Bed bugs, that is. A significant infestation of them. Eva is bit to within an inch of her life. They liked her better than me. Which is good for me, but I still didn't escape. For however long this lasts - I keep hearing different stories - I am going to be on tour as the itchy-scratchy author.

The Gershwin is, by New York standards (which are lower in these matters than standards in the real world), a very nice inexpensive hotel. A standard room runs a "mere" two hundred bucks a night. The best thing about The Gershwin is that it is in a great location, both for the business and the tourism sides of the city. The rooms are small, not quite Tokyo small, but with two people in one it can be fairly cramped.

Following a sleepless second night - thanks to the city government idiot who issued the build to 2:30 am construction permit for the site across the street - we moved to a quieter, inside room. That may or may not have been where the bugs got us on the third night.

The bites tend to appear after 24 hours, so it was inconveniently around an hour before we had to leave to go to an important dinner, that Eva began noticing she'd been assaulted. At that point, there was almost no way we could switch hotels. We called the manager, however, complained, and they put us into a suite. As to whether or not the suite was also infested, I couldn't say. I began to get itchy and scratchy that night, which was well before 24 hours.

The upshot was that we got plenty of bites for free, and the room was free, which saved me over eight hundred bucks for the four nights. I'd have happily paid more than that to not be bitten, or not have to worry about whether or not I brought any of the damn things home with me.

Apparently New York City has been hit with a major infestation of bed bugs. Google it, you'll see, even some of the swankest hotels in town are giving their guests that little something extra. We don't hear about this sort of thing much out here in California. Yet another of the many reasons this is the most populated state in the country.

So if you come to any of my book events, and I'm itching and scratching, please try to feel a bit of sympathy. And maybe buy an extra copy or two to make me feel better.

Here's what one of the nasty little buggers look like when filling up with your, or my blood:

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Comment by Naomi Hirahara on October 16, 2007 at 12:58pm
Yikes! Sorry to hear about it. I heard that it's really tough to get rid of bed bugs. The mattresses will probably have to be tossed. Hope the epidemic doesn't come west. Be careful when you come back home. You might want leave any unwanted clothes or bags behind or at least give it a thorough washing.

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