Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oh, Gnats...

So yesterday (Saturday), as I was dashing through Walgreen's to pick up some wrapping paper, I saw some spray-on sunscreen and thought, "Why not?" Much easier to just spritz than have to slather on a lotion, so I grabbed some. Before I headed out for the trail that afternoon, I sprayed me all over, liberally, according to package directions. Kinda oily, but it smelled good. Not your typical chemical-y sunscreen scent.

Nice walk... busy trail... seemingly everybody in West County out enjoying the last few days of a good summer... sailboats on the lake... every type of unmotorized wheeled vehicle imaginable on the trail (kids in strollers pushed by moms on Rollerblades; dads riding bikes alongside, etc.)... dogs of every size and stripe. I was stepping along at a good clip, swinging my little baby 2-lb hand weights, working up a respectable sweat... til I got about halfway round the lake, just passing the Page Avenue Extension overpass.  I noticed I was ITCHING. Like, a LOT.

Glanced down at my arms... then my legs... and realized I was dotted, every inch or so, with wriggling little gnats, happily drinking my sunscreen.  Actually the situation extended to every exposed scrap of skin including neck and face. So I set down my weights and tried to swat/brush them all off; not a quick or easy process cuz instead of letting go, they squished and left tiny streaks. Ack ack ICK. I ended up not so much brushing as picking. When I was finally satisfied that I'd gotten most of the little buggers (hundreds of 'em, I tell you), I picked up my weights and stepped out, much relieved. But a quarter-mile later, I was all be-gnatted again.  

Finally, instead of stopping and picking, I just decided to live with my little hitchhikers. After all, I was in their space; not the other way around.


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