I just slapped the husband. It was the second time today. We are not violent people – he had a mosquito on his head.
It was a big one on his forehead, below his hair line and above his left eye. I saw it and went for it. Open palm. Direct hit.
‘Thank you,’ he said.
Score one for the SWAT team. This sort of thing has been happening with increased frequency – people are smacking each other on foreheads, arms and legs and, in turn, those people politely say, ‘Thank you.’
Every summer we have mosquitoes where we live, but this summer the mosquitoes are having us. Dinner is served. And breakfast, mid-morning snacks, afternoon snacks and bedtime snacks. Oh, how they love those evening snacks – calves, toes, ankles, backs – they do not have discriminating palettes.
We have received record amounts of rain this spring and summer. You don’t leave the house without an umbrella; rainboots are the shoe of choice.
The wet, soggy conditions have created disaster for farmers and paradise for mosquitoes. One man’s loss is an insect’s gain.
Mosquitoes are skin diving big time in these swamp-like conditions. It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet seven days a week. If you could round up some of the skeeters for physicals, they’d be tipping the scales for obesity.
We are gathered on the patio hoping to enjoy the cool of the evening when someone yells ‘Incoming!’ Everybody ducks. It lands on the back of my neck. WHACK. I may have dislocated by shoulder with that wrenching maneuver, but it was worth it.
When the grandkids stop by, they briefly say hello, then begin showing off mosquito bites. It’s a competition for who has the most and the worst. The goal is to display a fresh welt impressive enough to elicit "oohs and aahs" from the crowd.
Insect repellent is a grocery store staple. Containers sit at different stations inside and outside the house. Move over, anti-bacterial hand gel. The fact that mosquitoes can carry awful diseases only adds a thick layer of worry to the ceaseless itching. And, by the way, only female mosquitoes bite people. Male ones are content to nibble on plants and vegetables.
There’s no escaping the pests. They hover outside the door waiting for someone to come out, or even worse, an opportunity to invite themselves in.
When I venture outside in the early morning, I wave my hands all around even if I can’t see a mosquito in sight. I’m being proactive and look like a windmill spinning at top speed. The neighbors might question my sanity, but they’re doing the same thing. We are all waving in every direction and have never been friendlier.
‘Hello!’ someone calls when they see you waving both arms. ‘Hello!’ you shout back as they wave their arms wildly. You draw closer for small talk.
SMACK! ‘Thank you!’
SMACK! ‘No, thank you!’
Who would have thought mosquitoes could foster a closer sense of community?
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