This Was Supposed to be My Week Off

As some of my followers may know, this week was supposed to be my week off. I had my last exam from the summer transition course Friday morning, and I flew out that afternoon. The flight was fairly uneventful (turns out I’m not afraid of flying, yay!) and we landed in Billy Bishop ahead of schedule. That evening I grabbed dinner with an old friend from elementary and high school, and we drove around town creeping the mansions and fancy houses in town (holy crap, there are some rich people living in my old home town).

The next day I went with my dad to the Canadian International Air Show that runs every every Labour Day weekend in Toronto at the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition, it’s kinda a big deal). This is where the trouble started. We got into the grounds of Ontario Place (Ontario Place is closed down, but I guess they opened the grounds for the air show and the CNE since Ontario Place is right on Lake Ontario in front of where the air show takes place) and found what we thought was a pretty good spot. I mean, it was kinda a steep incline, and there were a lot of prickly weeds around, but at least we had a good view and could hear the speakers.

During the air show I had to fend off ants (I guess we were near an anthill) and I got stung at least once (it was a hell of a sting too, I had to apply my cold water bottle to it). Between all the bugs and possibly the weeds I guess I reacted to something, because that night I started to get itchy. I didn’t think much of it, I just assumed it was mosquito bites or something, but that night I discovered my waist and forearms (I know, odd combination) were coverd in…I guess they’re hives, I’ve never seen hives but that’s what we’ve been calling them. I didn’t really think much of them, and just went to bed. The next day on the drive to the cottage I noticed that the spots (hives?) had spread, and now covered most of my hands and arms (for those of you that follow me on Twitter, this is when I mentioned it). I ended up taking some Benedryl for it, and some perscription strength cortizone we had lying around, but when that didn’t seem to help, I ended up in the pharmacists the next day (Monday). I’m now taking double the recommended dose of off-brand antihistamines, and if it doesn’t clear up by Friday I’m supposed to go to the doctor.

Have I mentioned that as of this writing it hasn’t cleared up yet, and I’m still half covered in these spots? Yup, fun.

Then, today (Wednesday), I get the email from the university I was dreading: I had failed Engineering Analysis A (the math course I was taking in July). Luckily the consequences aren’t as bad as I feared, I’ll just have to drop the computer course I was supposed to take in the fall to make room for one of two extra math courses I now have to take. I can still finish the degree in two years, it’s just going to be a bit more work.

Then tonight lightning struck the third time.

As I was coming back from my evening walk with Miska (my Golden Doodle, you’ve probably seen her picture on Twitter…and possibly this blog) and I let her off her leash as we approached the cottage, probably less than five metres from the front door. As she went racing pacing the front door, I realized I had made a grave mistake. Rushing around the corner of the cottage my fears were confirmed, Miska had pulled skunk agro (yeah, I used a WoW metaphor, this is a WoW blog, what did you expect?). The encounter was short, as soon as I saw the scene, I pretty much about faced and ran back around the corner, not wanting to get sprayed myself.

I called Miska and a few moments later she slinks back around the cottage, snorting from the results of the skunk’s defence. Oh, and did I mentioned all the vet clinics and pet stores were already closed and there was no where to get commercial de-skunker?

So we ran her into the lake, where she got her rope caught in the rocks on the lakebed making me have to change into my swim trunks and wade into the fridged lake to dislodge her. Back to the cottage we went where we doused her in concotions of baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap (each mixed with warm water). We got most of the stink out, but she’s spending the night sleeping in the truck. Don’t know how much good it will do though since the cottage already smells like skunk, and I’m fairly certain I got second-hand skunked, or walked into the aftermath of the skunk, because I keep getting whiffs of skunk from me.

I’m actually kinda looking forward to going back to the university for the start of fall semester, though hopefully this week turns around and I can enjoy my last few days at the cottage.

P.S. Sorry for any typos or formatting issues, typing this from my tablet (with keyboard dock, I’m not insane enough to try and do a post on a touch screen alone).


Edit (13/09/2014): Forgot to add this in later, but turns out the spots were bed bug bites. Apparently I’m really sensitive to them, and my dad’s place was infested. Luckily I managed to avoid spreading the contamination to my own place.

About the author

Eric Dekker

Gamer. Student. Nerd. Author of The Golden Crusade. Find him on + and Twitter.


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  1. Aldred Eckles

    Repeat after me, “I will never go outside, ever again.”

    Feel better, man!

    1. Eric Dekker

      And people wonder why I spend so much time on the computer lol

  2. Jojo

    Wow – you’ve had one hell of a week!
    I saw the pic of your rash / ‘hives’ and it looks uper itchy! Hydrocortisone is one of my best medical friends. I’m allergic to nickel and a bunch of other transition metals to a lesser degree (I know, it’s weird) so I quite often get eashes from random things. My old metal backed phone was a right pain – I had to nail varnish it!!
    Eek failing your maths course sucks but atleast the consequences aren’t too severe and you can finish in the same time :)
    As for the skunk – I hope I never encounter a wild skunk (not that I will in the UK). When I went to the zoo earlier this year the animal encounter was with a skunk, but he’d be de-scented. I seem to remember the keeper sayin bathing in tomato juice/ketchuo helps with the smell…

    1. Eric Dekker

      It actually looked worse in person, and covered both hands, arms, and along my waist/hips and lower back (didn’t want to put those pics on twitter though lol), it’s finally started to clear, I’m using weapon grade hydro-cortisone cream right now (2.5%), and I’m still on the strongest antihistamines you can get over the counter.

      Yea it’s a pain, I have a meeting with the prof tmrw to go over my final exam which I failed epicly, so I’m hoping there was like a transcription error recording my marks or something.

      My dog still smelt of skunk when I left Saturday, though only when she got her face in yours. My only set of warm clothes I brought (I thought it’d be a warmer week, I was wrong), got second-hand skunked so I had to buy new clothes as well >.>

      And the bad week didn’t end there, Thursday plans with a girl I was looking forward to seeing for the first time in like three years fell through, and Sunday one of my external hard drives broke >.>

      1. Jojo

        Oh Eric!! I’m not sure what I can say – you’ve had a rotten week or so!! :( I hope things have improved since??

        1. Eric Dekker

          A little, but I found out Monday night my grandmother has cancer -.-‘

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