Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chortling in the Closet

A post by Joe Quirk in the San Francisco Chronicle had me chortling while checking my office to make sure there weren’t hidden cameras. Quirk writes about an infestation at Penguin Publishers that caused them to evacuate their offices. The infestation? Bedbugs.

Why? According to Quirk:
This plague was brought by the feminine deities, the Greek Muses, who have cast a pox upon their hides as punishment for their persecution of the Muses' chosen people: poets and writers.
Lots of people are concerned about the infestation, but apparently not for the health of the staff.
When a professional entomologist assured everyone that bed bugs won't damage the literature-- it's only the skins of publishers and staff that will develop wheals and pus-filled boils-- everybody drew a city-wide sigh of relief.
What had me checking for hidden cameras that might catch me laughing was this line:
When a professional was quoted as saying, "It sounds like it'll be a detailed crack-and-crevice treatment," I almost snapped on my latex gloves and called to volunteer, until I realized they weren't talking about publishers and publicists, but base molding, the second item on the list of concerns.
The thought of a bedbug infestation gives me the shivers, so I feel sorry for the people involved, but I am also glad the books are safe. And glad I’m not a book reviewer who received a Penquin book in the mail and didn’t know not to open it.
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  1. Hahahaaa! Too funny - well, sort of. I'm glad bedbugs are not book bedfellows, too. Pity the peeps, though. Reminds me of back in the day travelling in a R&R band on a shoestring budget. We had to stay in seedy motels and I caught the crabs from a bed I slept in. Yeeeack! Wouldn't wish that on anyone. Well, mebbe ... no, not anyone.

    Marvin D Wilson

  2. How funny! Loved the 'cracks and crevices' comment. Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Somehow my editor didn't tell me about this! Fortunately, I haven't had any mailings from her...only emails. :)

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. Yeah, I doubt it something they're volunteering Elizabeth. And, hopefully, they found it in time to quarantine the buggers.

  5. Don't bed bugs need a bed? I thought they needed a bed! Time to take out the lysol and spray those cracks and crevices...yuck!

  6. I know what you mean, Lisa. Just the thought of bed bugs makes me squeamish.

  7. Having once experienced an infestation of bedbugs I feel for these people! It's not a nice thing at all.

    Of course now I know the meaning of the old saying "don't let the bedbugs bite, and if they do, take a shoe, and smash their heads in two". To think as a kid I thought bedbugs was something the adults made up to freak kids up.

  8. The dirty secrets of the publishing business! Who knew that Penguins were susceptible to bedbugs?

    There is a witty writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. Thanks for the wicked grins.


  9. Little tiny bugs that you can hardly see give me the creeps. I'm shivering just writing this.

  10. Bedbugs are creepy, but I can't stop laughing over your choice of words! I LOVE the word 'chortled' and almost never see it in print.

    L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

  11. I've heard the horrors of dealing with a home that had bedbugs get into it (fruit of a school camping trip, I think the story was) and it's a nightmare.

    I think I'd burn before opening anything from their office if it were me, lol.

  12. Loved your article, but yuk!

  13. It does make you go "Yuk!". In fact, just reading about bed bugs makes you want to go wash your hands.

  14. And I gather that bedbugs have made a huge resurgence, and once you get an infestation, you have to throw away all kinds of stuff and fumigate your entire house! Yuck! Thankfully they don't seem to be as big an issue on the West Coast.

  15. Got quite a laugh at the thought of you volunteering for "crack checking". LOL

    But on a serious note, bed bugs are becoming more and more of a problem. One hardly heard of them outside some slum apartment building or a shack on a mountain somewhere, but now high class hotels have them. Never thought they would invade a publishing company.

    Wonder what the reason is for the infestations?

  16. Actually, Maryann, that wasn't me volunteering, but the blogger who wrote the piece I quoted from.

    And it is a very funny line!


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