Sunday, February 6, 2011


We had an outbreak of bed bugs in my government building. So my entire department/agency received an email about bed bugs and bed bug etiquette (don’t ask me what this is). Apparently, the bed bugs were tracked down to two cubicles on a particular floor. It wasn‘t my floor, thank goodness, but I was freaked out because the email explained that bed bugs can travel up and down floors. I started screaming in my cubicle and scratching immediately. The email told us that though they located the source, it was important for us all to know that it doesn’t matter if they eradicate the source in the building because they could be coming from somewhere. It went on to explain that the people who brought the bedbugs into their cubicle have a responsibility to eradicate it at their residence; if they don’t, they could always bring it back and the problem starts again.

Poor people. The story got out among all the different government agencies and departments. Then it showed up on National Public Radio and all my friends heard about it. My agency sent an email telling the brief history of bed bugs, how they grow and breed, and how they are killed. It freaked me out. I mean, did you know bed bugs can live up to a year without feeding? Yes! Not only that, but some people have no reaction to their blood-sucking while others get marks!! I mean I felt itchy just reading these emails about it. And the jokes! The poor people whose cubicle in which they were found! I kept wondering about everyone joking about them. What if the person was single and was dating a new boy. Why does she have to be a woman? Fine. What if the person was single and was dating a new woman? That poor guy. Would she even want to date him anymore? Would she want to touch him? If I were him, I would tell her I just have a rare skin disease but the new clinical trial I was in looks promising (though rare side effects can include heart failure, blindness, and sometimes death). Or I would tell her it goes away after I get special chemicals and steam cleaners after submitting my body to science.

Then there is the thing called scabies which I think is just gross because it sounds like a combination between scabs and rabies. And that’s the worse combination you can get. Apparently with scabies, as you scratch the bug that is scabbing rabies on your arm, they climb into your fingernails and then you spread it around to other places.

No joke. I was having lunch with a woman who had latched on to me for the day (her words). And we were talking about dating boys. She mentioned that she had scabies in her place and had to tell a visiting ex-boyfriend to watch out. After I finished wiping some of my drink that came out of my mouth, I suppressed the urge to quietly slip away without her noticing because she was looking right at me and she would probably notice. Then, later she says, “I think you and I should date.” No joke. She said that. But for some reason I couldn’t hear those words. She was saying “I think you and I should date,” and I kept hearing “I think you shouldn’t shake my hand.” I just nodded my head agreeing that we shouldn’t shake hands.