Because, you see, this piece pertains to a highly sensitive, but seasonal (it changes in winter) hate-object: the minuscule but intensely phobia-inducing...
So, Iasked Deb: "How do the good people of Michigan cope, when those pesky critters are driving them stark raving bananas?" Quick as a whip, just like that,she quipped: "Well, we just drop everything and run into the house! Duh!"To which I replied: "But, Deb - I AM in the house!" Do you now understand the sheer intensity and depth of my torment? Our home is in the mid-north. That's what the news anchor calls it. Northern Ontario, that is. It is also the home of the dreaded mosquito. As well as the lowly blackfly...but that is another story.
I was not sure how to start. I thought a catchy opening line might be:
"There are blood-spatters on my bedroom ceiling and walls - but don't bother calling the CSI, as they are my own."
"Dead bodies lie helter-skelter on my bedroom floor. I willfully leave them there, in plain view, as fair warning to future intruders: Beware - a madwoman lives here."
"My notches are innumerable - but they're on a swatter, not a pistol."
Instead, I decide to go with my original How I Threw Out My Shoulder Wednesday Morning.
Now, it's not like I have no ammo here: an arsenal of anti-bug implements, supplies, and equipment have been put to the Test. Every conceivable lotion, potion, lamp, candle, spray, garden stake, zapper, stick, and trap has failed the Test. Every electric, electronic, butane-fuelled, battery-operated, as well as hand-held weapon has failed the Test. Every conceivable attire such as netted hats, jackets, pants, jumpsuits, gloves as well as domed food covers has failed the Test. A four-poster bed frame was purchased for the sole purpose of holding up a home-made mesh enclosure, fashioned from a whole bolt of fine wedding tulle. Failed. They used GPS and found their way in.
I had my husband dip himself in Deet. Then, armed with hockey tape and various sizes of cut-out screen, his mission was to creatively install a barrier onto every possible aperture leading into the house, from the dryer vent to the wash-bay drain hole, including the chimney (we agreed to desist from using the fireplace - a small price to pay indeed). They are still getting in.
Yet here I stand before you, swearing to the efficacy of the common bedroom slipper. Size 7.
Long ago, it became clear to me: There must be something in the water at our place. There was. Literally. Larva: huge, mutant-ninja Larva - that soon hatch into huge, mutant-ninja Skitters. This unnamed species, an aberration of nature, is limited to one biosphere: our property, both the house and our very wet and wild backyard. The catalytic nature of the local water seems to dramatically increase, in the female of the species Culicidae, both the size of the proboscis and the creature's I.Q. I'm theorizing here, but based on my clinical experience, I can personally vouch for their superior intellect: take it from me - those suckers are a pain to kill.
But they shouldn't, should they? After all, their brain is but a fraction of the size of mine. Yet they are born innately knowing how to strategize, regroup, huddle and plan their attacks with military precision. They are a formidable foe indeed. They can even tell time. And their tiny little ears are highly developed, for they know the sound of snoring. Snoring occurs at approximately 2 a.m., in our house anyway. This signals the deployment of the first bloodthirsty troop. Anyone sitting in the dark on our street, in the dead of any summer night, will bear witness to the lights suddenly turning on in our bedroom window between 2 and 3 a.m. Regularly. And when those lights go on, then, my friends, so is the War.
You can hear thunderous thumping, explosive smacks, and sometimes - o.k., many times, there is crashing. Unfortunately, the source of the wails, shrieks and howling is not from any winged insect, but from the grimacing, disheveled, evil-eyed Medusa, swaying in the middle of the creaking bed, brandishing her deadly slipper menacingly: moi. Yes. Beware. She may be panting and worn down, but has learned to remain persistent, obsessive even, and will strike at the slightest flitting. Her nerves are frazzled, but her eye is keen.
After a whole contingent has succumbed to the zeal of her blows, she spies a lone straggler! It is fully laden and slowed by its' burden of blood: HER blood! This sends her into a frenzy of ill-choreographed prancing, which inevitably leads to grave injury, to both pest and swatter. Hence the injured arm.
This is a true story.
"If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.