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Friday, February 21, 2014

They Don't Make Just ANYone Wood Tick Inspector

We received another six inches of snow last night -- and of course, I delved further into my bag of let's-just-think-about-summer tricks...


You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I am both a mixture of appearing to be gullible and actually being gullible.  That is, while possessing a look that causes some men to apologize after swearing, I also, apparently, have the kind of face that says “See if she’ll make change for a $24 bill.”

Change for a $24?  Sure!  Now all we have to do is decide if you’d rather have four sixes or two twelves…

Seems I’ve always been gullible.  Take, for example, the weekend after my brother and I saw ”Jaws” seven times.  Nothing like a relaxing weekend at the lake!  Nothing like it until one hears one's brother screamed insistence to “Swim, Pearl!  Swim!  Killer Muskie!  Killer Muuuuuuuuuuskie!”, causing me to paddle like something out of a Keystone Kops reel, complete with rolling eyes and double-takes.  Convinced that a seven-foot Muskellunge was preparing to strip the flesh from my lower legs, I swam as if I were being paid to do so.

Kevin laughed until he took on water.

Being gullible is what also led me, at the age of 16, to boast that my boyfriend was a “bikini inspector”.

What could I do?  The card he presented clearly said “Licensed Bikini Inspector”.

And for those of you keeping score at home, yes, my swimsuit passed. 

So when the man in the dirty tee-shirt showed up at the bus stop Tuesday morning, I was skeptical.  Sure, he presented all the proper identification you’d expect to see in a North American Wood Tick Inspector, but something about his lurching, hiccupping appearance just prior to the 6:24 bus made me skeptical.

Still.  North American Wood Tick Inspector.  You gotta respect a working man, am I right? 

I hand his credentials back to him.  “So you’re just in the neighborhood?”

“Thazz righ’,” he says, his heavily lidded eyes closing for disturbing lengths of time.  “I wuz over at – hic! – Mayslack’s lazz nigh’ an’ sure enough diddin I fin’ wood ticks?”  He pauses.  “You been up to Mayslack’s?”

“Of course,” I say.  “This is my neighborhood.”

“So then you know Debbie?”

“No.”

“Patti?”

“No.”

“Gina?”

“No.”

“Lori?”

I play along.  “I know Lori,” I say.  “Everyone knows Lori.”

“Well there ya go,” he says.  “You as’ Lori ‘bou’ me.  As’ her ‘bou’ the Wood Tick man.  I check her last night an’ pronounce her wood-tick free.  Now wha’ ‘bou’ you?  Don’ you wanna be pornoun – pronann – declared wood-tick free?”

Man but I love this guy.

“I sure do!” I enthuse.  I look down the street and see the bus is turning the corner.  I pause in my search for my wallet.  I mean, come on, right?  Wood tick inspections aren’t free!  And even if they are, I’m going to want to tip him.  Now what do you suppose one normally tips the Wood Tick Inspector…

The bus pulls up and the doors open.  I step up onto my regular bus, where the driver greets me as he does every morning.  “Beautiful day!”

I smile at him and turn to watch the North American Wood Tick Inspector weave his way away from the bus stop and down Broadway.

It is a beautiful day.

35 comments:

Shelly said...

Wood tick inspections...I remember a snipe hunt (yes, I am that stupid) at a long ago summer camp...well, the details are best left obscured by time. But the tick inspector guy? He does sound legit.

And I'm so sorry, but I am compelled to tell you we were in the flippin' 90's yesterday. I was ready to pull out a bikini or some such water wear and head to the beach.

Pearl said...

Shelly, the 90s? Like, an internal body temperature? :-) Honestly, we'll be there by July -- and by that time, I will have forgotten what this particular view of the world looks like...

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Once I answered the phone while working at the bar and then yelled out, "Call for Mike Ratch?--Anyone here know Mike Ratch?"
So yeah, I know too well that gullible feeling.

joeh said...

