Two things that suck

Remember a couple of years ago, when there were all those public service announcements on radio and TV about how it’s dangerous to drive around while talking on your cell phone? Boy, those really resonated with America, didn’t they?

The reality of that particular campaign’s ultimate doom was driven home for me the other day on McCarran Blvd. The driver ahead of me was on her phone, the woman behind me was on hers, and the guy next to me was on his. The new reality is this—Dammit, we wanna talk on the phone! Which means, at any given time, millions of us will be driving at an attention level the equivalent of a drunk with a blood alcohol reading of 0.12. Deal with it! And good luck.

• • •

Everybody is expecting this summer to be (1) long and (2) hot. As if summer around here would ever be (1) short and (2) cool. That means many of you will, sooner or later, be heading up to the high hills of the Sierra to beat the heat. You may encounter a certain creature that wants to meet you because it wants to suck on you. No, I’m not talking about a sultry employee of a new bordello in Downieville. I’m talking about ticks. I just got through pulling one off my calf after taking a hike in the high desert east of Cedarville.

There is all this misinformation out there about the best way to deal with a tick once you discover that he’s dug into your flesh. I know, I know, there are all these folksy stories about how people back ticks out by puttin’ match heads to their ass or forcing them out by smothering them in Vaseline. That’s all well and good, and I’m sure the success anecdotes with these methods absolutely abound, but every professional medical person I’ve seen online says the totally proper way to deal with these bloodthirsty little farts is to pull them out with tweezers. Just grab it with the tweezers as close as you can to your skin, and then slowly and steadily pull it out. Don’t try to burn it out or suffocate it with your sex lube. And try to resist the urge to yank it out with your teeth. It’s real simple. Tweezers. Only tool you need. If you pull out a tiny tad of meat along with the bug, that’s good. That means you got his evil pestilatious head.

So if you’re gonna backpack or just dayhike in the Sierra this summer, be sure to carry some tweezers. Yes, there are a few cases of Lyme disease reported every year in northeastern California. Nevada ain’t exempt. Annually, Washoe County racks up 1 to 15 cases. And don’t forget to have tick check every night you’re up there in the high country. Ain’t nothin’ hotter than you and your sweetie browsing each other like a couple of baboons lookin’ for nits.