John Harrigan: Ticks, earwigs, Northern Pass and a host of other 'ughs'

JOHN HARRIGAN July 27. 2013 7:15PM

On Jack Heath's show on WGIR on Friday, I fielded a call about ticks (ugh). The "ugh" part comes because I've never had to consider them. One of the callers asked my advice, which, honestly, in the heretofore simpler times, I'd have said, simply, "Move."

But these days, that's not an option. Ticks have caught up to us. My advice, not so simply stated, is to use, say, Deep Woods Off, my repellent of choice, to spray your pants cuffs.

Back in my boyhood days, not so long ago, we never had to worry about ticks. In fact, we'd never heard of them. Just the other day I asked boyhood friend Greg Keazer about this. He replied that he thought that a tick was something strange about an eye. "Eye-eye," I answered, not able to help myself.

The recent emergence of ticks on or around the 45th Parallel elicits memories of similar arrivals.

First, the arrival of suckers, a member of the carp family. Never had I seen them in tributaries of the Upper Connecticut. But suddenly here they were, swimming in a warming soup, a part of Beaver Brook where I'd never seen them before.

That was in the mid-1950s. Today, they've gone hither and yon, and gone beyond.

Soon after came the earwigs. I first saw them on cedar fence post that I was mowing around on Hospital Road in Colebrook.

Earwigs have tarsal pincers. These do not pinch - all right, a little bit, but mildly.

But the insect is best known for diving into your ear and burrowing like mad until, running rampant in there in what passes for a brain, it turns what's left of your mind to mush, and then they're coming to take you away, ha-ha, ho-ho, hee-hee, to the Funny Farm.

Wait - where were we until the earwigs? I'd finish this, but something's crawling around in my head.

- - - - - -

It's Northern Pass, an earwig in my brain. What's in this for-private-gain scheme for those of us (40 miles of new right of way down through unscarred terrain) who are simply in the way?

Well, here's what we get: Short-lived jobs, taxes subject to depreciation, and three F-grades in elementary school. Three flunking grades, for which we yield the landscape. Well, not on my watch.

We do not need or want this power. Hydro-Quebec is desperate to sell power derived from despoiling the Far North. How is drowning billions of carbon-sequestering, oxygen-producing trees "green''? Why are the media swallowing this?

The chickens want to come home to roost, but having seen my share of chickens and what they do when they roost, not in my New Hampshire.

We are too good to be a conduit for New Haven's and New York City's desire for power.

This is Hydro-Quebec's problem, not ours. They have a huge amount of power and have to sell it to satisfy the Crown.

Burying a token eight miles of power line, even if it can be done, a big question, is a tossed bone. As a guy who loves his state, and with a sense of place, not to be trodden on, the answer is "No."

John Harrigan's address: Box 39, Colebrook, NH 03576, or

John Harrigan

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