Mary: May 2008 Archives

Filthy Lucre


I'm exhausted. Today was the neighborhood yard sale. I made 87 bucks and change turning some of my stuff into somebody else's problem. I didn't get rid of all of it--I carried a few things back inside and took 3 boxes of video tapes to the thrift shop. The "Architectural Digests" are on their way to the senior center, and a young girl whose teacher is a photography buff walked away with an armload of "Doubletakes"; the rest of the magazines are down at the curb waiting for the recycling truck.

At 6:30 this morning I heard the unmistakable fwap-fwap-fwap of a helicopter flying low overhead, and I was overjoyed. I knew the county was going to be spraying this area again this year, and I hoped they'd come sooner than they did last year. Last year's infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars was truly disgusting, and by the time the county sprayed they'd decimated some of my shrubbery. This year's infestation isn't as bad, but still gross, and just yesterday I noticed a couple of bushes that had been munched on. For the most part, though, the county was on top of it this time around.

So I kept the dog in until the helicopter was long gone, and it was about an hour later that I started hauling stuff out onto the driveway for the sale. At around noon, when I started bringing the few unsold items back into the house, I noticed that everything was liberally sprinkled with tiny spots, as though a fine mist had settled everywhere and dried. I was puzzled for several minutes, until I realized it was the Bt--Bacillus Thuringiensis--the stuff they sprayed to kill the gypsy moths. Evidently the stuff is sprayed in such a fine mist that it takes hours to settle to the ground. So I, my dog, my house, are all contaminated in a big way by Bt, a bacterium similar enough to anthrax to be commonly used as an anthrax simulant in laboratory tests, haha, good times.

Nah, I'm not worried. Saint and I have healthy immune systems. Anyway, Bt is unavoidable; it's part of the "bio background" that we live in. It's a jungle out there.

July 2012

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