for bites. After taking off every article of clothing in my work bathroom, and just narrowly talking myself out of calling our Budget Officer in to check my lower back, I returned to my desk absolutely convinced my apartment had been invaded, despite the absence of any bites. To make matters worse, yesterday happened to be one of my 13-hours days, so at this point I had 7 hours left to envision what was no doubt happening in my apartment. You’d be surprised how much I can get done in 7 hours, so when 9:30 p.m. rolled around I had come to the following conclusions:
- I’m fucked.
- I’m fucked.
- My cat is fucked.
- I’m fucked.
- I need to start looking for a new apartment and saving up to buy new clothes.
- I’m fucked.
- I’m fucked.
In that mindset, I went home and tore apart my sheets and mattress, collecting and inspecting every piece of dark colored fuzz I found. I may just make a hair doll with that collection, but it will definitely not be a hair doll of the nightmare for which I was searching. After I was finished with my bed, I moved to the closet, and pulled apart any and all clothes I may have traveled with recently. Then, because you never know–YOU NEVER KNOW–I got my suitcase down from the top shelf, to go over that for the fourth time now. Fortunately, a very healthy paranoia and obsessive compulsive routine necessitate checking my suitcase and clothes for bugs at least three times upon arriving home from anywhere. But like I said, you never know. Finally, three hours later, three phantom bug sightings, twenty phantom crawling sensations, and a whole bottle of wine, I was able to get to sleep. Twenty-three minutes after that a battalion of bugs road into my dreams, scaring away the My Little Ponys and keeping me up for the rest of the night.