Return to sender

In which I receive a message from the universe

The scene: evening, a bath, rose-scented steam…

In order to preserve your innocence, Gentle Reader, we’ll add in a 1950s style bathing dress that goes down to the knee, and a balaclava.

I’m bothering to shave my legs for the first time in two weeks, due to their upcoming starring role in A Dress. This is the first attention that my legs have gotten beyond a cursory scrub (I hasten to reassure you, Dear Reader, that I did in fact continue wash during these two weeks), so I’m going through the routine of soak-scrutinise-soap-shave. 

I’m not a particularly strong competitor in the hirsute leagues, so two weeks is about enough to make my (very pale) legs look a bit grubby. On closer inspection, I notice a tenacious bit of dirt that doesn’t seem to be follicular in nature. 

I splash water. No effect.

I scrub. No effect.

I tug with nails, and voila, success. 

Unfortunately, said dirt is wriggling. 

Slightly more luckily, I don’t give into my first instinct, which is to dunk my hand in the bath water to wash it off. Instead, the leg dirt is deposited on the side for closer inspection. 

A google and a sinking suspicion later, it is confirmed.

It was a tick. 

People with a fear of arachnids should really be saving all their animosity for ticks. They’re literally man-eating spiders that burrow their heads into flesh – if they existed on a larger scale, they would be terrorising cinema-goers. I feel like the humble house spider should be appropriately recognised for its decision not to suck out your blood through your skin, or give you a bacterial infection that can be debilitating for life. 

The tick might have been a message from the universe telling me to shave my legs more often. In which case, you should have sent that tick along in Winter, mister, that’s when the real growing season takes place. 

The universe may instead, of course, be telling me that I should spend the entirety of summer in a wetsuit that covers me from ankle to mid-neck to wrist. I will take this under advisement. 

I would also like the universe to note that ‘carrier ticks’ are not going to catch on as a means of communication. My preferred means of contact are by post (pigeon or snail), email or hallucinatory dreamscape. 

There is a faint possibility that ticks are an alien species attempting some sort of mind meld with the human race via their blood streams. In this case, I would again ask them to note that I am contactable via email, post, and am entirely abductable if they would like a chat. 

I’m happy to note that I didn’t contract Lyme Disease – it’s important to keep an eye out when you’re in a part of the world with ticks. NHS guidance on Lyme Disease and ticks can be found here


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