Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The Perp In My Pants


Something bit me on the butt again. Usually it's when I'm asleep, and I assume it's a spider, because I assume I sleep with spiders, and I assume they object to being sat on. This time I was plenty awake and I was the one doing the objecting. I had been sitting on the steps outside and all of a sudden something was biting me on the butt. I jumped up and dervished around madly slapping myself and yiping and nobody paid any attention because the neighbors that have been here a while have mostly quit looking our way when stuff like this happens. (It wasn't just the one incident either. They figure they're better off not knowing.)

So I thought I got whatever it was under control and I even looked for the perp in my pants but didn't come up with anything. I've got a great pair of pants for that. They're beige linen with an elastic waist and I bought them because they were super roomy even though they fit closely at the hips. Then I sent them through the wash and they came out mottled orange and big enough to shelter a scout troop. They still fit in the waist but I could have a whole circus act in there with monkeys and hoops and nobody would ever know. Reaching into my pants up to the elbow is another thing my neighbors avoid looking at.

So now they're my gardening pants.

Biting on the butt: you shouldn't even get two points for that. It's not a small target. I suspected an ant. Ants are known to hang around on my steps and I was pretty sure they bite just to be dicks. I looked online, finding mainly articles from the pest-control companies, and they're likely to say anything. "Ants will come into your house to canvas for Save The Children and then steal your ID," they'll say, and offer to send someone right over with napalm.

The actual science sites say ants don't bite. They just latch on with their face and then spin and sting you for 360 degrees around. That, my dears, is advanced.

I couldn't find any evidence of a bite where I'd felt it, even though I took my pants pretty much all the way down to check. (Somewhere there must be someone who would pay good money to see that, but they don't live on this block. People, I can hear you pulling your blinds.) So I went about my business, and five minutes later I felt a whole new bite. This time I pulled my elastic waistband all the way out and something the hell shot out of there, past all the monkeys. I only got a brief glance but it looked like a skinny ant and it must have had wings or a ripcord. I still don't know what it was or what it was doing in my pants.

I haven't ruled out an earwig. I hear they seek out dark cracks and crevices. So.

And I still couldn't see any visible signs of a bite. Until the next whole day, when a giant red patch showed up with a purple bruise around it. And another one in the second spot.

Thank goodness. You don't want to get bit on the butt and have nothing to show for it. No one on the block wants to look, but Dave did. He has to. It's a for-better-or-for-worse thing. It's his job.

34 comments:

  1. I tried to help by googling "stinging biting looks like an earwig" and I came up with "Firebrat" which is a cool name that sounds like it would do such a thing. Twice. And then escape. I hope your tushie gets all better. Have Dave check it regularly.

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    1. Thanks for the laugh - "check regularly"!

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    2. The earwig, although ordinarily crawly, apparently can fly fast for a short burst if sufficiently exasperated. I'm going with earwig.

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    3. Only the males bite. The females don't even have the pincers.

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  2. Hahaha! "You don't want to get bit on the butt and have nothing to show for it" made my day, I suppose it's like a hickey (or whatever they call 'em these days) for the garden crowd! :^)

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    1. It's kind of the opposite of having bruises that people inquire about but you have no idea why they're there.

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  3. Could it have been a small wasp? Some can be quite tiny and look very much like small flies or flying ants. (Bruce Mohn probably would know, if he weighs in on this.)

    Late last summer, I was taking out some compost to the pile, when I suddenly felt a VERY painful jab on my back. I swatted at it, but it just moved to another area of my back and jabbed me again. I got scared, as the jabs were quite painful, so I dropped my compost bucket, took off my tank top (fortunately I was wearing a bra underneath it) and ran down the driveway screaming and swatting around with my tank top. The wasp, freed from its tank top prison, did NOT take off like a free wasp. No. It kept coming at me as if I deliberately trapped it and must be killed. Hence the waving of my tank top and screaming. I made it to the back door, managing to evade my attacker. The welts he left were both very painful for a few DAYS. Not like mosquitoes, which itch an hour or so and are gone. Not like spiders, which itch, may hurt a little, then are gone in a day or two.

    It was the most painful prick I ever felt, and that includes when I lost my virginity! I gauge pain levels by wasp stings now.

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    1. Better than that other thing! I'll bet your neighbors quit looking, too.

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    2. Whoa, didn’t realize I was the go-to ID dude for insects in places they shouldn’t be. Makes me regret not taking that exterminator job... I really don’t have an idea based on Murr’s description. Earwigs can pinch and do have wings, but they are vestigial, at least the ones I’m familiar with. So I’m guessing that if you noticed it had wings as it shot from your pants that it wasn’t an earwig. Also earwigs deliver a mechanical pinch, which really shouldn’t produce a welt, bruise or mark. At least not the ones here in NJ! I’m guessing it was something with a stinger, like a flying ant, wasp or bee.

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  4. One of those tiny wasps perhaps? I live in the woods just so that I can pull my pants down and check out stuff.

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    Replies
    1. Take the wasps out of the sentence altogether, and you have yourself a very nice short story there: "I live in the woods just so that I can pull my pants down and check out stuff."

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  5. "So." Cracked me up. One word and I'm all peepants laughing.

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  6. I’ll bet you were delicious, tho maybe slightly hoppy.

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  7. Ouch. Ants fang me (or spin around) too often. And it brings me up in spectacular welts. I am wondering why bruised butt checker isn't included in standard vows. It is SUCH an important role.

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    Replies
    1. You also have to lance boils. That hasn't come up yet, but I did stitch up Dave's hand once.

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  8. I had an ear wig incident while a passenger in the car my husband was driving. We were in heavy traffic, something was inside my shirt. I had my shirt and bra off in a nanosecond, yelling loudly. My husband did his usual no reaction. He was used to my wild reactions to insects inside clothing. It did take longer to get back into my clothes than to get out of them. He always admired my quick disrobing.

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    Replies
    1. SERIOUSLY, IS THIS EARWIG THING A REAL THING?

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  9. I had an ear wig incident while a passenger in the car my husband was driving. We were in heavy traffic, something was inside my shirt. I had my shirt and bra off in a nanosecond, yelling loudly. My husband did his usual no reaction. He was used to my wild reactions to insects inside clothing. It did take longer to get back into my clothes than to get out of them. He always admired my quick disrobing.

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  10. The very word, “earwig” just make me shiver. Crawling in my EAR? Ahhhhhg!

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  11. Dealing with bedbugs again here. I'm getting the house heat-treated. No wonder more people are eating insects for protein: it's revenge.

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  12. I'm in the tropics so not much help. Ice is my best suggestion, but then, people might think I mean a euphenism for a Class A drug...

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    1. I think ice in the trousers, properly placed, might be very interesting.

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  13. I hate when that happens. I had a similar incident on the ay to the shops a couple of days ago, a fearful sting up in the shoulder region so I put my hand inside my T shirt and scratched off a layer of skin only to find the same thing happen on the way home, with more scratching on my part. I turned that T inside out when I got home and checked every seam and the entire neckband and found nothing. If I'd been in the garden it would have been ants for sure. They jump off the trees and down the back of my collar. I almost need a Hazmat suit out there.

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    Replies
    1. I am of the opinion that nothing should jump off of trees and onto me.

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    Replies
    1. But can you help with earwigs?

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    2. Thesis? We just talk about this shit (primarily, actual shit, but sometimes bugs) for fun. You know what fun is? It's what one does when one doesn't do boring things like writing a thesis.

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  15. I once discovered an earwig in my drinking straw in a most unpleasant manner.

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