Monday, June 12, 2006

return of the swamp zombies

This has me mighty afeard.
I generally prefer these sweltering and soupy months of summer, but all the allergens and assorted bloodsucking critters make it difficult a rather difficult time. Maybe it's something I emit or the fact that I tend to sweat a great deal, but mosquitos seem more drawn to me, and no amount or degree of repellent can dissuade them. They are insatiable little bastards, and I can either accept their vampiric desires or dance about in an awkward swatting defense that rarely fills others with admiration.
While living in Knoxville a few summers back I would routinely walk the dog through the woods behind our apartment complex. A stagnant swamp sat in the middle of these woods, and a small collection of hobos fresh from the nearby train tracks could generally be found fishing from it. I gathered from this that hobos either cared very little about mosquito bites or were somehow impervious to them. If it was the latter, I wondered if it was either it due to a lack of hygiene or the fact that these men feasted on radioactive fish that lurked in the runoff from Oak Ridge.
I never bothered to ask.
Anyway, I probably wasn't going to try either route and instead attempted to pass myself off as a dragonfly. A full dragonfly costume, while certainly covering the flesh, would have unfortunately compounded the sweaty factor, so I merely tried out one of those wristwatch-looking devices that emits the sound presumably made by a hungry dragonfly. I strapped the cheap plastic device to my right arm and proceeded down the trail with my eager spaniel and very little faith.
At first I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of mosquitos. I looked back and forth between a happy dog and mosquito free arm at the end of his leash and plunged into deeper into the woods with confidence. It was too easy .
I eventually caught a glance of my left arm, and the soundtrack of my life was suddenly interrupted by a series of stabbing notes from a Bernard Herrmann film score. A number of mosquitos sufficient to carry away an unguarded child or abnormally shaped and thus heavily discounted bowling ball had gathered about this forgotten arm and converted it into a makeshift buffet.
I did my awkward dance and lost the admiration of countless hobos.
Now the little bastards are upon us in greater numbers than usual and in possession of some scary sounding African disease that I have neglected to pay attention to in recent years. I've mistakenly been feigning my interest in this bird flu that was to have killed us all by now.
Then again, I now have an excuse for my inattention to yardwork.


Blogger newscoma said...

For whatever reason, as I'm staying in the country this week, the mosquitos and chiggers have decided I'm Luby's Cafeteria.
I am not happy about this.

7:03 AM  
Blogger ceeelcee said...

I like to use with repellent with enough DEET to make my lips turn numb.

I do enough other bad things to myself that I doubt the DEET will get me.

No Spray, hell?! Spray me TWICE.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

Tennessee isn't as bad as Alabama, but I have noticed that the southern mosquito will sometimes pause and laugh at repellent. The DEET and various other sprays probably do more damage to us than the intended victims.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Peggasus said...

I make my food with a goodly amount of garlic and onions, and only had one single skeeter bite last year, despite the fact that we have a creek / breeding ground in our back yard.

I've also heard people say that putting a fabric softener sheet in a pocket works well.

1:37 PM  

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