i seriously hate mosquitos. frankly, i think they are one of the worst creations on the ever-loving-planet. and this is coming from someone who loves animals–actually believes animals have rights and what not–and likes nature and things like creation-care. but damn it all to hell in a hand-basket, mosquitos are satan incarnate. times a million.
that being said, i made the obtuse decision to move half way around the world to east africa, the birth place and recreational playground of mosquitos of various shapes, sizes and stupidity.
i handled this fact cooly and calmly for over a year.
and then i kind of lost it.
here’s how it went down:
it was a normal sunday evening, and i was just trying to enjoy a agatha christie novel whilst lounging on my bed (under my mosquito net. of course). it was early in the evening, and being far from ready to retire completely for the night, i had not tucked in my mosquito net. (you see, this is an act saved only for that moment you have decided to take a sleep.)
i was being bombarded with kamikaze-like mosquitos and fearing that if i lost any more blood to these cousins of beelzebub i was going to pass out. i began to systematically kill anything that moved within my net.
countless mosquitos (like, maybe a thousand) a fly or two and an unfortunate small praying mantis all called it curtains during my swatting-spree. this bug-o-cide did not seem to send the message to the mosquito community that i was hoping for–they seemed undeterred.
desperate times call for desperate measures, and this expat was desperate. so i did the first thing that came to mind: light the candle.
(side note: i have a candle in a small tin on my bed because i like to read before i got to sleep–and do not want want to have to get out of bed to turn off the light…not to mention that if i’m in bed and reading to go to sleep the net will be tucked in thus creating too much to do in a sleepy state–so i read by candle light. why candle light and not a flash light? because while the candle attracts bugs it also kills them. a flashlight doesn’t do that. clearly my pacifism does not extend to the insect world.)
in lighting the candle i was hoping to attract the mosquito-mayhem toward the candle and away from my flesh. this fooled maybe one one-thousandth of the little blighters.
really desperate times call for really desperate measures.
in a fit of fury and rage i turned the candle upon the mosquito net, it wasn’t working anyhow, and shouted,
“i shall come at you with shoes fire of GLORY and SPLENDOR!”
my treated mosquito net went up with a flash–faster than i was expecting, leaving my hair singed and the newly installed smoke alarm in the hall shouting hysterically… once the smoke cleared, i was able to take stock of the damage done. (that was intentional and that which was unintentional.)
there was nary a mosquito in my room, let alone in the house after that episode…and at last, i felt vindicated….
or what really happened:
i melted a small hole, the size of an american quarter, in my net with said candle.
turned off light,
moved net to get into bed.
in the process of moving net it came into close contact (as in touching) the candle flame.
i feel this part of the real story is best told in poem form:
melt, melt melt.
cuss, cuss, cuss.
pat, pat, pat.
duct tape, duct tape, duct tape.
n.b. no more mosquitos than usual were harmed in the creation of this story. but i still hate them.