TickTok

I have a story to tell you that’s really more than a story. It’s more of a saga, like The Thorn Birds, just without the monsignor sex. And I realize I have some nerve just showing up here after being missing for so long, but I assure you I am busy, which is why this saga was particularly painful. Even more painful than that initial intrusion by Ralph de Bricassart.

I’m breaking it into sections, because saga.

Early June
Edsel had a dark spot in his ear. As we know, his ear has a lot of real estate


and it turns out, a tick had moved in. It must have felt so luxurious to said tick, like moving to a ranch in Montana after living in Manhattan. Edsel’s original name was Montana, and I guess we now understand why.

Anyway, I grabbed my tweezers and deleted said tick from our lives before I could think about it. Then I flapped my hands around heebie-jeeebily for a bit and carried on with my life. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I am helping with a book we are writing at work. I am enjoying it, but it turns out books are a lot of work. So after several very manly minutes of flapping about disgustedly, I returned to thinking about work.

Mid-June
Edsel presented with a spot on his snout, and I enjoy my medical use of “presented” because I think about health a lot and now I have become a doctor. Of medicine, not of Dre.

Or of Pepper.

We had slept in the same room together all night, Eds and I had, so I was extra heebed and jeebed when, the next morning, he leapt on my bed with what I thought was a scab on his snout but it was

ANOTHER

TICK.

I should’ve put this on TikTock.

This time, after I removed said tick from the premises, I not only bleached those tweezers like I was Howard Hughes, I also placed them in the cat cupboard, along with the eye ointments and flea medicine. Those tweezers have been relegated to pet use. And speaking of flea medicine, I pay $9,087 a month for Revolution for all the pets, a flea

AND

TICK

treatment that is supposed to work. And that is when I called my vet and said, “I spent $49.067 billion on Revolution every month, yet I am seeing ticks on my dog. Can you tell me what gives?”

As you can imagine, my local vet has named a wing of the office after me, so they were happy to tell me what gives, which is that A(, and I like how I fucked that up and I’m leaving it, but A(, Revolution does kill ticks but not for 36 hours

!!!!

and )B(: it’s the worst tick season on record. Ever. We’ve ticked again, like we did last summer, but only way worse.

Isn’t it enough we’re having a plague? We also have to get ticked off?

My vet prescribed me three vials and one chew of this NEW flea and tick treatment that you only have to apply every three months, which is good, because any time I apply that topical stuff onto the shoulderblades of the cats, they act the same way my mother does if you tell her Nixon was our greatest president, a thing a high school boyfriend did once just to see my mother spontaneously combust.

Honestly, they get so OFFENDED by that topical stuff. I don’t even think they can FEEL it, yet all three of them lift their skirts and screech. Anyway, I went to the vet and spent $417 on their treatment, which I could not put on them until July 1, as that is when their Revolution was officially plum wore out.

Late June
So, the pets would be safer come July, but what about all the ticks in my yard? My milkshake brings all the ticks to my yard. What about me? What about my needs? I don’t want any malaria or whatever ticks give you. Is it trichinosis? Is that what ticks give you? Maybe I am just a doctor of Pepper. I’m at least a sergeant of Pepper.

I did not want to have some company come out and spray for bugs because every night, I drag my exhausted, overworked ass outside and watch fireflies. It’s all I got. I blankly watch fireflies and then I go to bed. And also I did not want to kill the bees because all the bees are being killed and soon we will all die of beelessness, I forget why, but stuff like that makes me decidedly nervous.

So I did what anyone would do, and that’s head to the internet, where everything is believable. After I opened a pizza parlor that specialized in pepperoni made from the hind end of Chrissy Tiegen, I asked, “How can I get rid of the ticks in my yard without spraying? Say it, don’t spray it.”

And people came back with extremely helpful suggestions, such as, Get a gila lizard.

Oh, OK.

But one person said there’s this spray you can get that’s organic and has good vibes and is a Sagittarius, and it doesn’t kill bees or fireflies or anything. It just kills, like, chiggers and ticks and tacks and the like. I looked it up and after reading good things about it, I ordered it.

Later June
I know you are going to ask what KIND of spray, because no one can do anything online anymore without having to say where you bought everything one can see in the image. “Where did you get that sky?” “What brand of telephone pole is that?” But I’m not gonna TELL you what kind cause I’m about to complain about the bug spray and I don’t wish to be sued for all my millions, as I am a doctor. Doc Marten.

