Cultural Imperialist

"Scathing Spats on Shallow Subjects"

 

Wed Jul 26

 

2017

 
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Bedbugs Newest Terror Threat

The bedbug, like heroin in the nineties, is coming back in a big way. It's a tiny creature, not quite a parasite and not quite a Dina or Michael Lohan, with the urge to thrill you while you sleep, leaving welts and scratches on your body like markings of an enthusiastic lover, or Megan Fox. With their will to live, their meteoric rise from the downtrodden ranks of last century's pests to this decade's number one hotel downgrader, and their perky political clout, bedbugs are antennae-down our Imperialist of the Week.

Bedbugs aren't known for loyalty or courage, but they are embued with an indomitable spirit; they were once considered the scourge of New York until they were nearly eradicated in the early 1900's. But you can't keep a good pest down, especially when you have a way of crawling into people's psyche's the same way Thomas Friedman crawled into position at the New York Times--using global warming.

Yes, while Friedman was praising China for its environmental friendly ghetto-squalor tenement housing boom and excoriating the West for buying too many Hummers, bedbugs were using the climate-change for their own ends: the complete and utter destruction of North American hotel sanitation pride.

And it's not just happening in New York. Every major city with an upscale hotel is infested with these tiny beings whose sole mission seems closely aligned with that of Al Quaeda and the Taliban, proving Code Red isn't just for fertilizer bombs and boxcutting suicidal Sunnis. Theirs is a war with no soldiers, only casualties, and the victims are the once clean, once well-minted pillows and 500-threadcount sheets of our nation's temporary homes on the road and tryst-tychs for affair-bound lovers. According to reports, Chicago could experience a New York sized problem in two or three years, and that's not even counting if Rahm Emanuel decides to run for mayor.

More attractive and deadlier than the vampires of Twilight, these bloodsuckers have a peak feeding period of an hour before sunrise; they drop upon their human victims as they sleep and in the cool darkness, suck upon the living tissue of their prey's skin, leaving a host of welts and sequential bite marks behind. When you check out, bedbugs check out with you, traveling with you and infesting every place you visit.

Their seeming omnipresence is merely the first of many characteristics of an infestation. Before long, you'll feel them crawling on you, your mind playing tricks on you. You'll clean your sheets, you'll burn your furniture, you'll even move. But unlike Keyser Söze, the best trick the bedbugs ever pulled was convincing you they're all around you and they're never going to leave.

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