We live deep in the dark boreal forests of the Canadian wilderness. We are surrounded by lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Or at least, raccoons, porcupines, and muskrats. It requires vast effort on our part to make it back to civilization, there are canoes, portages, and the ability to avoid hostiles involved in the process. Also, there are potholes.

The worst part of all, our internet blows chunks. It is a hard, arduous life. Almost like being a pioneer. We have no TV, no cable, no satellite dish and can’t even stream Netflix. When I tell this to people they often shake their heads and cluck as they back away slowly, just in case it’s catching. So our entertainment is extremely limited, reading books, painting, shooting things (the hubby) writing stories (me), reading posts by Jim Wright at Stone Kettle Station (he rocks…he really does…you have to go check him out at http://www.stonekettle.com/, I recommend starting with his flying car post from years ago.) Also reading Jenny Lawson at the Bloggess. If you haven’t peed your pants since your last potty training session, I suggest you go read her. She’s funnier than hell, despite the fact that she’s a Texan.

Today, just for shits and giggles, and before breakfast, we sold our old furnace. Yay, us. It adds a few bucks toward our new high-efficiency furnace and it gets rid of a half-ton of scrap iron, tin, and motors. The morning is gorgeous. I’m not kidding, go look up the definition in the dictionary and there is a picture of today in there. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the chickens are clucking and the guineas are assholes.

Several hands are required to load said furnace into the back of the truck. No problem. I’m there like white on rice. The hubby mentions something about black flies. Now, I’m a pioneer woman and fully aware of the ramifications. So, I put on my black-fly regalia: long pants, long-sleeved shirt, hat, gloves and bug-screen shield. I stroll up, looking like the biggest dweeb on the planet and the ‘extra hands’ who are there to help us move the monstrosity, give me a look. The look says something like this, (mind you, I’m paraphrasing here) “Holy cow! I can’t believe that anyone would leave their house looking like an escapee from a mental asylum. Look at her! It’s a thousand degrees out here and sunny, and she’s covered head to toe. Seriously, someone should call someone to do something about her. And, what’s that smell? Did she bathe in bug dope?”

I saunter over in my head-to-toe Canadian version of a burqa and greet all the sardonic glances with a nod and a smile. “Howdy, folks,” I say. (Yes, we speak like Texans in the backwoods of Canada.) “Nice mornin’, ain’t it.” They chuckle behind their hands and back away, just a bit.

Approximately five seconds later, I am covered, five centimeters deep, in black bodies. I stand there, unconcernedly and watch. It’s interesting to see grown men and women leap about, flap their arms, whack at faces and eat large quantities of insects. Hey guys, who looks like an escapee now? It’s also interesting to see who runs to get protection first. (Hint, they don’t have penises.) About five minutes later I hear some serious expletives come from the hubby’s mouth as he tries to see through a blanket of bugs. His face has bloody streaks running down it and he has a wild, trapped animal appearance. “You want I should get you a bug net?” I ask.

“Yes, please!!!!!!” Note, there was a please in there. Things must be desperate.

The truck drives off, loaded to the nines, and we head for the house and breakfast.

Hubby: Holy snapping arseholes, Hannah! (Normally that is my favourite saying, but I understand why he’s conscripted it.) I couldn’t believe the fucking bugs out there.

Me: Really?

Hubby: My gawd, but they were bad!!!!

Me:

Hubby: Shuddup.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you get rid of five hundred extra pounds and about a liter of blood before breakfast.

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