The organic hippy magic bus bug spray arrived, and for this I was glad. I would be tickless! Staying drier is nicer with a little Tickless.

Imagine the great things my mind could’ve done, imagine what a good doctor I’d be, had I used my mind for something other than remembering commercials and songs from the ’70s.

That night, after work, and did I mention I work a lot? I opened the box of the hippy Mama Cass’s ham sandwich bug spray. “Just attach it to your hose and spray!” it told me.

Just…what, now? This was not disclosed in their ad.

I mean, does everybody here have a hose? Do the makers of YinYang Bug Spray for your Vibes just assume we all have hoses? Because I SORT of do, but not really. I have two hoses that came with the house—

There’s some hose in this house, there’s some hose in this house.

Dear Tee: Please don’t watch this video. I want you to stay pristine, as I imagine you. Also, your husband is going to come into the room—after he overhears these lyrics—with a large butterfly net and drag you off to the home.

On the other hand, Tee, I sort of want you to secretly memorize these lyrics and just start singing them whilst you do dishes.

Anyway, there’s some hose in this house, but one of them is covered in duct tape and the other one doesn’t have an end. Like, there’s no metal at the end. It’s just the rubber hose, with which I wish to put up your nose. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Why did we think Welcome Back, Kotter was funny?

Nevertheless, I persisted, and attempted to attach the hoses to my Free to be You and Me bug spray, and you’ll be stunned to hear it didn’t work.

Goddammit, I said, coming in covered in ticks, tacks and toes. So I ordered a hose online.

The late, late show with June in June
The hose arrived, and after a harrowing day at work, I unpacked it and went outside. It fit! It attached! It…barely went to my back yard. I was meant to spray the Age of Aquarius bug spray all around the perimeter of my yard, but this was not possible as the new hose was 14 inches long.

Goddammit, I said, coming back in with a tic.

So I ordered ANOTHER hose, to attach to the new hose.

July
Meet the new hose. Same as the old hose.

Today, July onest, I GOT THE NEW HOSE, and after

READING AN ENTIRE BOOK TODAY, NO, SERIOUSLY,

I unpackaged the second hose, the new Darren Stevens, and headed outside. They attached to each other! They fit inside the jug of Peace Sign bug spray! I turned the hose on with my smile, headed into the back yard, and?

It wouldn’t turn on. The damn jug didn’t spray. Turns out there’s this plastic dial at the side, that only the world’s strongest men, the kind who have to join the circus, so bemuscled are they, can turn.

GODDAMMIT, I said, all ticky tacky. I went inside and watched a YouTube video of how to use the spray. The cheerful woman in the video who probably owned a good hose straightaway just TURNED that dial like it was nothing. Determined, I headed back outside. I pulled and I tugged and I tugged and I turned and finally that DAMN thing gave a little, so I turned the water back on the hose, and?

SPKLIRRRRTTTTT.

One of the hoses? Broken. BROKEN! It sprayed all over me, all over my yard, all over yonder, and, soaked, I unscrewed it from the other new hose.

GODDAMMIT, I said, ticking like a time bomb.

I decided to just spray as much of the yard as I could using the one hose I had, but when I turned on the water, it turns out, that hose, like, expands, and it stretched all the way to the back of my yard. So I needlessly bought a second one, needlessly waited to spray while the ticks mated and flew friends in and had themselves cloned.

So finally, finally, the hose was hooked up, I was at the back of the yard, I had the turny thing on the bottle turned, and?

Nothing came out of the jug. WATER was coming out, but the level in the jug never moved.

GODDAMMIT, I said, ticked pink.

Maybe I had the nozzle the wrong way. My engineer’s mind told me to turn it the other way and maybe product would come out. So I did, and then I turned the water back on (each time I did this, I had to slog back to the faucet and then back to the end of my yard, and each time my yard seemed to get longer and longer and hotter and hotter) and then?

SPKLIRRRRRRTTTTTT!!!

The spray sprayed ME. I mean, it was like a fire hose, spraying me. I think I blew back a few feet.

I had on my The Hermit t-shirt, which looks like the tarot card of The Hermit, except it’s a cat instead of a hermit, and I can tell you that I won the wet t-shirt contest going on at the home of June, over here. My Hermit shirtmit wasn’t just soaked, my entire ENSEMBLE was soaked.

Eventually, I just unscrewed the top of the hippie jug and dumped the stuff around my yard, hoping it kills something. It already killed my will to live.

