Rick's List — Official Summer Edition

I'm not exactly sure how seasonal businesses operate. I mean, I DO understand, at least on the theoretical level: They are open when seasonally appropriate.

There are the mom and pop Christmas ornament stores and Christmas tree farms. Each fall, temporary Halloween headquarters and haunted house pop up. And, of course, in a much broader spectrum, summer brings the clam and lobster joints, ice cream stands, fishing and sailing charters, bait shops, carnivals, T-shirt and souvenir establishments, beaches and waterfront parks, landscaping businesses, and so on.

There's no point in speculating how these folks make enough money to last the rest of the year because, clearly, they keep showing up at the appropriate times, hustle for a few months, then board up the windows and head for luxurious seclusion until the next year.

I really like the idea of working for one season instead of four. The problem has been: What demographic is as yet untapped that would cause customers to drool and provide enough income? And then it hit me.

Coming soon to your neighborhood will be Rick's Tick Shack.

The sweltering summer months are ideal to collect ticks and live on that exhilarating, thrill-seeker's edge embodied by this fun question: Have I or have I not contracted Lyme Disease? Plus, as Friday's edition of The Day happily trumpeted on page A1, this summer should be particularly festive: "Study finds towns in New London County at high risk for Lyme disease."

Whee!

The problem is, who wants to go tromping through the weeds and overgrown dumps — no, I'm not SPECIFICALLY referring to Fort Trumbull but if the tick fits — to harvest their own insects? No one, that's who. Particularly if you can head over to the air-conditioned Rick's Tick Shack and browse contentedly for just the right, plump, blood-gorged, virulent specimen.

But that's not all you'll find at Rick's Tick Shack.

1. Mosquito larvae to raise in a handy tank of Rick's Festering Stew of Stagnant Swamp Water.

2. CDs of loud fireworks so you can frighten your dog with summery explosions without waiting until actual pyrotechnic displays.

3. Super-humidifier. Instead of providing just a bit of moisture for winter months, this baby actually makes the air stupidly humid. Even if the weather is really nice outside, Rick's Lil' Bit of Mississippi machine makes the whole house damp, fetid, and utterly miserable.

4. The Mobile Trash Squad (MTS) at Rick's Tick Shack will ensure your property is littered weekly with empty cans and bottles, fast food cartons, and sundry detritus you'd get from thoughtless beach-goers — even if you don't live near the shore.

5. Our MTS includes a certified lawnmower-breaker; you can go all summer without paying any attention to lawn upkeep. 

6. Open till late September!

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