Friday, September 3, 2010

Once Bitten Twice Shy

So I’m at a party the other night and I get bit by a mosquito. Not generally a big deal except in this case my arm turned red and started swelling. Turns out I have a staph infection. The doctor said: “ we don’t want it to go into your joint and you'll lose your arm.” Notice my use of quotation marks. These are the actual words he said. WTF? Let me get this straight? I could lose my arm from a mosquito bite? Are you kidding? I could lose my arm because I went to a party? The thing is, I rarely go to parties anymore, seeing as how I hate people and all, but this one seemed like it would be relatively benign. After all, it took place at a lovely Beverly Hills home and was attended by quite a few people I know through work. Mostly professional types. You know, relatively normal upstanding citizens. Sure a lot of them were therapists, but it still seemed pretty safe. This is where I get the death bite? Are you kidding me? When I was in college I regularly spent my time at a place called Mondo Condo. Imagine if you will a house inhabited by four to five (sometimes more) males of the twenty-something rock musician persuasion and one bad ass Doberman Pinscher (Belvedere, you were the best). Imagine there are parties every weekend and most weeknights. Imagine they don’t even own a vacuum cleaner or cleaning products of any kind. And let’s face it. These guys wouldn’t have bothered to use them, if they did. The most they could manage was shoveling out the empty beer cans once in a while. Whatever you’re picturing in your mind, the Condo was worse. Much worse. I am quite certain one could have easily contracted typhus, the bubonic plague, gonorrhea of the throat and the Hantavirus within ten minutes of arriving. Not only was the place a festering cesspool, but most of the people hanging around were some form of derelict, addict, criminal, scumbag or ne’er-do-well (God, I miss you guys). Now add to the mix massive quantities of alcohol and various and sundry illicit substances. Yeah, that was the Condo in all its glory. I spent countless hours at there. Most often about ten beers into an all night drinking binge and rarely in complete charge of my faculties. Clearly “safety first” was not my motto back then (ah…to be young and foolish again). The fact that nothing bad ever happened to me there (hell, from what I remember—and it is a bit vague in patches--those were some of the best days of my misspent youth) is nothing short of a miracle. Which I guess makes getting a staph infection while attending a genteel Beverly Hills soiree some sort of Karmic joke. And The Universe laughs at my expense. Again.