Friday, September 3, 2010

Itch, Scratch... I Was Taking a Nap

Every Friday is Improv Friday at Said Panties. On Facebook, X and J take a poll of their friends for a topic (any topic) to write on. The most popular, ridiculous, or random is selected, and both X. and J must write about it. This week's topic, bedbugs, comes from Jonathan Kuhn.

We New York City folk have a lot to deal with on a daily basis. Every day we get showered (assuming we have water), eat breakfast (assuming the rats or roaches or asshole roommates didn't eat all of our Kashi first), brush our teeth (assuming our teeth weren't stolen by New York's roving tooth bandits), get dressed and try to catch the subway (assuming it's running, and not on fire) or a cab (assuming they haven't been knifed by Islamophobes) to get to work (assuming we still have a job, in this economy). And that's just the beginning. Subway manhole covers explode in fiery blazes into the sky. Terrorists plot to blow up our garbage cans, office buildings, cars, and major tourist traps. Muggers abound, waiting to take our cash at the blade of a knife. This isn't even covering the wandering crazy people, the piles of uncleaned dog poop, or the other thousands of things that stand between us and existing comfortably. We don't need any more challenges every day.

But we just got a new one, anyway, and it's invisible to the naked eye. No, I'm not talking about The Invisible Man or poisonous gas (although I'm sure we have those as well.) I'm talking about bedbugs. They're the newest citizens of New York City, and they're sick and tired of us ignoring their presence - so they're stepping up their parasite game.

As a youngster, my parents often kissed me goodnight and said that tried and true salutation: "Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite." I always thought it was simply a cute thing they were saying. I assumed that there was no such things as bedbugs - that they were made up creatures who came to put me to sleep and give me pleasant dreams. Little did I know they were actually fuck-ugly crab/spider creatures that really DO exist. In hindsight, I feel that any parent that says this to their child should lose their offspring to child services, as they are no doubt acknowledging that they don't care for their child's welfare, and that they are living in such a highly concentrated level of filth.

But I digress (don't I always?) Bedbugs in New York! They're like tourists, except they don't carry cameras and ask you for directions to Central Park down in Battery Park City, they just invade your clothing and furniture and bite and feed on you until you are covered in unsightly welts. I (knock on digital wood) have never had to deal with these beasts. But we New Yorkers are very paranoid about that double-B word. If you DO have bedbugs, you make sure not to ever admit to it in public, lest people near you regard you as they would plague victims with open, seeping sores. Apparently getting bedbugs sucks big time. You can never know when you're actually rid of them, and the process of ridding them involves basically incinerating all of your worldly possessions and shaving off every follicle of hair on your body.

Once upon a time, bedbugs were a nightmare story you heard every now and again. But it's as though the bugs hired a PR firm in an effort to increase their visibility. And they are going places. Literally. Hollister's flagship store in SoHo, Abercrombie's 5th avenue flagship, a Victoria's Secret, the AMC Super-Plex on 42nd street. Not a week seems to go by that I don't read about another business shutting down to set fire to all of their merchandise. And then I'm that MUCH more paranoid. As it stands, anyone who's seen a movie in the past few weeks, any woman with a push-up bra, or any guy dressed like a douchebag with a polo with popped collar is potentially infested with these vermin.

Bedbugs? More like Every-Fucking-Where bugs. And, of course, every itch I get, my mind explodes in fear and worry. Did I finally get bedbugs? Is my apartment suddenly swarming with them? It's been a few weeks since I heard of another bed bug attack, and so I am waiting, one eye forever open. Where will they strike next? Jennifer Convertibles? Some meatpacking district restaurant with beds instead of chairs? The Pleasure Chest?

Luckily nowhere I go has been affected by the intrepid critters. But the day I hear that bedbugs have lain itchy waste to a Gamestop, gay club, or Dunkin Donuts, will be the worst day of my life. Imagine! No, don't imagine. Be terrified.

What no one ever says about bedbugs is that they are a more politically correct form of crabs. They are classy crabs that you can get in totally innocent situations. What sucks is that you can now pick up something itchy and contagious by just going home with someone and making out with them in their bed. Are you horrified yet? I am. All my future hookups will take place on cement slabs in vacuum sealed safes, just to be completely certain.

The other thing about bedbugs is that they are not THAT horrifying. It's not like they'll kill you. And they don't skitter around your apartment, catching your eye, like rats, roaches, waterbugs, or CIA wiretappers. When they get to you, all they do is nibble. And so you itch, and scratch. It's no worse than chicken pocks or sunburn, really. It's just the realization that there are thousands of gross things crawling all over you like you're a shish kabob dropped into an anthill.

Okay. Maybe they are horrifying after all.

Wait. I spoke to soon. The latest attack has happened, probably as I began writing this post. Google's New York office has been infested. No doubt by an employee wearing a super-cleavage bra, or a programmer who just HAD to wear that faded and distressed visor he bought a few weeks ago at Abercrombie. And now that the bedbugs have arrived, they'll probably start fucking around with the search giant's algorithm, forcing thousands of Internet workers like myself to completely re-code and re-tag their websites to regain top search result positions against sites the bedbugs decided were more important.

I'll tell you the best thing about bedbugs, though: free days off from work! These stores often have to shut down for days while people dressed up like the Ghostbusters show up with indescribable tools and doodads to rid the space of the invisible marauders. You can imagine that the employees of all of these overtaken businesses and offices were laughing their way to be deloused and have all of their belongings forever destroyed.

Did you start itching while reading this post? I know I did.

Itchy and Scratchy: it's not just a cartoon any more.


No comments:

Post a Comment