Chick Wit: Fleas join the house party

Posted: November 25, 2013

It's time you knew I had fleas.

As if I weren't single enough.

Apparently, being single is like being broke. You don't think you can get broker than broke, but you can.

Just ask the government.

Oh. Wait. They're closed.

Oh, sorry. They're open again.

Phew.

Anyway, it's not my fault I have fleas, it's my dogs' fault. As you may know, I have five dogs: Ruby the Crazy Corgi, dysfunctional couple Little Tony and Ms. Peach, and bromantic puppies Boone and Kit.

I don't know which dog is to blame for our fleas and have questioned them repeatedly, but none of them is confessing.

Boone and Kit have asked for a lawyer.

Peach and Tony blame the cats.

Ruby claims it's a conspiracy, but that's how corgis think. Paranoia is an occupational hazard for herding dogs, and let's be real, you never know when there's a wolf hiding around the corner to kill your sheep.

People, corgis are here to tell you. Keep an eye on your sheep.

I started noticing that the dogs were scratching a few months ago, or maybe it was last year. The thing about having a flea problem is that when you have it, you don't even remember your life before fleas. It's like life before the Internet, happy and quiet.

We were happy, right?

I never had a flea problem before, so when it first happened, I denied it. I simply pretended it wasn't happening. This isn't hard to do if you just look the other way.

Until you start itching.

And then you want to burn your house down.

Seriously, when I found a flea on my leg, I couldn't wash my dogs fast enough. I had them in the tub every other day. I started out with the organic, all-natural flea shampoo, but when that didn't work, I segued into something radioactive.

Sometimes a girl needs a good pyrethrin.

And whoever banned DDT should be shot.

Just kidding.

Because the thing about a flea problem is that it doesn't mean washing only the dogs. It means washing your clothes, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, comforters, and any blankets on the chairs. It means the washing machine is running continuously and the rugs are being vacuumed constantly.

You may be wondering why this is so, and it's because fleas have a life cycle.

By the way, if you happen to be eating while you're reading this, you should either stop eating or stop reading, because what follows will disgust you.

The bottom line is that if you have a flea problem, you are going to wish you listened in biology. You need to know about fleas, eggs, pupas, and larvae.

Disgusting.

Larvae is not a word you want in your life.

Much less in your bed.

By the way, larvae is the plural. I don't know what the singular is, and believe me, it doesn't matter. My experience with larvae is that there is never just one.

That's how larvae think.

They travel together, like wolves. Only you're the sheep.

See? Ruby is right again.

The most fun part of a flea problem is that you actually turn into a corgi, ever watchful, always on guard. I inspect myself constantly to make sure none of my moles are jumping.

I'm always combing through the dogs' fur with my fingers, in every nook and cranny. They told me they feel molested.

I scrutinize my sheets for telltale black dots, which are called flea dirt. Actually, the vet called it flea dirt, so I assumed that it was dirt that fell off of fleas. But when I came home and looked it up online, I found out that it was actually flea poop.

First, who knew that fleas poop?

Second, disgusting.

See what I mean?

There is no bottom to any of this. Just when you thought it was as disgusting as it can get, it gets more disgusting.

Just ask the government.


Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella's most recent collection of humorous essays is "Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim." Look for Lisa's new novel, "Accused," in stores now.

lisa@scottoline.com.

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