Wednesday, May 23, 2012

complicated lives 32

The Redbugs are coming the Redbugs are coming!!

Did any of us redneck or southern children EVER escape ringworm or pinkeye? Oh better yet, how about lice or redbugs??

I had escaped ringworm, pink eye and lice until adulthood and working in a public school then later having my own child. But that's another entry entirely!!

Redbugs, however, I did not escape after one fateful church trip. The method of treatment for redbugs varied based on which civil war medicine school your Mama graduated from. There was soaking in a tub up to your neck, soaking in a tub up to your neck and spreading your face and hair with vaseline, covering each bump with nail polish, covering your whole body hair to toes with vaseline then soaking in a tub...all of the treatments involved suffocating the little suckers aside from Mama's. Mama had been of the school of thought that when you were in tall weeds you should be fully covered then scrub yourself when you got back paying special attention to "your seams" arm pits, groin, joints...etc...anywhere that limbs attached to the body or were bound by waist bands and such. This total coverage was to prevent, chiggers, ticks and stickers. I thought it was stupid then, but now I see the logic.
My Mama knew that you only had to wash really well to get rid of the little pests and wash your clothes in hot water. Friends tried convincing Mama that redbugs and chiggers were the same thing and that redbugs and chiggers would burrow under your skin and drink you to death. Therefore making suffocation the only option. After learning this "florida fact" Mama nearly packed me in bubble wrap! Logic ruled her day and she somehow stuck by the fact that chiggers were not evil burrowing eating machines but were easily evicted with a well placed bath despite the outcry of suffocation now, washing off never!! She staunchly refused to believe in redbugs. Even when she got what everyone termed redbugs following me while I peed in tall grass on a church trip with several friends. Shhhh tell no one!! It was a "nature hike"!! We found all sorts of nature. Even though the verdict was redbugs...Mama knew it was just chiggers. As all of us who were infested scratched and dug like flea infested yard dogs, Mama knew we'd all be cured after some honest skin layer losing scrubbing.

I was several shades of pink but delightfully redbug free while all my friends were oily, vaseline-y, nail polish dotted, or drowning in tubs. I was smugly chigger-free. Yay MAMA!!

No comments: