I haven't a clue what I taste like.
Well, I take that back.
I bite my nails and chew on my cuticles several times a day and sometimes even have to put Band-Aids on them to keep myself from going to town on them but then I see my doctor and she ups my antidepressants and that nervous tick goes away for awhile.
Wait a minute…where was I going with this?
Oh, what I taste like.
I apparently taste pretty good.
So good in fact that insects and other bloodsucking, flesh-chomping vermin love the hell outta me.
All my life I've been the one to get violently accosted by mosquitoes while those around me remain bite free. Fleas jump from pets and livestock to my legs when I pass by and ticks and leeches grow fat on my juices. Because of this my legs are an abstract painting of sores and scars from my constant scratching and in the summer when the mosquitoes are really bad I often awake to find my sheets sprayed with blood from my itching my feet and legs in my sleep.
I'm so appealing to everything in the tiny man-eating family that I'm often attacked by species in areas where those species don't even exist.
I've been bitten by mosquitoes in deserts where the nearest water source in 20 miles away and been bit by ticks while on the beach. It doesn't matter if I'm fresh and clean from the shower or covered in sweat and filth, there's just something deep inside me that calls to those that thrive on eating man.
To make matters even worse, I have a thing with insect repellent.
And by “thing” I mean I'm more or less allergic to it. One dousing of over-the-counter insect spray sends me to shaking like a junkie going through withdrawal. This leaves me with two choices: either shake like a freak and suffer through painful headaches or remain a movable feast.
Most of the time I remain a feast.
Despite my decades of being food I’ve yet to contract any of the diseases that often accompany being utilized as an all-you-can-eat buffet. I've avoided malaria and lyme disease but, hey, there's always hope for zika.
Given the way I'm consumed on a daily basis I have no doubt I'll contract that bad boy soon enough.
It's just another thing I have to look forward to living this writer’s life.
If you mixed Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ruark, Hunter S. Thompson, and four shots of tequila in a blender, a "Gayne Young" is what you'd call the drink!
Gayne C. Young is a columnist for and feature contributor to Outdoor Life and Sporting Classics magazines. He is the author of the Texas Safari book series and his work has appeared in magazines such as Petersen's Hunting, Texas Sporting Journal, Sports Afield, Gray's Sporting Journal, Under Wild Skies, Hunter's Horn, Spearfishing, and many others.
In January 2011, Gayne C. Young became the first American outdoor writer to interview Russian Prime Minister, and former Russian President, Vladimir Putin.