Still July
Then I had to slog back through my yard, soaked, and drag the dang fire hose with me to put back on the hangy thing, and I did this with my clothes clinging to me like Melanie clung to Ashley when he returned from the war and I realize I need to get a new example. Then I had to take the broken hose, and drag IT through my yard and onto a chair, so I can return it or maybe hang self with it, I am not decided yet.

Attached please find an unretouched image of me after the whole ordeal was done.

In sum, no ticks were harmed in the making of this blog post.

And that is the end of my Thorn in my side Birds saga.

48 thoughts on “TickTok

  1. Oh my word, that would SO be me, trying to figure out the hose situation. Love the Thorn Birds references. I remember watching that years ago. (We won’t talk about exactly how many years ago it was. Or my terrible grammar/syntax this morning.)

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  2. I would just like to inform you that there is a website called crimson and clover that sells a candle called “There’s some hoes in this house” and I sent them anonymously to my friends.

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  3. I am upset. For all the kittens and puppies you find, you don’t find chicks? To grow into lovely sassy chickens to eat your ticks and give you eggs?

    You certainly need some chickens and possums. Post haste.

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  4. So nice to see another post from you! It’s too bad about the ticks so I hope the new medicine helps.

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  5. One of your funniest posts ever; I was giggling all the way through. Also I have not previously commented on the wonderful color you have. It really is attractive on you.

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  6. This post is hilarious, and then Lisa NTL’s comment about square feet happened and I died right there–that whole thread–and Tee–“I think there’s math involved.”

    Dead I tell you. Absolutely dead.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  7. EVERY time I try to use one of those “Just click it onto the end of the hose” type things I get soaked and what ever I was trying to spray gets nothing. Lucky I have other talents or I might just get a complex about it. Great to hear from you Juuuune.

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  8. Great post today, Coot!
    Pat yourself on the back. So many great references and one-liners.
    It was worth the wait.

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  9. Dear God in heaven, as if work weren’t enough to drive you mad. I would have been weeping on the floor after the first hose.
    Now I need to rub every square foot of my younger Pommix, with thick luxuriant black hair enough to conceal a thousand ticks. The older one is going bald.

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  10. Lyme disease, that’s what ticks carrry, lovely Lyme disease. Thanks for telling us this story, I loved every sentence of it. I didn’t love that it happened to you though.

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  11. You are hilarious. It was worth the wait. I’m glad you are enjoying the new assignment!

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  12. I am sorry for your trauma, but I laughed until I wheezed! You definitely have a way with a story. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope you, your pets and yard will all be tick free for the rest of the summer.
    I wonder why you’ve just seen them on Edsel and not his catten companions?? Maybe ticks prefer bigger, slower animals? (Not that Edz is slow, but compared to the cats…)

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  13. And the winner of “best blog saga involving pests, 70s references and at least one circusman goes to…”

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  14. Lovely post, Coot.
    I dont understand why everything has to be so dingdang hard to operate. I have to admit, I was crying laughing at the whole ordeal. I can totally vision the whole thing.

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  15. I agree with the crowd here: this post was worth the wait and hilarious. The man in the circus detail was brilliant as was the Nixon comment that upset your mother. Sorry to laugh at your frustration. Too bad you don’t have video of your ordeal that you could speed up and share on the TOC. For the love of everything, I hope after all that you and your pets do not end up with any more ticks.

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  16. This is such a great post. Thank you for sharing your struggle. Hopefully that’s the saga done and dusted for you!

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  17. One time, at band camp. No. One time, while working in my father’s taxidermy shop, I had to help my mom pull a bear hide out of the freezer. I forget where the bear met its demise. I think Pennsylvania. Anyway. I’m helping my mom pull this gigantic thing out of the freezer when all of the sudden these fat ticks flung everywhere. Apparently, where this bear was from was an area known to have some ticks. Dear lord, it was horrifying. She sent me home to shower immediately. I did so. And this is why I work in IT now and did not take over my father’s business. Someday I’m going to write a book called “The Taxidermist’s Daughter”. I have stories.

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  18. I’m exhausted. But that’s a hilarious story. We have ticks, but no fleas. Not too many hippies, either.

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    1. We hate spraying our yard. We hate watering our yard. No matter how carefully we select a new hose or hold an old hose, I get soaked. And when I attach a sprayer to it (safer soap or miracle grow) I get even more soaked. I hate it. I feel your pain.

