The Epic Battle of Nick and The Mingies

Nick took out a flowerbed full of mostly weeds and built a firepit area.  In Vermont.  At the end of May.  On a sunny day with no breeze.  In shorts.  With no bug spray.

I didn’t know I was being bit until that night.

The first of many baffling statements made by one who has not yet assimilated to Vermont’s swampy buggy culture.

His legs look like he has the chicken pox.  It’s been a week and a half.

What bit me?

I made the mistake of telling him that mingies are noseeums, little black insects that are small enough to come in through the screen windows, especially if they see light inside, and that I had to turn off all the lights that night so that I could sit in the livingroom without being eaten alive.

Now every night he closes all the windows and we sit in the dark.  And if he’s itchy at all they must be coming inside, even if I’m next to him and nothing is eating me.  He texts me pictures of mingies and definitions on the internet and recipes for all natural bug repellant.  And he douses himself from head to toe in bug spray every time he leaves the house.  Even on cool windy days.

This is how real Vermonters save themselves from being BUG FEASTS:

  • We walk outside to see what the temperature is, wind speed and direction, humidity, and make a judgment call on how buggy the day is.
  • We spray our hats and jackets, not our entire bodies.
  • We don’t wear shorts when working on projects in long grass.
  • We wait until we see a mingies in our glass of wine and THEN we turn off all the lights.
  • We eat garlic in the summer.
  • We don’t complain about bugs because summer is so short that we don’t want to wish it gone.
  • We show off our bug bites as a badge of hard work.

Sadly, Nick has not learned from this experience and is outside doing something right now without testing the weather or asking a Vermonter.  Vermonters also don’t have sympathy for anyone who should know better.


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