Mosquito is a recurring theme in my life right now. I have mosquito plants, mosquito bites and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes travel the world to feast on my blood. I’m fairly sure that my blood is the crack cocaine of the mosquito world. I read that the oldest known mosquito-like creature was found in a 79-million-year-old piece of amber. I’m certain, that if I were to wear that piece of amber, the mosquito-like creature would bust out of the amber and suck my blood. Mosquitoes, HUH, what are they good for? Absolutely nothing (my personal opinion; however, not being an entomologist, I may be wrong).
I don’t like mosquitoes. Their existence requires that I spread poison all over my exposed flesh before going outside. If I miss one millimeter of skin, a mosquito will stop by for a leisurely meal, exploiting my false confidence in my ability to repel. By the way, I have tried many non-poisonous repellent strategies. I made a salve of lemongrass and citronella essential oils and bees’ wax. Mosquitoes departed from their meals on my body with spa-like-treatment-conditioned mosquito feet. I’ve tried eating lots of garlic. My mosquitoes like a garlic-flavored host. I’ve tried drinking vinegar. My mosquitoes like Italian-dressing flavored blood. Friend Ronnie told me that mosquitoes are drawn to CO2 and that I should try limiting my carbonated drinks. Must I give up beeritas (light beer with lime with a splash of tequila and Margarita mix) to become less appealing to mosquitoes? That’s asking too much.
In an attempt to obtain only chili-relleno-sized green chilies, I visited Big Jim’s U-Pick-Em chili farm. I slid through the muddy field picking and filling my basket with what I thought were hefty-sized chilies. It turns out that there is a major chili shrinkage factor in the roasting process. It turns out that I do not have a migrant farm-worker aptitude. It turns out that chili fields are full of mosquitoes. As I waited in line to have my chili roasted (tip your roasters – it’s hard hot low-paying work), scratching, I carefully examined my fellow chili-roasting-line inhabitants. They were not scratching. Many had MUCH more exposed skin than I displayed. My small patches of exposed skin that had somehow missed out on poison spray coverage were welted and itching. I brought my now shrunken roasted chili home in a spirit of defeat. Mosquitoes had won another match.
Things I’ve learned about mosquitoes: there are over 3,500 species (all of which have bitten me); their name means “little fly”; females live longer than males, and are more into blood for dinner than are the males; if you want to avoid mosquitoes, go to Iceland (otherwise, they’re pretty much EVERYWHERE – but more so where I am); mosquitoes carry many illnesses which make people sick; mosquitoes are blood-sucking jerks.
Last week, I wrote about how we can learn a lot of good things (like forgiveness and unconditional love) from animals. This week I want us to learn from mosquitoes. Let’s not be blood-sucking jerks (I wonder if the explosion of political ads on television subconsciously inspired this week’s topic – maybe).