Bedbugs on a mattress.
Bedbugs on a mattress.
We know bedbugs lurk in hotels -- we don't like to think about that -- but we still know and we just check under the mattresses and up to this point it hasn't really deterred us from going on vacation or on business trips. We kinda know that bedbugs like clothing stores, too, since there've been a couple of reports about shops closing over the summer in NYC. But that seems pretty rare, and we usually don't stay very long, so we pretty much don't let that upset us too much, either.
But. BUT! Bedbugs now in movie theaters! Where my butt sits all warm and blood-filled on a cushy seat like a hot roast on a serving platter for two hours (or more with those dang commercials)? We might as well all put signs on our bottoms saying "Bite my a**".
This disturbs me. Last Tuesday, the AMC Empire 25 theater in Times Square was temporarily shut down while a team of exterminators worked the place over—two weeks after it had initially been treated for the pests. Bedbugs feed on human blood, of course, and they need their prey to sit still while they suck, which is why they've expanded from just apartments and hotels to the movies.
If you think the economy is bad now, just wait till word about this keeps spreading. And for once we will not be able to blame Obama. If we're not careful, those bugs are going to put a nail in our country's financial coffin once and for all.
In a time when the government wants us/needs us/implores us to spend more money, these little bastards are the perfect excuse to stop buying clothes and trimming our entertainment budgets. Can you say Red Box?
The city health department says it's not its job to investigate infestations in private businesses, who need to take care of the pest problems on their own, but I'm not sure that's the best stance here.
Bedbugs love to hitchhike, frequently jumping rides on women's purses, briefcases, and clothing. You might be toting a few of the rust-colored, almond-shaped critters right now and not even know it. They're like lice and ticks in that they don't discriminate. They don't limit themselves to dirty places. They've been found in Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret, and I don't need to tell you how the whole idea of that makes my skin crawl.
My logic about the economy is drastically flawed, of course. Partly it's just another excuse to bash Obama, but in addition to that, if bedbugs are in theaters, they are everywhere, even on the subways, which I ride every day to get to work and earn money.
So staying home really isn't the answer. What is? Being mindful that the bugs are there: taking as few things into the movies with you, looking for the bugs (you'll be able to see them), and stripping down once you get home and tossing your clothes into a hot dryer just to be sure. Yeah, "being mindful" sounds just as lame to you as it does to me writing it, but with bedbugs, it's the best we've got.
Image via cuttlefish/Flickr