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  19. You know where there are no ticks? Seattle. Just saying

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  20. On the plus side, you have drenched yourself in hippy tick killer, so you should be both tic-free and not poisoned. Excellent plan.

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  21. I was shopping with my mother and grandmother. My ear was itchy, so I reached back to scratch. Imagine my surprise when a small black thing appeared on my finger. Since I was a very mature 30 something adult, I screamed bloody murder! I grew up in an urban area and had never seen a tick before. My grandmother grew up on a farm. She took the tick off my finger and crushed it between hers. Those farm girls are tough as nails.

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  22. What an ordeal! I’m worn out from just reading about this. You should get some of the little chickens, Guineas, they love ticks, grasshoppers, beetles and such. Plus they lay eggs and can be more pets. Win, win, win!

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  23. This episode was worth waiting for, thanks! My mind totally conjured up a cartoon image of the circus strongman and that’s what good writing will do to you.

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  24. Dear lord, I almost wet myself laughing because I was laughing so hard as I read this. I know I sounded like a hyena. I needed a good laugh. I am so sorry you were sprayed with the hippy dippy tick repellent, but gracious that was the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. The photo was the cherry on top. You did not look amused, pretty Joon.
    I hope the tick repellent works and no more bugs take up residence on Edz!

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  25. I hate ticks but am resigned to finding one now and then. I have a little jar of alcohol to drop them in. And I try to believe that the Frontline keeps them from attaching long enough to do any harm. Hope you killed your ticks because that is way too much work to come up with nothing.

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  26. I love that you remind me of all things 70’s. I had forgotten Tickle. I’m sorry I laughed so much at your hose saga.
    Thanks I needed a good laugh.

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  27. HILARIOUS POST! ROFL
    Just relax, I’m not watching the video or Dancer’s reference. I’ma just going to enjoy a big glass of sweet iced tea on the porch with Arlene.
    My husband gets ticks a lot, but he works in the yard and garden a lot. Peppermint oil applied to the tick makes them “let go” but I don’t know if that’s safe for animals. Years ago when we camped we would put sulfur powder in our shoes to keep ticks and chiggers off of us. We never got either bug, so it must have worked. I don’t have a clue if sulfur powder can now be purchased at the drug store/pharmacy or the cost, especially since it’s one of the ingredients of gun powder.
    My cat won’t speak to me or let me touch her because I put deworming medication on the back of her neck this morning. In other words, she has her panties in a bundle.
    Tee

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    1. You can buy powdered sulfur on Amazon. I used it to kill bird mites on my chickens a few years back.

      And that is a sentence I just typed. Oh well.

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  28. I can laugh about the hose drama because I’ve lived it.
    I used frontline on my cats, circa 1990. One cat actually purred while it was applied to his shoulder blades. That’s the cat who lived originally across the street with hooligan kids. The other cat, hissed and squirmed and just about hyperventilated during the application.
    In my first read through, I thought you were referring to Dr Pepper on MAFS. Second time, duhhh da soda.

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  29. As if your words weren’t enough, the selfie at the end really tells the story.

    Here’s something you won’t want to hear – when you use the sprayer thingy, the level never goes down. It mixes with water as it’s being sprayed and gradually gets diluted until you are left with just water in the sprayer. The trick is to see how many square feet it covers and spray THAT much yard. I know. Some man came up with that plan.

    Now that I’ve ticked you off completely, I’ll bug off.

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    1. How in the name of all that is holy am I supposed to know HOW MANY SQUARE FEET my yard is? I like to think my yard doesn’t have any SQUARE feet, just cool feet.

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        1. Precisely. They used math to try to trick us. I refuse to be tricked so I just spray until the vibe feels right.

          Alternatively I ask my husband “how many square feet is our yard?” Then he starts using the abacus that lives in the brain of many males and says a number. Is he right? NO CLUE.

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  30. So funny
    Somewhere in your fantastic writing i thought, ADD self, about the tik tok video about how my kitty meow meow isn’t pink because I’m brown. Tee do not look this up!

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  31. Goodness, what an ordeal. We have a lot of yard and a lot of hoses. It’s not you, hoses are always a pain.

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  32. Not that you want to hear this, but I have read many times this spring/summer that possums are the BEST thing to get rid of ticks. I guess it is their favorite munch-at-the-movies snack, and no, the old thing about them having rabies is not true. Also too, I haven’t listened to the afore mentioned song. Tee and I will adjourn to the porch while you all have at it.

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