Monday, December 31, 2007

"Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite"

Hoo boy. If you're like me and have perused the web endlessly for news on bed bugs, you've no doubt read "Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite" ad nauseam by clueless reporters who no doubt assume they are the first to ever use this adage in an article involving bed bugs. I am quite sick of hearing this saying in news stories about bed bugs, and I have no doubt in my mind that 2008 will be full of news stories that contain "Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite" in the lead paragraph if not the headline.

I came upon a news story about colonial America that actually tells from where this notorious adage originates. It's from the Norwell Mariner/Patriot Ledger in Marshfield, Massachusetts. The article focuses on MA state Senator Robert Hedlund, who accompanied a class of fifth graders on their field trip to a New England colonial museum. Apparently Marshfield is a microscopically sleepy town or this article was the byproduct of an extraordinarily slow news day. In any case, the origin of the phrase is revealed in the following quote:

It was later learned that colonists often had to cope with bed bugs because mattresses were made of straw; bed supports were tightened with a special device: hence the expression, “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.”-Mary Ford, "Oldest Fifth-grader Joins School Field Trip"
The fact offers some perspective when you consider all the technological advancements made since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620, and despite all these advancements we still itch for the same reason the Pilgrims did. The bed bugs must've annoyed the hell out of the Native Americans.

Happy New Year, by the way. Next month will be the second birthday of Bugged Out.

Speaking of New Year, do any native New Yorkers actually go to Times Square anymore to watch the ball drop? It was all the rage when I was a kid, and by the time I was old enough to go by myself (since no adult I knew was interested in going), the whole hanging out at Times Square got real lame, especially after 9/11 when security was beefed up and everything from liquid containers (no booze?!?) to backpacks were banned from the area during the New Year's Party.

As far as I know, most New Yorkers attend private New Year's parties where they are free to eat, drink, smoke, snort, inject and swallow whatever the hell they want without being hassled by the fuzz. Times Square at New Year's is for squares, a.k.a. tourists. Let them be herded like cattle into a potential terrorist target area.

So be sure to stock on the alcohol tomorrow, especially if you have bed bugs. And for those who don't have bed bugs, you are cordially invited to my house for a slumber party! Then you can go home and watch your furniture and your sanity disappear.


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