Bed bugs at the Met
From My Post Road Window / Nicholas Troilo
Published 12:14 pm, Thursday, October 21, 2010
There are lots of critically important things happening in the world today and finding bedbugs at the Met doesn't seem to be one of them. The story interests me, though, because a few weeks ago I told my friend Lorie that I thought it would be a kick to be an extra in an opera at The Met. You know, one of the background actors that don't sing -- just walk around on the stage for crowd scenes in cool costumes and maybe a sword or a spear.
"Don't do it," she said. "You would never want to put on one of those costumes. I'd bet they are smelly and bug-ridden."
It was just a passing conversation -- small talk -- and I didn't explore the idea. But then I read the story about bedbugs at the Met and I got itchy just thinking about it. The Met press office made sure to make the point that the bedbugs were not in any of the public places. Sure, the bedbugs were probably in the background actors' dressing room just where I would have been.
I should have called Lorie to thank her for saving me from the bedbugs bite. I know how bad they are. We had a bedbug bout about five years ago and I can tell you from personal experience that those babies bite.
We brought the bedbugs back from London. We had gone to London for a week's visit and rented a flat in Chelsea on Sloane Avenue right down from the South Kensington tube station. It was comfortable, convenient and familiar. We had lived in that neighborhood back in the late '80s. I am sure we picked up the critters there and they hitched a ride in our luggage back to the U.S.
Actually, we had no idea what was biting us until both my wife and I, now back at home, decided to see a dermatologists.
"Bet it's bedbug bites," the doctor told my wife. Who ever thought of bedbugs five years ago?
"Better buy some balm," I said, trying to make a joke of it. But bedbug bites are not a joke. I practically scratched the skin from my shins until we got rid of them. They slept in our sheets.
Now, five years later I wonder if I am responsible for starting the bedbug epidemic here on the East Coast. From a London flat to Darien to Stamford to New York City to the closing of the Nike store to Victoria's Secret to Abercrombie & Fitch to movie theaters to the Empire State Building to The Met. Should I take responsibility for all that?
Look I'm sorry if I did. I know that there was an 88 percent increase in bedbug cases in New York City schools. Blame me. Thousands of kids lost valuable learning time. Go ahead, blame me.
Someone will not be prepared for the Boston marathon or the New York marathon because their only chance to buy running shoes was when the New York Nike store had the bedbug scare. Blame me.
A relationship was destroyed when a young woman was unable to entice her man with a provocative garment from Victoria's Secret. That's fine. Blame me.
Another relationship was destroyed when a young man was unable to entice his man with a jeans and no shirt outfit from Abercrombie & Fitch. I can take it. I'll take the hit for that too. Go ahead. Pile it on. I'm the guy. Hit me.
I brought the bedbugs to America. I'm responsible. Blame me. Hey, why not? Bill O'Reilly would.