While I’m not entirely certain what felled me, the romantic version involves the rushing of air overhead, a flash of yellow, and then the snarl of a bright yellow plane climbing for altitude. It’s the Brownliner’s version of hearing the squeal of skidding tires in an intersection, yet instead of the sickening crunch that follows, we get the oily vapors of some nameless chemical descending from above.
While crop dusters are part of the watershed, the guessing game resulting from being dusted ranges the full gamut. Plane screams by overhead and chemical follow; by midweek either the thinning spot on your head has filled in noticeably – complements of fertilizer, or is thinning further, due to Paraquat.
You’re never sure whether the guy saw you and mashed the nipple to cover you in something he thought hilarious, or it’s your luck that made you emerge from the undergrowth just in time to take a shellacking.
I spent a week scratching most of my nether half, from crown to ankles, so the Math is fairly simple. Half the time it’s fertilizer and the other half is something to kill crop pests, and all the time they’re unwelcome.
Or it was that new concentrated purple-label Tide that smelled to high heaven. It’s even scarier to assume something that’s supposed to clean you up is more caustic than airborne Bug B Gone …