I fear I shall be burned as a witch… [archive 23/06/2007]

The closer I get to Cape Breton the more quizzical the look when I ask if they have an internet connection. I hope the people on the island are not really like The People on The Island, otherwise we’ve had it.

So to pass the time I bought a fishing pole the other day, and discovered something Satan-sent and unholier than any abomination to date. This deadly new threat to mankind is about half the size of a mosquito, with a short segmented body of the deepest, obsidian clear black. They travel in swarms. At first there’s one, then theres two hundred million thousand of them. They don’t bite at first, they just fly around, landing on you in an ‘annoying but I’ll ignore them because I’m having fun fishing’ style. Then they crawl up your trousers, burrow into your flesh and somehow secrete a tennis ball under it. At this point you only feel a small pin prick of pain and this minor occurrence is noted by some bored middle aged clerk and filed in a dusty drawer in the ‘Things You Quickly Forget’ section of the Department of Brain and Bodily Maintenance, but the effects are devastating.

I scoff at mosquitos now. I welcome them into my home, offering them a choice of fifty-three different teas and insisting they have my best garibaldi biscuits for dunking. I wander naked into swamps, arms spread wide and try to hug them. Because of what must be no more than half a dozen bites I’ve had three days and two sleepless nights of mind-warping itchiness. I went to the chemist and bought $46 worth of after-itch lotion. Every single type. And none of them work. And that’s not the worst of it. They ooze too. I walked into a salmon smokery the other day and the chap kept staring at my forehead. I knew that it was sticking out further than my nose, but I didn’t know that it was oozing some yellow ichor. I touched a clean handkerchief to it and it came back sodden. I can’t think of a name which is big and scary enough to encompass this new menace to mankind, but please, I beg of you, start hoarding food, gaffa tape your doors and windows closed and write to your MP – the world must know, this must be legislated against.

The good news is that we’re going into Sherbrooke today to get our photo’s taken in period dress with a sepia finish. I know, at first I thought it was a ridiculously banal and tryst thing to do, but Laura managed to talk me round to it. Must be the medication…

Hugs where hugs are due



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