Having spent last weekend camping at Wanee, today’s Memory Lane Monday is about camping. A couple of years ago, S and I took a weekend trip to Warren Haynes’ annual Mountain Jam festival. It took place on Hunter Mountain, a ski resort in New York. Our camp site was on a ski slope, resulting in a strange sliding sensation while we were sleeping – which turned out to be us sliding down the mountain and waking up crumpled in a heap in the corner of our tent. Many delightful things happened on that trip, including non-stop pouring rain and a blow-out on the New Jersey turnpike, but this is about how the camping trip caused me to once again embarrass myself at work.
When I woke up on Sunday in a pile at the bottom of our piece of the mountain, my stomach was itching like crazy. I figured I had a couple of bug bites – we were sleeping outside, after all. We packed up our stuff in the downpour and made our slow and laborious way off Hunter Mountain. When I changed into dry clothes in the car, I noticed that my stomach was covered with little red bumps. I held onto the bug bite theory but started getting nervous.
We got home about 944 hours later. I went to take a shower. There were bites all over my body – torso, thighs, inner arms, everywhere. I’m squirmy just thinking about it.
I went to work the next morning, still itchy and scratchy, but certain that I was just the victim of hungry bugs attacking in the tent. That is, until my head started itching. Like crazy. Like I wanted to rip out my hair and run the tines of a fork across my scalp. As I scratched my head, it dawned on me that I had lice. I had gotten lice while camping in the woods on the side of a mountain and brought it with me to work. My staff was going to have to shave their heads, and lice would spread to the guestrooms of the hotel, causing us to get terrible reviews on TripAdvisor and go out of business. I ran into my GM’s office and made up something – I can’t remember what – I think I told her I had a terrible rash. Went to the drug store, bought two lice kits, showered, de-loused, showered, de-loused, washed all items in house, showered, and de-loused again.
Woke up in the morning. Bumps were worse. S went on the Interwebs to diagnose me, and came back with this: I had gotten scabies from the dirty East Coast hippies at the show, and now they were burrowing around under my skin, making babies and offal. [Insert horrified scream here.] I had to go to the doctor’s office, where I presumed that they would, like, burn off my skin and then pour bleach all over me. But worse than that, I had to call in to work with scabies. Yep, that’s right, I had to call in dirty.
At which point my boss said something like, “Was this a Woodstock-type festival?”
Turns out, I only had hives, and I will thank Warren Haynes for that for the rest of my life. Eww, my head itches.