This just in from Raymond: “I’m allergic to blackflies.”

This is what Raymond won't be doing this coming weekend: outdoors work in the Manse's yard. But he sure worked hard during our big cleanup the last time we were there, which is when I took this photo.

This is what Raymond won’t be doing (because of the blackflies) this coming weekend: outdoors work in the Manse’s yard. But he sure worked hard during our big cleanup the last time we were there, which is when I took this photo.

Tonight I was going to leave off the blackfly theme of the past two posts (here and here) and write about – well, you’ll have to wait for another day to find out.

Oh, all right. Hasenpfeffer.

But I’m putting the Hasenpfeffer on hold because I have breaking news to share. I have just learned something from Raymond that keeps the blackflies-at-the-Manse saga alive. He is – wait for it – allergic to them.

As he just announced (rather offhandedly, actually) to me a few minutes ago while he was watching Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo report the Boston Red SoxTampa Bay Rays game (Red Sox 8, Rays 2) on his iPad.

To which I said: WHAT?!?!?!?!?

Because contrary to my hopes that the cold spell would have knocked this year’s blackfly crop out, and my (possibly delusional) insistence that the blackflies in Queensborough have never been all that bad anyway, there seems to be some pretty solid evidence (see comments here and here) that the blackflies are not only out, but out in force, at the moment. This very evening our Queensborough friend Marykay reported that she was outside watering her plants, “not in my Darth Vader gear [protective hats and other stuff] and they are terrible!!!”

It was when I was reading aloud that rather alarming comment to Raymond a few minutes ago that he casually informed me that he is allergic to blackflies. Good lord.

Regular readers will know that the reason Raymond and I have been waging fierce battle against wasps at the Manse is that he is allergic to them, too. Deathly allergic, basically; a wasp sting means he must get to the ER very, very quickly. (Needless to say, EpiPens are at the ready when we are in Queensborough. And this potentially fatal allergy is another reason why I think there should be a hospital emergency room in central Hastings County.)

But until about the third inning tonight I was blissfully unaware that he is allergic to blackflies too. And this as we’re about to spend the Victoria Day long weekend in what people in Queensborough seem to be suggesting is Blackfly Central!

Fortunately, Raymond’s blackfly allergy is nowhere near as severe as his wasp allergy. Blackfly bites make him puff up a lot, that’s all – he says. But still, this is going to mean there won’t be a lot of outdoors time for Raymond this weekend.

Especially because he is the biggest bug magnet I have ever seen. He and I can be sitting outdoors for half an hour and I won’t even have noticed that there are bugs – blackflies or mosquitoes or whatever – and will be utterly unscathed. And Raymond will have bites all over.

That’s what it is to be sweet, I guess.

6 thoughts on “This just in from Raymond: “I’m allergic to blackflies.”

  1. Some guys, such as me, are chick magnets, others are bug magnets. Just the luck of the draw.
    Seriously, as the father of a first-born who carries an Epipen for anaphylactic allergy to some nuts, I know this is nothing to fool with. Be careful!

    • You can be sure we’re careful about the bugs and the allergic guy, Brian. I have sworn to protect him from all flying-insect harm, and so far have succeeded. And I intend to continue doing so!

  2. I say to you again, Katherine, we have our Skinner’s Pond bug shirts at the ready for you if you want them, even for the remainder of this weekend. No doubt by the next time you’re at the manse, the little pests will have been killed off by the heat. A quick email will secure your reservation.

    • Thank you again, Brenda! Though as Graham has correctly observed, the blackflies seem to be dying down, so our timing for this visit was splendid.

      But more to the point: Congratulations on your new blog!!!!! Dope that I am, I only clued in to it today. And given my internet limitations here at the Manse I can’t read it properly or link to it, but be assured I will. Good stuff!

      • Thanks! Needed a change, I suppose. Glad you survived (and especially that Raymond survived!) the 2013 blackfly season.

      • In retrospect it was a piece of cake. Says me. Raymond (who is nursing bites of one sort or another – probably a mix of mosquito and blackfly) would probably say otherwise.

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