Baseball, Parasites and Politicians

Spring is now in its second month already. The regular baseball season is following close behind.

My favorite teams, the Phillies and Yankees, are playing exceptionally well thus far, looking like contenders for the Fall Classic again.

On this past Thursday, while tromping around Neshaminy State Park in Eddington, PA, or Sarobia—as it was formerly known—I got down on my knees at one point to photograph wildflowers, walked through tall grass and vegetation, hiked in the woods along the Delaware River, sat on large rocks by the shoreline, and brushed up against many trees and bushes.

One harbinger of the season, unfortunately, is the appearance of ticks, living in all the areas just described. I predict the vampiric insects are going to be a dreadful nuisance for this Mother Nature’s son, more so than in previous years.

Once in the car after the woodland activities, I found two ticks had nested in my hair, fortunately before their digging into my scalp or other fleshy parts. A couple of years ago, one was implanted in my right buttock, found in the shower, stirring up a large dose of paranoia on my part about catching Lyme disease and tick fever.

That didn’t happen. Had to use a mirror to inspect the area of the bite to make sure a bulls-eye formation didn’t show up, feeling rather silly doing so.

Upon my arrival home from Sarobia, I disrobed and checked my body for the nasty nits and hopped into the shower. That evening, every little itch and sensation had me looking for ticks. I found another one in my hair.

How it survived the deluge from the shower nozzle and shampooing earlier is another of life’s mysteries. That one had not adhered to my head yet, thank goodness.

Yesterday, I hung out along the Delaware Riverbank in Bristol, PA, sitting on my favorite boulder, hoping to photograph the bald eagles who live across the way in Burlington Island, NJ.

The male flew around a few times, but he kept himself up high, soaring with the helicopters that passed by. Got a few shots also of some other birds and critters thereabout.

Last night while editing the pictures taken that day, I remained paranoid about every little tactile stimulus to my skin and scalp, once again having shed my clothes from the afternoon and inspecting myself for ticks.

After the continual scratching of my noggin, I found another one was lounging in my hair, plucking it out, examining the arachnid before flushing it down the toilet unceremoniously after determining the parasite was a dreaded deer tick, the one which carries the various bacterium aforementioned.

I don’t think the tiny bloodsucker had lodged itself. Anyway, it’s very rare that Lyme disease is contracted by a tick attached for less that 36 to 48 hours, according to my paranoiac search of the Internet about the topic.

Still the thought lingers. I was even wearing my Phillies’ hat yesterday, thinking it would be a deterrent for homesteading invertebrates.

Maybe I should get a buzz cut for this year’s tick season, to be able to notice them quickly before they anchor themselves; either that, or stay out of the woods, but neither of those preventive measures is going to prevail.


I’ll just have to be prudent, remain on the paths, and not on my knees photographing flowers in the brush, and to inspect myself constantly for evidence of those parasitic pests. That sort of takes the fun out of it, don’t you think?


Deer Tick

Lastly, as a followup to the previous post, the U.S. Congress, in its habitually procrastinate fashion, approved a one-week spending bill yesterday at virtually the last minute: another stopgap measure to prevent the government from partially shutting down on the 100th day of President Trump’s administration (today), prolonging the agony until next Friday.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could draft personal legislation to push off our obligations when they become due, like the mortgage payment, car payment, rent, utilities, whatever?

I’m sure the banks would love it if we notified them about an approved bill by our households, extending the deadline for another week or two before we send in the payment. How about our landlords, or utility companies such as Verizon, Comcast and AT&T? What do you think their reactions would be?

Will our government remain open past next Friday? Will another short-term, stopgap measure be approved? That’s left to be seen.

Here’s hoping our elected officials put aside partisanship, do the right thing for their constituents, and at least fund the federal government for the remaining fiscal year, ending in September.

OK, that’s enough politics for this tirade. Those from other countries who read my rants don’t care about the lackadaisical nature in which the U.S. legislators conduct their business. They’ve got their own politicians to worry about. Many citizens from this country don’t even seem to care as well.

Thanks as always for your continued support. Go Phils and Yankees!

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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2 Responses to Baseball, Parasites and Politicians

  1. Every time I turn around, I read something that refuels my paranoia. This time it’s about a new virus being spread by deer ticks: I’m starting to itch all over again. And incidentally, kudos to Congress for coming up with a funding bill that will keep the government functioning completely until September.

  2. As a follow-up, I’d like to add that the Phillies have nose-dived and are no longer contenders as far as I’m concerned. The Yanks are still a powerhouse.

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