Squirmin’ Vermin

You know as well as I do, a life on the Internet is even more enriching than a life outdoors. I’ve spent 45 years as living proof that I can live happily in my hiberNation.


But then I broke my ankle. Of course, this would never have happened if I’d simply stayed indoors, but I still capitulate at times. I got a cast from my toes to my pantyline (yes, at 45, that still approximates the Y-zone) and it’s extremely difficult to get around. I still haven’t gone downstairs using my crutches. I use the controlled slide, just like the one I saw the other night on that show about people who get things stuck in them and this one guy who fell and got his ice axe impaled up his thigh. I am not a good martyr and I’ll never be anyone’s hero because I hate this cast more than I hate strawberry licorice and war and people who are mean.

The crucial difference between a happy solo existence and the one to which I’ve now succumbed, is enforcement. That’s why, btw, the death penalty is A-OK with me. I promise I will not do anything which results in going to prison, ergo, I have been successfully diverted from a life of crime.

However. It is Box Elder season. That’s a subseason of the two major seasons we have in Wisconsin: summer and winter. Mayfly Season is the worst, but now that I’ve been confined to my couch with one leg sticking straight out I have discovered a new kind of hell. Box Elder bugs survive in numbers and they thrive in heat. Pretend you’re looking at a picture taken by a heat-sensitive camera of my living room–where do you suppose the warmest spots are, once you’re inside, that is, and once you’re a Box Elder bug?

That’s right, the openings to my cast, top and bottom.

I’ve spent the last three weeks flicking bugs off my arms, legs, couch, monitor, keyboard, table, food, papers, lamps, walls and yes, sometimes I’ve intersected a couple on the march into the nether realms of the flesh beneath my cast, which I have not seen in 3 weeks.

I hate these bugs. Thank god Maisie likes the way they taste, so she’s good for a dozen or so a day, but that leaves me with a dark shadow looming over what otherwise will be the happiest day of my life: tomorrow. Tomorrow I get my cast off. I don’t care what the x-rays say, the cast is coming off.

I don’t mind that my leg will be withered. I could use some withering, although as Scott so sweetly described, I would be withered and flabby and my ankle would still be larger, probably larger than usual. So what? The cast is coming off and I am taking a hot shower until water heater konks out.

My prayer, if I were to have one, goes something like this: Please god, may it be the will that my Box Elder bug surveillance has been nothing less than assiduous, for if I see a single Box Elder bug carcass comes tumbling out when the cast comes off, I will projectile vomit directly into the face of the fairly adequate surgeon and, more likely, that of his chirpy nurse who has not yet found anything to write home about on her new job until the day that skanky chick with the bug-filled cast showed up.

The end.

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