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Author Topic: Apparently I live in a Charles Dickens Novel  (Read 1814 times)
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hepcat
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« on: October 31, 2008, 07:30:44 PM »

Sooooo I get home last night from work to find a slip of paper under my door.  It's from the apartment manager.  I throw my stuff down on the kitchen table and start to read.

It's a 3 paragraph letter addressing the rising problem of Bed Bugs. 

Bed Bugs, seriously?  Who am I?  Oliver Twist living in a post-industrial London alley?

...giving me something like this is akin to handing a loaded pistol to a child and telling him that the small end dispenses candy when the trigger is pulled.  In other words, it can only end badly.

I spent the entire friggin' evening searching every piece of furniture in my place for an infestation.  Not finding anything only convinced me that they possessed an uncanny level of insectivore intelligence that was beyond me.  In my paranoid state, I imagined the little bastards organizing a recon group and sending them out for intel while the main force stayed behind in the kitchen cabinet, planning their rapid invasion of my ankle area around 2am.

Today I've spent about 45 minutes researching these things on Wikipedia, I've sought out video of them on the National Geographic web site, and I've priced hand held steamers to use on everything in my apartment (including myself...skin grafts are preferable to having those damned things on me).

About an hour ago, I called my apartment manager and asked her what in God's name was going on.  She then told me that this was a city wide issue and they were just covering their bases.  It seems that more and more people are scavenging thrown out furniture and clothing from dumpsters and this was leading to a large number of reported incidents.  She then assured me that if I wasn't engaging in the aforementioned activities that I'd probably be fine.

...probably.

That word, in this situation, is like telling me that I'm covered in Bed Bugs even as we speak.  I will not be able to sleep until I hire an exterminator to carefully inspect my place for any sign of these horrid creatures from hell.  Even if I get a clean bill of health with a signed affidavit assuring me of my absence of bugs of any type, I'll STILL hire someone to give me a second opinion as I'll eventually convince myself that the first guy has it in for me for some reason.

Could someone do me a favor and drag Chicago into the 21st century?



« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 04:25:27 AM by hepcat » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2008, 07:55:02 PM »

I'm surprised you didn't hear about it first from the little orphan on the street corner hawking newspapers for a ha'penny.

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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2008, 08:09:30 PM »

Paranoid much?

And thanks for making almost smother myself at work to try and keep from guffawing in a quiet cubeville.   icon_lol
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hepcat
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2008, 08:25:18 PM »

Spiders?  I laugh at them.

Ants?  Ha! 

Cockroaches?  Icky, but I won't use industrial level solvents on my skin after seeing one.

Lice, Bed Bugs, Mites and anything else I can't immediately see?  I'll be the first one out the door of the bunker in the middle of a nuclear war if someone even jokes about these things.  All you'll see and hear is a blur as I grab a bathrobe and a moist towelette and yell over my shoulder, "Rads better be freakin' high enough!" on my way out the door.
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2008, 08:29:22 PM »

I have a friend who works for the railroad which requires he does some traveling. Last week he stayed at a motel he had stayed in several times before. In the morning he woke up to find bed bugs all over his bed. Needless to say it freaked him and he switched motels.
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hepcat
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2008, 08:33:30 PM »

Sweet Jeebus, I would STILL be running and shrieking down the interstate if that happened to me. 

From what I've been reading, it's not just Chicago experiencing this problem.  Seems as if the little sons of #@)#$ have become resistant to DDT and other insecticides and, combined with more and more people being desperate enough to actually take mattresses and other furniture from the trash and use them, this has allowed Bed Bugs to leap from the pages of 19th century literature squarely into my consciousness. 

For a phobic jackass such as myself, this is like being told that not only is Santa Claus dead, but that his corpse will rise up and attack anyone who looks like me if I venture out from under my bed.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2008, 08:36:44 PM by hepcat » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2008, 08:48:41 PM »

At any given time, you have all kinds of things crawling on you.

