Back to the Black-Hole Closet!


Early-autumn scenery yesterday on North Delaware Avenue at the waterfront in Philly.

‘Twas hot and sticky for the majority of the past week, but the furnace went on for the first time this evening since early last May. Autumn appears to have taken effect. What a relief it is that the torrid weather has subsided, cooling down in a hurry yesterday as a cold front moved into the area, chasing away whatever remnants of Tropical Storm Michael were left, sending him out to sea.

It’s cool to have a hurricane named after you, isn’t it? Yet, the devastation that followed its path was not.

Now the weatherman says frost may be likely overnight tonight. Instead of lounging around the apartment in skivvies and t-shirts, this weekly journalist is wearing his black hoodie over a polo shirt and gym pants, topped with an official Philadelphia Eagles cap. Go Birds!

The Yankees made it to the second round of the playoffs for the American League championship, eliminated by Boston, retiring both the team and my baseball cap for another season, sending the hat to the black-hole closet with my Phillies’ chapeau, and the Yanks back to the Bronx until next spring.


Two black eyes for me from this year’s baseball season!

The Cubs didn’t make it past the initial round or the wildcard playoff for the National League championship, beaten by Colorado, who in turn were knocked out of contention by Milwaukee. The Dodgers outlasted the Braves and are now tied with the Brewers at a game apiece for the league championship.

Houston beat Cincinnati in their series, and is playing the first game of the deciding series for the American League title tonight, leading Boston 2-0 in the bottom of the 4th inning at this point.

What, you say you don’t care for baseball? How dare you! OK, not everyone is into sports, so I’ll change the subject.

Getting back to talking about the weather then, I have to say a top-five favorite reason for liking the cool temperatures is the end of mosquitoes for another year. They killed me over the summer, along with poison ivy. I should buy stock in calamine lotion.

Went to Rancocas Nature Center in New Jersey on this past Tuesday, which was hot as July and August, my raising a massive sweat by just standing still in the humid marshland that comprises the Rancocas State Park, situated between two branches of the creek for which the woods are named. I had to leave not even an hour after arriving, from getting eaten alive metaphorically by the nasty, bloodthirsty nits, even while wearing bug repellent.


Mosquito, about to attack a cabbage white butterfly.

How bad were they? As the picture above shows, the giant, midge-like insects were so voracious, they even went after butterflies for their colorless blood.

By the way, the photo was a lucky shot. I couldn’t have gotten a picture of a mosquito if I were trying; however, such a multitude was around that one had been captured digitally, unbeknownst to me, during my short stay at the nature center.

Ever wonder why some people are never bothered by them, and others like myself are mosquito magnets? Having researched the Web for an answer to that, I found the following reasons for the vampire bugs’ enticement:

  • Carbon Dioxide from exhaled breath acts like a dinner bell for nearby mosquitoes, alerting them a tasty meal is nearby.
  • Sweat which contains lactic and uric acids attracts the buggers.
  • Type-O Blood seems to be the snack of choice compared to types A and B.
  • Dark skin and dark-colored clothes reportedly draw the nits like flies on…, well, you know what I mean. The reason is for the heat absorbed by the darker flesh and clothing, which is a mosquito turn-on.
  • Constant movement
  • Beer

Unfortunately for me, I fit the bill right down to my blood type. My big mouth spews out plenty of CO2, especially while hiking uphill. I wear dark-colored clothing usually. My skin is dark. Sweating is a typical and abundant occurrence in hot weather. While photographing, my movements fluctuate constantly and randomly. Lastly, I had a few beers on the night before.

At least I can now put away that bottle of Caladryl, store it in the black-hole closet with my baseball hats, mitt and ball until next spring.

Thanks for stopping by with your continued support. I need it.

Postscript: At the top of the 9th inning, Houston is blasting Boston—the home team—by a score of 7 to 2.

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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1 Response to Back to the Black-Hole Closet!

  1. P.P.S: Houston now leads the American League championship series one game to none.

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