Notes From The Beach: What The Hell, Man?

Beach Feet

Not to be a crybaby here, but it’s so much worse than it looks.

I thought I had a good deal going with the beach. I’ll overpay for stupid fruity drinks, not complain that you haven’t added a lane to the one road you have in years despite the fact that you keep adding hotel rooms at an astonishing rate, not complain that you serve as a dumping ground for all the corked or baked wine in the southeast, not mind the rain, and all the beach has to do is not beset me with swarms of biting stealth sea mosquitos. I was wrong.

I honestly have no idea what happened. There was no moment of attack that I can remember. I only know that after a day when, due to rain and cooking, the only time I had to wander into the water was around 9pm. My wife and I took a stroll along the coast, letting the waves lap at our feet. The next day, I’ve got constellations of what I would have assumed were fire ant bites had I not known better.

In a way I’m kind of impressed. Whatever insectoid hive mind general led the campaign against my feet was careful to make sure that each toe was individually assaulted. I admire that kind of attention to detail.

My wife has a few on her legs, but no where near as many as me. My sister in-law was the hardest hit. She has these itchy little welts all over her feet, legs, and a few on her arms. In addition to my feet, I have three on my right hand and one on my left earlobe. They itch so damn much.

The thing is, we are down here with thirty or so people. Our beach base is a shared affair, six or so chairs and three umbrellas, and we swim in roughly the same areas together. Why did these wee little bastards single the three of us out and leave everyone else alone?

We’ve gone full on Forensic Files. When were we alone or separated from everyone else? What times did we swim together? Apart? Are we open to the possibility that this may have been a yellow fly attack? Mosquitoes prefer certain blood types. Is it possible that other little biting asshats do as well?

For the record, all three of us victims are O positive.

No matter what the eventual conclusion, assuming we conclude anything at all, I’m pissed at the beach.

I’m waking up at all hours of the night to apply more hydrocortisone in the very vain hope that the itching will stop. And while I’m on the subject, how is it that we have the discomfort of post bite itching, a discomfort that has plagued mankind on at least six of the seven continents since before we descended from the trees and the only answer that the combined one hundred and seven billion of us who are estimated to have ever lived is a steroid cream that for all intents and purposes is an enraging placebo?

I tend to laugh at Malthusians because they see human beings solely as a consumer of resources where I tend to see them as a problem solving source of inspiration. But my feet really itch and I know I’m not the first. What gives?

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