It’s fall, everybody! And you know what that means! Thanksgiving? Not yet. Pumpkin everything? No, still not quite yet (though HyVee disagrees and is selling them anyway). Long-sleeved shirts and/or sweaters? No, because it’s still 88 degrees outside for some reason (#globalwarming). Leaves falling? Yes, but not my point. It means no-see-um bugs, those godforsaken, awful, disgusting, won’t-stop-biting-my-freaking-everything pieces of cow dung…no, not degrading enough…it means those tiny, flying Trump soldiers ruining everything I want to do outdoors for any brief moment that’s remotely nice enough outside to potentially allow me to enjoy the last few nice days of the year before I find myself getting up in the dark, going to work, and then driving home in the dark, pissing with my static-ridden shirt and pants and scratching off dry skin until it scars, preparing myself for shoveling my driveway as the entirely moisture-free, subzero air freezes my lungs inside out and creates snot sickles sharp enough (and long enough) to stab a vampire through the heart, which isn’t too far from possible given that it’s dark outside all day so they can lurk in my driveway, hiding behind the trashcan, waiting to snatch an easy meal, a lowly, winterized, slow-metabolite such as myself (so hey, silver lining, I can defend myself against vampires…yay for snot sickles!). Oh…and football.
Yes, no-see-um bugs. What the hell are those things?! No one knows. Actually, I do. I looked it up. They’re scientifically called “ceratopogonidae,” or biting midges or sandflies (cause bites feel like scraping sandpaper on open wounds) or punkies (my personal favorite). They are typically found in aquatic, or semi-aquatic, habitats, so my theory I came up with today is that as fall comes and dries stuff out, they suddenly realize they’re screwed if they don’t find something moist, so they go searching for my sweaty, yard-mowing flesh which has the best of both worlds, a damp habitat and a nearly infinite supply of sweet, bloody nectar on which they can survive.
They bite to suck your blood, kind of like the aforementioned vampires, and the discomfort arises from a localized allergic reaction to the alien proteins in their saliva breaching your skin’s defenses and driving you batshit crazy. If you don’t believe me, ask my mom; she’s been clamoring on about these things for at least thirty-three years (that’s how long I’ve been alive).
Matter of fact, I first heard the term “no-see-ums” from my mom, I think during a fall afternoon of breastfeeding on the porch, and it’s so visceral that every time I hear someone say “no-see-ums,” I think of my mom packing up whatever it is we were enjoying and sprinting into the house to escape the pending horror. Nobody messes with my mom and gets away with it, least of all some jackwagon, douchebugs like no-see-ums. I’m a very protective first-born son (just ask the groomsmen from her second wedding about the time they stole her to go bar-hoping at the reception).
So yeah, now I go immediately from relishing summer to begging for an early frost, one that takes the mosquitoes out along with the no-see-ums. And that says a lot, clearly, if you recall my earlier rant on my hatred of cold weather. Don’t get me wrong, I’m down with COOL weather and some cold thermogenesis, but -50 windchills are good for no one. Don’t forget to moisturize.
Anyway, here’s an under-appreciated bit of social awkwardness: you’re out walking just to walk – no actual task to accomplish, just walking to walk for exercise or people-watching or getting your bowels to move – and you reach the point where you decide you are ready to head back, back to work, back to your house to move said bowels, whatever, but there isn’t a normal place to go around the block or another naturally circular end to your route (perhaps you’re at the end of a section in the skywalk), so you just have to stop and turn around. And then you hope people don’t see you.
Why is this awkward? Well, it’s probably not in reality. Most likely no one cares or notices you unless you’re walking one of those lizards-on-a-wire from Disney World, and you’re a grown-ass man in a shirt and tie. I can’t find a photo that’s labeled for legal reuse online, but you know what I’m talking about, right? They’re those foam lizards that have the wire leash that allows you to appear as though you’re walking a live lizard down the street? That would ACTUALLY be awkward.
But no, lizard or not, you suddenly become very self-conscious that someone is going to watch you stop and turn around to re-trace your previous steps in the opposite direction, self-conscious about the fact that they might say something that will totally embarrass you like “Hey, forget something?!” or “Need directions?” or “Are you lost?” You know, those absolutely horrible, caring things that concerned humans might say to someone about whom they are genuinely worried? It’s the same phenomenon that makes us feel too self-conscious to sing in our cars because clearly the car next to us is going to video that hilarious human failure and post it on YouTube, effectively ruining our lives (or at least our singing careers). But I digress…
Here’s something I realized the other day while eating breakfast by myself at HyVee before a fishing trip with my dad and brother and ordering an extra side of bacon: charging more for extra food is discrimination against hungry people. Please “like” or share this so we can end the discrimination once and for all. Together, we can fight this thing. Also, can they ever figure out what a legitimate “serving” of hashbrowns really is? Other places have it figured out. At least give a menu option for a double order, a.k.a “The Normal Person Order.”
Based on these fishing reports, I know which lake I’m going to next:
I won’t even highlight the funny part, I’ll let you figure that out…kind of like a game.
I think people are too obsessed with fireworks. I’m hearing them being shot off in my neighborhood at 9:36 PM on Friday, September 23rd. And yes, I’m home writing a blog post on Friday night; that’s what exhausted introverts do after a long workweek. Or even a short workweek (I took Monday off and only worked Tuesday through Friday). Regardless, this isn’t the first time, and it probably won’t be the last. Hearing fireworks, that is. Okay, both hearing fireworks and writing blog posts on Friday night. Anyway, save the fireworks for the Fourth of July, save the pumpkins for the month of October, and save Christmas music until at least after Thanksgiving (but preferably until December 24th).
I frequently go back and forth on whether or not I think imitation crab is good at its job.
You know, I think I’m going back on my statement about the fireworks. It occurred to me that perhaps the blast and/or the smoke may kill off some of the no-see-ums and mosquitoes, kind of like those fogging machines, so this may be a blessing in disguise. And prevent future zika outbreaks. Either way, it’s not like the noise actually bothers me, it’s just…there’s a time and a place, right? Unless you’re at Epcot Center, then the time and place really is every night. And that’s okay because Disney is magical.
For my final random better thought of the day, I sometimes find myself missing David Letterman. So with that in mind, I leave you with this, an old news, leftover video that I shot a week ago and already posted on Facebook (it hasn’t been in the fridge long enough to gather mold, so you can enjoy this mycotoxin-free video for a few days yet):