I am also gulible, but I am pretty sure all my wood ticks are just fine and don't need to be inspected.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

My momma had to pick ticks out of my head every night since I played in the woods every day. Good times.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I do believe there should be an international society for the preservation and support of gullible people. (Not that it would actually DO anything... other than collect our dues.)

Pearl said...

Green Girl, oh, there ain't nothing like the classics!

joeh, that's not what your ticks are saying. :-)

Optimistic, Oooh, that reminds me of the stray dog that my sister and I came across. Another story for another day...

Susan, that's perfect!

Steve said...

I had an eye tick once. A little Visine helped.

Delores said...

I think if I was going to inspect something it would probably be donuts or pizza or chips.....Not so much looking and a lot more tasting (I mean testing).

Mitchell is Moving said...

Did you get his card? I've been trying to hire a North American Wood Tick Inspector. We only have Spanish Wood Tick Inspectors here. (Also, I always thought it was Debbie that everyone knew.)

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I have reached the conclusion that one of the reasons I am indelibly single is because the wool just will nae be pulled ower these een.

Now that leaves me open like the duck sitting... YAM xx

Daisy said...

Hmmm,I don't know. I think I'd want to see his diploma or something first. :-)

Elephant's Child said...

Love it. And love the saviour bus too.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Oh, the interesting people you meet at bus stops.

Buttons said...

Oh Pearl who could not love your gullability and I don't know how to spell it but you get me right? right? I certainly love it that and your generousity (Pretty sure the red line for wrong spelling is just for that Canadian thing OK):)HUGS B

Sioux's Page said...

Does he have a cousin who is a freckle-counter?

I need one of THOSE...

Roshni AaMom said...

The Bikini Inspector is a new one!! Um....what exactly does that entail?!! :D

Susan Williams said...

You're a better woman than I am, my Pearl.

Laoch of Chicago said...

This truly has been a gruesome winter. One of my cats stuck his paw out the door to touch the snow, made a face and said, "Oh no,not this cat."

vanilla said...

You missed your inspection? Coulda missed the bus, you know.

vanilla said...

You missed your inspection? Coulda missed the bus, you know.

vanilla said...

You missed your inspection? Coulda missed the bus, you know.

NotesFromAbroad said...

swell, you had to remind me that with summer comes ticks and bugs. swell.

Jen said...

Oh, my. Men! Grr.

The Purple Assassin. said...

Summer thoughts! Makes me wonder!

Jackie said...

You are a good-hearted lady, my friend....
I'm still smiling at Kevin's brotherly teasing...at the beach.
You are a tremendous writer.
But, I bet you already knew both of these things....
Hugs,
J.

Rose L said...

You passed!!!!??
Well, the licensed bikini inspector would give me a rating of 4F.

River said...

Wood tick inspector? Is that similar to manufacturer of left handed screwdrivers?

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Pearl,

We have found you via the delicious Miss Scarlet and what a joy you are!

We have to admit to trying to avoid inspectors of whatever kind since they invariably, in our experience, come with a price tag attached by way of fines or expenses that one had never bargained for. So, our advice would be to dodge the wood tick inspector whatever....surely death watch beetle man will be coming round soon....

We are signed up as Followers and to find us...well, we are only a click away.

Pat Tillett said...

I've had a lot of jobs, but I never saw that one in the help wanted ads.

Pearl, you as funny as can be!

Diane Tolley said...

Yep. My bikini never passed inspection. Lost it, my first flip into the pool. Oh THAT was a good day . . .

Linda O'Connell said...

Well now that's a new one! Your lucky you hiked your self up those stairs before he tried to hike...

Haddock said...

Reminds me of the olden days and those tick combs.

The Geezers said...

Man, I like this story. I wish I had thought of this back when I was 20 years old, 'cause girls were REALLY gullible back then.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Wow, that's a pretty specialized field. Must have been your lucky day, Pearl! What a relief, huh?