*DISCLAIMER / WARNING: This post gets a little graphic, mainly as an expression of my complete and utter hatred for blood-sucking insects. I’m venting about mosquitoes. Read no further if you don’t want to know.
I refuse to admit defeat.
It’s mainly because my daughter vocally protests against her nightly visitors and pleads to sleep on the couch, even though I’ve explained that the damned things won’t randomly decide to leave her alone if she changes rooms. Her room does not belong to the mosquitoes!
But it is a fairly regular frustration. So I’ve decided to outline a basic set of the rules I have developed in the nightly battle against the whiney little scourge.
How to Kill a Mosquito (esp. at bedtime)
RULE No. 1:No fly swatters. There’s no use swatting at a mosquito. They’re too small and ephemeral, almost fairy-like in their deceptive daintiness, to be caught up by a mere fly swatter.
No, you have to CRUSH THEM UNDER YOUR PALM AT FULL STRENGTH UNTIL YOU FEEL THEIR MICROSCOPIC BODIES CRUMPLE AND BURST UNDER YOUR SKIN.
RULE No. 2: Move slowly. Very often, the slight structure of the mosquito allows it to glide on the drafts of air you make when you’re trying to SMASH IT AGAINST THE WALL WITH THE HEEL OF YOUR HAND TO SMOOSH IT INTO A PANCAKE.
So you end up waving helplessly at a damned near invisible thing, and if you’re visible to someone who doesn’t know the score, looking kind of stupid.
And then you lose track of it as it wisps away into the shadows, mocking you before it returns to dive-bombing your ears with its shrill, incoherent battle-cry.
WHY DO THEY ALWAYS GO FOR THE EARS???
Move slowly. Keep your eye on the target.
RULE No. 3: Become one with the mosquito. Yes, you heard me. You read that correctly. Understand the mosquito’s wants and needs. It wants blood. It wants to pierce your sweet, sweet flesh and pull draughts of your tasty, hot plasma into its gullet to nurture its demon seeds. (Demon’s seeds? Daemon seeds?)
So use that understanding. Call to the mosquito and let it scent your breath — they are attracted to our exhaled breath, after all. Hold out your palm and invite it to land and feast upon you. Be the bait, with all of the patience of the zen master.
And then . . . when it appears, tantalizingly within reach, wait. Remember that even the fastest strike can be foiled by the air currents between the fingers, giving the fucking bastard an escape route right through your digits when you least expect it.
No. Be calm. Only strike when you can see its shadow perfectly within your palm.
RULE No. 4: Kill it until it is DEAD. Obvious, of course. But what you MAY NOT REALIZE is that the mosquito is resilient and bendy. It compresses into the crevices of your hand, flattening against the pills of a blanket, using the minuscule gaps between the weave of cloth to save itself from the untimely end it so richly deserves. There is little worse than believing you have triumphed by snatching the little prick in mid-air and putting paid to it between your fingers and the heel of your hand, only to have it tra-la-la away when you open your hand again.
I swear, you can hear them laughing at times like that.
So when you KNOW it’s in your grasp, and you can feel its little wings grinding, forget the grossness and don’t be squeamish. Do what must be done. TEAR IT TO PIECES. MANGLE ITS BEADY LITTLE CORPSE, RENDING IT LIMB FROM LIMB AND SHOVING THAT PROBOSCIS WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE WHILE IT’S BLINDED BY SHARPENED FRAGMENTS OF ITS OWN WINGS.
RULE No. 5: Wash your hands. It’s basic hygiene, especially if you’ve killed one right after a fresh feed and the evidence of the bloodbath is all over your opposable thumb and what it’s attached to. Bloody fingerprints are unsightly on the walls, so better wash those too. In fact, just jet-wash the whole damned place, sprinkle it with salt and fresh herbs or holy water or whatever jingles your jangle, and declare the house cleared of the vermin scum.
And remember to plug any holes to the outside where the little jerks might be getting in. That helps, too.
Victory dances are allowed, as are triumphant sharings of the proof of the deed with family and friends. Bragging rights are permitted, of course. It’s important to keep up morale when you’re under siege.
Aaand that’s about it! Except that you’ll likely have to repeat the whole sequence every time you or your child or your significant other is irritated by those tiny assholes. So load up on whatever is going to keep you awake until the job is done.
Speaking of . . . my daughter hasn’t come downstairs to complain that there is a mosquito in her room for a good hour, now, and my son announced about 20 minutes ago that he’d killed one in his room. Dare I hope that we’re good for the night?