Monday, November 22, 2010

Bedbugs in Brooklyn

It's not what you think.

I am cooking the books.

Just in case.

Everyone is freaking out about bedbugs in New York. They have landed. It came to the mainstream consciousness only lately. I remember reading Miss Heather's diatribes about bedbugs years ago.

If only they had listened then. Now there's been a run on sniffer dogs and reports of sniffer dog false positives! And we're crawling with bedbugs!

So, the nice practise of putting books you no longer want on the sidewalks, neatly arranged, for others to adopt, has suddenly become a little problematic, I think. It occurred to me that the critters may hide in the spines? I mean, I would see them, but I'm as itchy as the next person when I think about them, so I elected to bake two recent adoptions. Paul Prudhomme spent a few hours at 200'F to no ill effect, in fact maybe it did him some good. But then he went back to the sidewalk the next day. The food didn't inspire me as much as it made me feel heavy.

And the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. I don't think anyone ever read that book. I might not, either.

And I wonder if anyone baked the books I put out recently? A perfectly new Gary Shteyngarten, and two Andre Brinks. I think I'd read the Brinks twice and that was enough. I know I will never read them again, and to me the only good books are books I read again and again and again. What would I do without books? Go mad, I think.

Perhaps the cat could be trained to be a sniffer cat? He is an excellent smoke alarm.


  1. Betsy is a collector of street finds for her sculpture. I get to worry.

    Now you've added new meaning to cooking the books.

    If I ever get bed bugs, I'll burn everything I have, and then move.
    Then I'll burn that place too.

  2. How much cold do they recommend to kill them? I can imagine being able to wrap a bunch of books up in plastic and leave out on the terrace in the winter!

  3. That is tha weirdest thing I have ever seen!

  4. I remember reading Paul Prudhomme's books growing up. That book is a great find. These bedbugs are very tough creatures, I hope the oven trick eases your worries.

  5. Bedbugs freak my uit. Soos in heeltemal. 'n Vriend van my in Kaapstad het dit gehad, en dit was 'n geweldige mission om als weer uit en skoon te kry.

    En ek is nou nuuskierig - watter Brinks was dit?

  6. Frank - and I collect old suitcases, for storing sweaters and linens and what do I do? Ick.

    Pam, good idea, but I like the psychological satisfaction of HEAT.

    Petro, in that case you're lucky :-)

    Sanura - really? I should have stuck with it, then...

    Arcadia, ek weet nie wat ek sou maak nie. Motte is erg genoeg - die soort wat gate kou in cashmere.

    Brink - Duiwelskloof, wat ek 'n paar of drie keer gelees het, maar nie meer onlangs as 6 jaar gelede nie; en The Other Side of Silence. Vertaling. Destyds gedink, Wow, maar ek sal nie weer kan nie. Soos Triomf is dit 'n boek wat jou knou - maar Triomf sal op die rakke bly.

    Daar is iets effens vatterig aan Brink se taal, wat my irriteer, moeilik om te verduidelik...ek wonder of hy vatterig is.

  7. How absolutely brilliant. Wonderful!


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