Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ticked off

Our girls are grossed out by many things — spiders, when a sister chews with her mouth open, most cooked vegetables — but there’s one thing they really hate: Ticks.
Unfortunately for them, we have a dog. A dog that likes to walk in grass and weeds. And we all know what ticks like to do when a dog walks through their neighborhood — hitch a ride.
It must be tick season, because our dog seems to be hosting a tick convention on his back. For the past few weeks, we’ve found a number of the little blood-suckers either on him or lounging nearby.
A recent tick sighting at the Huffman house went something like this:
“Ewwwwwwwww,” Daughter No. 1 howled. “What is that?”
“It’s a TICK,” Daughter No. 2 screamed.
“A tick?” yelped Daughter No. 3.
“Mooooommmmm!” they all yelled.
This is Dad’s clue to go buy a tick treatment called Frontline. The Frontline box is covered in all kinds of deadly warnings. Apparently just one drop of this poison is enough to exterminate an entire generation of the evil bugs.
Any tick hanging out on a dog treated with Frontline should write his tick will, make peace with his tick maker and say his tick prayers. He’s not long for this warm, furry world.
Within a day or two, the ticks start dropping from the dog. Finding a Frontline victim is not a pretty sight. For some reason, the tick swells up in a squishy purply-black ball.
When one of the girls finds such a tick, it’s like they’re witnessing the end of the world.
“It’s a tick and it looks like a grape!” they yell, while dancing around doing the heebee-jeebees.
They’ll go on and on about how gross it is, but they won’t stop looking at the tick, which only makes them wail even louder about how “disgusting” it is.
I don’t need to stare at a dead tick. I simply grab a big wad of paper towels, scoop it up and toss it in the trash. Then take out the trash immediately because ticks have something like 19 lives and they seem to find a way to crawl out of the trash in search of another warm body.
There’s only one thing worse than finding a tick on your dog or the floor. Finding one on your kid’s head.
If you do find a tick has clamped onto your child, do not panic. Do not scream in horror. Do not announce loudly, “You have a tick!”
Look at your spouse and mouth “She has a tick,” while pointing at her head and making a scrunchy “ewwwwww” face.
Some people get rid of a tick by drowning it in rubbing alcohol, burning it with a match tip or coating it with Vaseline. I’m not sure if any of these actually work. I just grab it with a pair of tweezers and yank the sucker off.
After that, we can drop it on the floor and let the dancing begin.


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