The front door burst open, startling me. My 4 year old daughter ran in holding her eye and crying in obvious pain. I pulled her hand away and cringed at the red, swollen mess I beheld. It looked like she had been punched. I started searching for the culprit asking her who had done it. “Grammy.” she said.
I held her at arms length, so I could gaze into her good eye. “Are you saying that Grammy punched you in the eye?”
“No, it was bubbles.” she sobbed.
“Well, who the hell is bubbles?” I asked starting to feel a little confused. Fortunately, her brother Logan entered and told me that she had gotten bubble soap in her eye at Grammy’s house.
Immediately my protective impulse went back to Defcon 2, and I helped Deleya rinse her afflicted eye with cool water. As the stinging in her eye ebbed, and my blood pressure returned to normal, I contemplated the various hazards of summer.
There’s a mosquito in my nose
Far worse than having a fly in your soup, flying insects have a tendency to get sucked into a nostril with alarming frequency. My theory is that soup, being somewhat scarce in the heat of summer, leaves the creepy little fliers hunting for a substitute. When you come along, grunting and sweating, chasing a frisbee; the little fellers can’t help but notice the inviting warmth of your schnoz.
We’ve all seen and experienced this many times before: a person stops mid-stride, snorting and swatting toward their face. They might cough and sneeze while jamming a finger into one nostril or another. The mystery of it all, however, is that no one ever recovers an insect. One can only assume it has found some interior pool where it is lazily doing a backstroke and contemplating the laying of eggs.
Closely related to the insect in the nose is the bumblebee-to-the-skull phenomenon. This is generally experienced by the subset of summer-goers who ride in the open air: motorcycles, convertibles, jeeps and bicycles. I suspect the striped kamikazes may be aiming for a nostril and miscalculate. I also believe the impact causes lasting psychological damage. For instance: many motorcyclists often grow greasy goatees and purchase full body leathers contrary to previous personal styles. Obvious conclusion: slight brain damage from insect concussion.
Carnivorous bodies of water
Be it lake, river, stream, ocean or pond; no body of water is to be trusted. They covet your belongings and consume them in an insatiable manner. I know the Salmon River wears my beloved Oakleys when I am not looking, and Williams Lake sports a Pittsburgh Steelers hat on occasion. Tubers, rafters, skiers and the like all have similar stories. They get a far-away, haunted look in their eye at every retelling. A story of personal loss at the hands of a seeming harmless body of water.
The only ward against this travesty is value. Like a teenager, the rivers and lakes desire only expensive and branded items. Dust off your knock-off sunglasses and convenience store ball caps. Anything worth only a few dollars will survive the watery abyss without fail. It’s as if the oceans and streams appraise the items we wear.
Always be vigilant. As you sit smugly secure with a Croakie securing your Walmart sunglasses, the river is lubricating your ring finger with slippery silt and fish slime. Tendrils of sea foam tease the security of the ziploc that houses your iphone. The rock that you set your camera on, for just a moment, is a vile consort to the covetous waters.
As I comfort my daughter, a shiver runs down my spine. The chill, I recall, is because my head is bare. My nose twitches as I remember the fluttering tickle in my nostril. Are there larvae incubating in the warm, moist corners of my upper respiratory passages? Bubble soap in your eye may severely suck, as do the other hazards of summer, but Idaho doesn’t. BEWARE. (And get a Croakie.)