Eyelash mites, for instance.
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hepcat
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2008, 08:50:36 PM »

As a child, did you use the magnifying glass to kill ants...or did you just pick them and tear them limb from limb while repeatedly screaming, "I AM YOUR GOD!  REDRUM, REDRUM!"?
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2008, 09:49:47 PM »

so i guess this is about time for one of my favorite tidbits...

hepcat have you owned either your pillows or mattress for over 5 (or perhaps its 10... but do you really want to push it?) years?  'cause if you have, half their weight is now the little bodies of bed bugs / dust mites smile

sleep tight!
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hepcat
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2008, 10:48:05 PM »

I can believer either that

1)  You're citing scientific facts which means I'll be on the ledge within the next 5 minutes.

2)  You and YK are sadists and are probably wearing gimp outfits as you two write this stuff.

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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2008, 11:07:25 PM »

Some months ago I read that NYC was in the midst of a bedbug plague. A few days after my wife came back from a weekend trip to NYC, I developed a generalized itching. No lotions could relieve it. Dousing myself in rubbing alcohol did not help, nor did bathing in Epsom salts. I laundered the bedclothes and soaked the mattress in pesticides, all the while certain that my (unaffected) wife was a dirty, filthy, plague carrier. Nothing helped. The itching went on day after day and night after night, as if tiny invisible insects were swarming all over me. Finally I broke down and saw my doctor about it.

It's a histamine reaction. Nobody knows what causes those -- a low-grade infection or chronic allergy, maybe, or just old age -- but they're pretty common. I control it now with antihistamines. Someday it might go away as mysteriously as it came.

No bedbugs, though.
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2008, 11:30:46 PM »

Hell, years and years ago (about 15!) when I was twelve or thirteen and  still living in "The City", San Francisco was having a bedbug problem and tourists were suing some of the hotels. There were reports of Parisian hotels having the problem as well as London and Berlin hotels. It's the sort of thing you don't really pay attention to for long even as entire populations are swept to their deaths.
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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2008, 11:33:37 PM »

wait til you pick your kids up from preschool and find the "Head Lice" notice on the door. You'll shampoo your head bald.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2008, 12:32:15 AM »

don't worry, that itching isn't from bed bugs.


honest.
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Doopri
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2008, 08:41:21 PM »

Quote
I can believer either that

1)  You're citing scientific facts which means I'll be on the ledge within the next 5 minutes.

2)  You and YK are sadists and are probably wearing gimp outfits as you two write this stuff.

wait, wait... who said it wasnt both? smile
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PR_GMR
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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2008, 07:51:06 PM »

See, if you would just stop bringing those prostitutes home for the night...  icon_razz
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hepcat
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« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2008, 08:18:53 PM »

Quote from: PR_GMR on November 04, 2008, 07:51:06 PM

See, if you would just stop bringing those prostitutes home for the night...  icon_razz

the night?

i'm lucky if i have them there for more than 7 minutes at a time.
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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2008, 10:14:07 PM »

oh man, head lice. My daughter got head lice from her elementary school years ago and that was really a pain in the ass. The weird thing is that from what I have found out it is much more common than anyone would believe and can happen almost anywhere.
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« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2008, 10:15:24 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on November 04, 2008, 08:18:53 PM

Quote from: PR_GMR on November 04, 2008, 07:51:06 PM

See, if you would just stop bringing those prostitutes home for the night...  icon_razz

the night?

i'm lucky if i have them there for more than 7 minutes at a time.

7 minutes? They drinking a cup of coffee while they're there or what?

...and this freakin thread is making me itch all over.
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hepcat
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« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2008, 11:33:37 PM »

Quote from: coopasonic on November 04, 2008, 10:15:24 PM

Quote from: hepcat on November 04, 2008, 08:18:53 PM

Quote from: PR_GMR on November 04, 2008, 07:51:06 PM

See, if you would just stop bringing those prostitutes home for the night...  icon_razz

the night?

i'm lucky if i have them there for more than 7 minutes at a time.

