On the lighter side of the Nonahood, this is a column about the humorous realities of life in Central Florida. We must choose to laugh and sweat rather than cry and sweat.
I’m sorry for what you are about to read. Perhaps this column should be renamed Sunny-Side Down.
Who else can land on your neck, insert a straw and turn you into their favorite beverage in a matter of seconds?
Who else can leave you with a welt that you’ll be wishing you had Edward’s scissor-hands to scratch?
Who else slowly sips you through the night?
I suspect they’re from Hades. And, apparently, Hades is only a short flight from central Florida.
When I first moved here, I thought there must be some sure-fire way to fight back. I searched YouTube in a bleary-eyed frenzy, thinking, “Surely someone, somewhere must have invented something that could defeat these little living blights.” But, fans, lights, heat guns, blow-torches and bombs make only the tiniest dent in the miniscule marauders.
You know what works? Some hillbilly baring his beer belly. Yup. Seeing his belly, the mosquitoes think they’ve found their paradise of plenty, a positive bouncy castle of delight. They land, reverberating off the outstretched skin in ever-so-faint pitter-patters. Then, slap, splat, slap. “Hey, Pervis! Look it!”
I can’t un-see that. I should be careful what I watch on YouTube.
Why would I choose to write about mosquitoes? It’s been done. A tired subject.
But mosquitoes aren’t tired. They’re not going anywhere. They’re buzzing. So I’m going to buzz right back, raising public awareness about these horrid, winged weasels before they suck us all dry in their involuntary blood drive of selfishness.
Apparently, body heat, perfumed scents, carbon dioxide, and certain personality types draw mosquitoes. So, don’t do anything so audacious as sweat, wear deodorant or breathe. Think you’re still safe with your cooling vest and asphyxiated face turning purple? Nope, you’re a mosquito-type. Run!
No amount of public awareness is enough for these droning degenerates. But, awareness won’t help us stop them locating and feasting on the most un-scratchable parts of our bodies. They’re masters at finding that square millimeter of real estate. Then they raise it into a hill of fire that will have you scavenging for the alligator-head back scratcher you thought was so cool until you moved here.
Sidenote on these “back scratchers” … do the baby gators, when they’re still living, know that we’re about to do to them what wicked, medieval lords did to witches, tax-collectors, unsuspecting tourists, the random peasant, and nearby villages? Gator heads glued to a stick! Chilling. Perhaps we deserve mosquitoes. Well, no, no one is that bad, other than mosquitoes.
This is why I heartily cherish the trucks that unleash chemical warfare on the beasts. One went by my house last night, spraying fog into the still-way-too-hot November air. I wanted to run out and suck in the moist poison (of course it’s safe) that I know will be the demise of the mosquito in my neighborhood.
At least they’ll be vanquished for a while, until some irresponsible neighbor leaves out a thimble-full of water. When they do, mosquitoes will be back, buzzing in our ears, biting the inside of our nostrils, and giving us extravagant sounding diseases like West Nile virus or the Great Wall of China virus – symptoms include a feeling of falling, or running into an immovable object, or the feeling that a huge hewn stone just fell upon your head.
Rambling on about these fetid, disease-carrying, blood-thirsty, blasted, airborne, miniature sociopaths is raising my blood pressure. I should take a deep breath and try to calm down. Oh, that’s right, the extra exhalation of carbon dioxide will only draw them to me. Fiendish.
There’s no stopping them. Say you do everything you can. Maybe you’ve sprayed yourself with Agent Orange. You think you’re prepared. Fat chance. You’re about to get “phantomed.”
The phantom mosquito will land on your ear, back, ankle, your ever-so-juicy rump. As you twist, turn and slap at nothing, the mosquito horde will laugh at you. Then, some jerk-buzzer with slicked-back hair and sunglasses will say, “Hey, guys, watch this.” He’ll glide to the exact spot where you were just beating yourself silly, take a long, luscious sip, slide his shades down and wink at his swarm. Argh, how I hate!
We’re dealing with something other-worldly here. But we can’t live in fear, or not breathe, or suddenly turn cold-blooded. We must courageously step out into this world of ours and own what we are: delectable Capri Sun juice pouches to the capricious detestables.
Philip writes for Cru, a nonprofit organization located on Moss Park Road, close enough to the 7-Eleven off of Narcoossee to justify ditching work for a Slurpee. While he thinks he’s funny, he wisely never verbalizes his musings to his two ever-increasingly hostile pre-teens. His brain doesn’t seem to do the heavy lifting in the writing process – his sweaty fingers do. So, if you laugh, snort, chortle or guffaw, they deserve the credit … both of them.