This just happened to be dove season which starts in September. September in west Texas is still very hot. His family owned some land outside of the little town where I went to college. He picked me up one Saturday and we headed out shotguns loaded into the gun rack in the back window of his Chevy Apache. He had his bottle of coke and next to it sat his bottle of spit. He had his Redman Tobacco in a pouch. I had on my tightest Wrangler’s a cute shirt and my favorite cowboy boots. We looked just like Sissy and Bud for you youngins that is Debra Winger and John Travolta in Urban Cowboy.
We had been out hunting for several hours and I had drunk a couple of glasses of iced tea before we had headed out. Mother Nature was now calling to me. She wasn’t just calling she was SCREAMING at me. I tried to hold it. I tried not to think about it; except we were sitting by a tank, for those of you not from Texas that is like a pond.
I didn’t have a choice. I could wait no longer. I scurried behind the bush. I unzipped my pants and I struggled to get those too tight jeans down over my hips and down past my knees. A little tidbit of information for you men out there you are able to just whip it and and squirt. We women have to squat and make sure that when we squat we neither fill up our shoes nor pee on our pants. It is a delicate balancing act. Honestly it should be an Olympic sport except the Chinese would lie and say that thier 8 year old contestant is really 48 and the U.S. would take 2nd place. We all know how limber those 8 year olds can be. So I found a bit of even ground and copped a squat. Relief sweet relief. I emptied my bladder and as I did I noticed there was a swarm of gnat like bugs all around me. Now in the south we have these little bugs called chiggers. They are called chiggers or redbugs. They are nasty little creatures who burrow under your skin causing a mosquito bite type bump that itches and stings.
Button dropped me off at my apartment and we made a plan to eat lunch together the next day. I went and took a shower. I began to itch in my nether regions. Then I started noticing welts, big red welts. My roommate came home and I told her about them. She called our neighbor who was a nurse. Nurse Betty came over and I told her about these mystery bumps. She said “well that sounds like one of them sexually transmitted diseases. You need to see your female doctor stat.” That is nurse talk for right now. “But, Betty, I’m a virgin! How would I have gotten it? I mean I haven’t done nothing.” Nurse Betty gave me that look of disbelief and said “Well I don’t know but that is what that sounds like. We learned all about it in our public health rotation.” It being a weekend I knew my doctor was not working and it would have to wait until Monday. I spent my Saturday night in burning itching pain. I agonized over whether or not something had happened to me without my knowledge. Maybe I had been abducted by a UFO and one of those spacemen had, had his way with me and then erased my memory. Maybe I had some rare disease and it was eating me alive from the inside out. Maybe an errant meteor had plummeted to earth while I was asleep with my mouth open and I swallowed it whole and it was burning me from the inside out. Whatever it was it was horrible.
Sunday morning, I called Button and told him not to come by and I went back to my misery. I just could not face him or anyone one else. I sat in cold baths, hot baths, baths full of vinegar, baths full of oatmeal and milk. I left out the raisins for fear they would just irritate it more. Finally it was Monday morning and I did not call my doctor. I instead went straight to his office and awaited his arrival. I insisted he had to see me first after all I was dying.
He listened to my symptoms and was completely perplexed. “Now Gladys” Dr. Kildare said “you can tell me if you are being sexually active. I can not tell your parents.” I looked at him disgusted that he didn’t understand I was DYING. “Doc, I am not doing nothing with nobody. I am a good girl. I just have this problem.” I pointed toward my girly parts and he shook his head. “Alright then, get undressed and I’ll take a look” he acquiesced. I did as I was told and laid my bare bits on the exam table. Dr. Kildare stuck his head under the sheet and I heard, “hum, oh! Good golly. Wow. Gosh I’ve never seen. Hey you know…” He slid his chair back slipped off his gloves and said “have you by any chance been, um, unclothed, um outside?” I laid there trying to piece together what he was asking and then it hit me. “Well, I had to go pee really, really bad the other day and I did behind a bush out at my boyfriend’s ranch.” He rubbed his chin and then said “looks like you got a mess of chiggers in your nether regions. I’ll prescribe some salve you can put on them but honestly you just have to smother them little buggers to make em go away. Some clear nail polish has always worked pretty good for me although I don’t know how you’re going to apply it down there.”
That is how I ended up with cooter chiggers.