7 minutes? They drinking a cup of coffee while they're there or what?

...and this freakin thread is making me itch all over.


I make them watch the weather channel while I perform a series of intricate dances that culminates in my eating a twinkie in my boxers and delivering my essay on why I really think Jethro was the brains of the family on The Beverly Hillbillies...
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« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2008, 01:18:12 AM »

Quote from: PR_GMR on November 04, 2008, 07:51:06 PM

See, if you would just stop bringing those prostitutes home for the night...  icon_razz

well look who came crawling back like a bed bug  Tongue
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« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2009, 06:41:28 PM »

Sorry for the thread bump but this story is all over the local news sites.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/health/chi-0226-bedbugsfeb26,0,3045951.story
Reminded me of this thread.
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hepcat
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« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2009, 06:51:09 PM »

Thanks...thanks for reopening old wounds.

Over the holiday vacation I had a chance to talk to the building pest control guy after he stopped by one afternoon.  I swear, the guy was Cliff Clavin from Cheers.  He spoke with such incredible earnestness about this job that I felt like he was the only thing standing between democracy and communism in this country. 

Anyway, when I brought up the bed bugs issue, he just stopped dead in his tracks and told me, "Not in MY building!  They hired me to make sure that kind of thing DOES NOT happen!".

I felt a little better about things after that.

I also feel confident about getting all my mattresses from the trash bin outside my building now!

...i keed, i keed

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« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2009, 06:52:36 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on November 04, 2008, 11:33:37 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on November 04, 2008, 10:15:24 PM

Quote from: hepcat on November 04, 2008, 08:18:53 PM

Quote from: PR_GMR on November 04, 2008, 07:51:06 PM

See, if you would just stop bringing those prostitutes home for the night...  icon_razz

the night?

i'm lucky if i have them there for more than 7 minutes at a time.

7 minutes? They drinking a cup of coffee while they're there or what?

...and this freakin thread is making me itch all over.


I make them watch the weather channel while I perform a series of intricate dances that culminates in my eating a twinkie in my boxers and delivering my essay on why I really think Jethro was the brains of the family on The Beverly Hillbillies...


okay people at work think i am a loon for laughing so hard I am crying...this reminded of that great line in Real Genius about hockey masks, pickles and ....can't remember
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« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2009, 11:18:53 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on October 31, 2008, 08:33:30 PM

Sweet Jeebus, I would STILL be running and shrieking down the interstate if that happened to me. 

I'm picturing you running down the highway in tighty whiteys like Will Ferrell in Talledega Nights, arms thrashing, girlish screams...it's pretty funny.
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« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2009, 12:30:23 AM »

Quote
Apparently I live in a Charles Dickens' Novel

Who can forget the heartrending scene in Oliver Twist when Fagin forces little Oliver into a life of misusing apostrophes.
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« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2009, 12:30:35 AM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on February 27, 2009, 11:18:53 PM

Quote from: hepcat on October 31, 2008, 08:33:30 PM

Sweet Jeebus, I would STILL be running and shrieking down the interstate if that happened to me. 

I'm picturing you running down the highway in tighty whiteys like Will Ferrell in Talledega Nights, arms thrashing, girlish screams...it's pretty funny.

yeah I think it's funny you're picturing hepcat running around in tighty whiteys too.
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hepcat
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« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2009, 04:28:06 AM »

Quote from: Mr. Fed on February 28, 2009, 12:30:23 AM

Quote
Apparently I live in a Charles Dickens' Novel

Who can forget the heartrending scene in Oliver Twist when Fagin forces little Oliver into a life of misusing apostrophes.

Subject line edited now that my plan to give you the chance to let the world know you've read Oliver Twist has come to fruition.

Quote
yeah I think it's funny you're picturing hepcat running around in tighty whiteys too.

He doesn't need to.  I sent him a series of color photos a few weeks ago.
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