The Great Plotnik

Monday, November 05, 2012

11-5 Spain: Home Early

Well, it's probably just an allergy. Plotnik had been feeling something mildly coming on for a week. It hit him on Saturday morning in Lisbon. He woke up with what felt like a hundred tiny bites all over his hands and feet. He took some Advil but much of that day, as he and Ducknik were touring in Sintra, above Lisbon, it felt a little...weird.

When they got back to the hotel Saturday afternoon they switched hotel rooms. But the next morning the rash just continued, and now it looked a lot like flea bites. Plotnik is very allergic to fleas -- each bite eventually turns into a kind of clear little three mile Island dome. The bites and domes aren't itchy, like bed bug bites, but they are pretty danged uncomfortable, and damn! This happened the last time P and D came to NY, when Plottie had gotten mauled by a gang of sand flies on St. John.

But there weren't any sand flies this time. There was go to bed with nothing and wake up with something. The hotel, however, on reflection -- well you can't trust what internet reviews say or don't say. The room and the Chiado neighborhood of Lisbon are great, and it's cheap. But in this hotel, fleas are not out of the question.

And of course the real worry is the b-word. The b-bug word.

Plotnik got some pills from a pharmacist, who said he was having an allergic reaction. Great. To what?

It's Sunday. You're booked to fly from Lisbon into NYC the next day. It is not likely but are bringing an unwanted infestation with you, into a city where bedbugs really, really frighten people.

And you're supposed to stay one night with Dance-nik, and then two nights with The Great PD, but how can you? And there's Isabella and Plus One and Karen and Chloe to think about.

Well, says Ducknik, we'll just get a hotel somewhere in Brooklyn for one night, de-bug our stuff and then -- wait. In the hotel sink? ANOTHER hotel?

Plus, there's no gasoline in New York. There are no cabs running in Brooklyn. PD is stockpiling rice. The local subway, the G Train, is inoperable. How do you get from the hotel to the house, and when you get there, how will they really, honestly, feel about having you?

In addition, you feel like crap that this has happened again. It itches. It hurts. And it's ugly. You feel a little toxic.

But you missed Belly's birthday LAST year! And you got her all those presents in Spain!

NOBODY agonizes like Plotnik. This was a hard call. In the end, Plot and Duck felt like they couldn't risk it, and they knew the others felt the same way in their hearts. Still, he hoped he'd get the usual runaround from United Airlines.

But because of Sandy, United was offering customers who were booked into New York a no-charge alternative to fly into and immediately out of NY, at no extra charge, as long as you did it on the same day. Curse you, United Airlines!

So we're coming home three days early. We're flying Lis-Ewr and then Ewr-Sfo a few hours later. We'll probably be home before you read this, which will be great, but the worst thing is we won't be able to watch the election with the Brook Plots, and Belly and Papa won't get to do the Elevator Dance, and we won't be able to tie them down and make them look at our pictures, and all that pizza, and, as he sits here somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, where, not so long ago, if you got sick you just got better, or they threw you overboard, The Great Plotnik's arms have stopped itching and the welts are clearly going to be gone in a few days.


At 6:17 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Their loss is our gain ~ see you tonight, we hope. Sorry about the rash, hope it heals quickly. Burn everything and enjoy a beautiful, sunny day in SF.

At 6:44 AM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

So sorry about how this trip ended. Hopefully it all works out. Your Lakers need you though.

At 3:31 PM, Anonymous finch said...


I too am terribly allergic to sand fleas...and black flies and bees etc etc. All recently. So hopefully it was fleas and not the dreaded bbug. Too bad it does not freeze in SF and you could just leave your clothes in a bag in the garage...or in some place without heat. Bummer about missing seeing the kids, but NYC still a mess.

At 6:37 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Sorry you're suffering, but I'll bet you're feeling A LOT better this particular morning. We have another storm moving in here, but who cares! I hope the Republican House will back off so we can get some things done the next four years.


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