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 Sox–Tampa 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.