My Rant About Ticks and Never Overcoming a Fear of Ticks
If you’re afraid of spiders, man, you do not want to ever run into a tick. They’re like super-spiders. Trust me, I’ve had some close calls, but luckily I still have my tick virginity (because the first time experience of sharing of flesh, blood, and disease with a tick is not dissimilar of that with another human). The crazy thing is, I didn’t even know what a tick looked like until I was about 14 or 15. And at that point in my life I’d seen as many ticks as I’d seen chupacabras. Other than a short-lived cartoon in the mid 90’s, I was totally distanced from the fact that ticks exist.
I remember once at the Mazonia State Fish & Wildlife Area for some fishing and fossil hunting with a friend, when he turned to me saying, “Hey what do you think this little crab-spider thing is on my jeans?” I looked and sure enough, there was a crab-spider thing crawling across his jeans like it owned the place. “Is that a tick? Dude, I think that’s a tick.” For the sake of letting him keep his man-card, I will not elaborate on the next set of events.
But I will tell you how things roughly go down on the rare occasions I found one on me after I had already gotten home from a day of fishing or hiking.
- The first thing you need to know is that when you see a tick crawling on you, things begin to move very fast. Life becomes a blur. You start hyperventilating. Your body kicks into overdrive. It’s all fight or flight. The next 10 seconds are all white-hot adrenaline as your mind races through possible scenarios and outcomes:
Hey, what’s this little crab-spider thing crawli-….
OMG its a tick. A TICK.
…Kleenex. A Kleenex.
I need a Kleenex, stat!
No, wait. That’ll never work. Ticks have god-like invincibility.
They are the Terminators of the insect world. They’re leeches with an exoskeleton.
Yes! The toilet!
Damn, how do I get the tick to the toilet? I can’t pick it off my leg and carry it to the toilet or it’s going to start biting my thumb (probably). And I can’t carefully hobble my tick-infested leg to the bathroom because surely it’ll start digging in before I even make it to the hallway (probably).
But finally- *Flush*
Getting ticked is a very upsetting experience and there’s really very little separating the scenario from the scarab scene in The Mummy.
Here is the part of my blog where I would give you tips on how to avoid ticks or overcome your now-crippling fear of them, but I can’t. Ticks will always be creepy. And every tick-experience will scar you as bad as the first one. If you’re feeling brave today, and want to read about different types of ticks and the diseases they carry, check out Bug Eric’s article about ticks.