A few people forwarded me this list today, about the worst bedbug infestations in the country. To my amazement, Cincinnati tops the list. Columbus — such a clean city! — is right behind. Detroit is No. 5, Dayton No. 9, and Baltimore — hey, Lippman! Feeling itchy? — is No. 10.
For the record, I have never seen a bedbug, or felt one’s bite. I know they’re a problem in New York (No. 7), but until I read this, I never dreamed they were moving west. I blame washed-out Brooklyn hipsters leaving Williamsburg to move back in with mom and dad in Worthington. Along with all their little friends!!!!!
The first person I knew who picked up scabies was gay. It was the ’70s, and we all know what that meant. He got scabies, then crabs, then hepatitis, then AIDS, and that was that. But it was the scabies that freaked me out. I knew the chances of me ever having unprotected anal sex with a stranger were pretty damn slim, but you could get scabies — he told me, scratching his arm — from sitting on the wrong couch. Yikes.
Alan had a friend who got the same thing in a Motel 6 (he swears), and for years on our many travels by car, he refused to even consider stopping there. (The prices for more respectable lodgings in Santa Fe changed his mind, and we found the Motel 6 there to be nicer than many Holiday Inns.)
Every night I troll the nation’s newspapers and wire services for health news, and I am here to tell you: From microscopic to smashable-with-one’s-foot, them bugs is gonna get us all. What doesn’t kill them only makes them stronger, and you can never kill them all. That said, I am never buying another piece of upholstered furniture used, and anyone who comes into my house is going to have to stand on the back steps for skin inspection and fumigation.
Which just dislodged a memory from “Gone With the Wind” (the novel): As the soldiers begin walking home after the war’s end, Mammy polices hygiene at Tara, requiring all to strip naked and submit to having their clothes go into “the b’iling pot,” while simultaneously scrubbing down with lye soap, followed by a home-brewed dysentery remedy: “…one and all, they drank her doses meekly and with wry faces, remembering, perhaps, other stern black faces in far-off places and other inexorable black hands holding medicine spoons.” Such happy slaves. Such a fascinating book.
Whenever I mention it, I teeter on the brink of a doctoral dissertation. I’ll spare you and skip right to the bloggage:
Why does everyone assume Mrs. Tiger Woods learned about his cattin’ ways via a supermarket tabloid? I’ve suspected from the beginning the revelation came at her gynecologist’s office, delivered with averted eyes and maybe involving, yes, crabs. Not that she will tell you.
Rich people of means, please learn to grow old gracefully. Plastic surgery might fool some people in your 40s, but down the road, it will only make you look like a monster. Your wife, too.
With the retirement of the Crown Vic Police Interceptor, competitors are rushing to fill the market for police cars. The Freep showcases the contenders, including one from an Indiana startup called Carbon Motors. One of the police stations around here has a tricked-out Mustang, and no, I don’t know why, either, except that they had the money and felt like spending it.
Meanwhile, the News looks at 75 years of the Chevy Suburban. You have to really love cars to live in this town. Tolerate ‘em, at least.
Thank God I have Tom and Lorenzo to tell me Isabel Toledo now has a line of shoes at Payless. And they include a fetching fake-fur boot, just in case I need to make some extra coin on Woodward some grim winter.
Have a great hump day. I’ll be humpin’ copy, as usual.