Mosquitos

I’m in middle Tennessee where this week’s weather has been under the influence of the trail of hurricane Ida. The mosquitoes have thrived in the aftermath of the rain. They’ve treated my legs as a delicacy. They like my back side second best, then my arms, and they’re thrilled when they make a score on my neck.

I swat mosquitoes without compunction. They are unwelcome. They suck. The nighthawk mosquito finds its way into my rig at night where it insatiably munches when I’m asleep. There are Paul Bunyan mosquitoes, the enormous ones that are encountered deep in the woods and can only be slain with an axe. There’s the Texas mosquito, the Asian tiger, and the Jersey bomber. Mosquitoes are disease bearing; they’ve contributed to malaria, yellow fever, the Zika and West Nile viruses, and encephalitis. Contracting any of these would put me in a foul humor.

Whereas I’m challenged to find nice things to say about mosquitoes, the males are the good guys; they don’t bite. The male mosquito is the proverbial flower child; he enjoys flower nectar instead of human blood. Mosquito ladies bite to generate food for their hungry children. They are capable of laying around 1000 eggs. I’m without sufficient kindness to withstand their bite and give up my protein for their offspring. I’d rather flatten them with my palm.

Dragonflies, bats, frogs, and fish are our friends that consume mosquitoes. These creatures deserve the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

I’ve been asked where I’ll settle once I’ve had all the fun I can stand living on wheels. My criteria include locales with interesting people, places that have environmentally significant offerings, and an attractive climate. I’ve only recently begun to consider residing where the mosquito population is at its thinnest. West Virginia has the fewest species of mosquitos…26 varieties versus 80 in Florida and 85 in Texas. Look out longhorns…the Texas mosquito is vying for position as the state mascot. Texas has been eliminated from the lineup of contenders for my residency.

If your chosen profession is mosquito dentistry, you are SOL. Mosquitoes don’t have teeth.

For those of you who can’t handle your liquor, transitioning to a mosquito might help you overcome your dysfunction. A mosquito can drink up to three times its weight in blood. They’re vampires. And they are attracted to people who drink beer. This is particularly unfortunate for those of us who like to eat pizza outdoors with its perfect complement. If you live in Texas and you drink beer, you are SOL.

The first Dali Lama is credited with saying, “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try going to bed with a mosquito.” He is one of the rare persons capable of turning a repugnant insect into a good example setter.

Author Mary O’Connnor said, “It’s not so much how busy you are but why you are busy. The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted.” Bees make honey. Mosquitos make irritating skin bumps. We lead active lives, but we don’t always use our time well. O’Connor suggests that we might incur praise instead of a swat if we identify what we are good at contributing, and then follow through by making the contribution. Female mosquitoes are born wired in with knowledge of what they can offer to the world and they do it with abandon. Perhaps having a fan club of bats is an ego boost.

Confuscious is quoted with the saying, “Don’t use a cannon to kill a mosquito.” Make prudent use of your resources. If you use a cannon to kill a mosquito, the odds are good that you’ll miss your target. When you are working with tools, choosing the best one for the task at hand is paramount. Where it concerns mosquitoes, you need to look no further than an open palm.

Rakesh Upadhyay said, “Mosquitos are like family. They annoy you but they carry your blood.” Sometimes humor can lighten the darkness connected to a challenging relationship with a family member. It takes a special person to manufacture good mosquito humor.

Mosquitoes have more bite than bark. Their buzz emanates from the base of their flapping wings. The topic of these blood sucking heathens makes me itchy.

Published by jmlewisjr

Hello. This is Jimmy Lewis. I'm in Memphis, Tennessee. My golden doodle, Lola and I are leaving on a North American tour in May, 2021. We'll be traveling in a 2021 Jayco Melbourne 24L motorhome. We have neither time constraints nor exact destination specifications. We'll spend May in Virginia, North and South Carolina, and then head north through New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont. If Canadians resume the practice of putting out a welcome mat for Americans, then we'll cross the border.  The seed for this journey began after my wife, Sarla passed away in May, 2020. Sarla was a yogi. An early yoga teacher of hers implored her to "Have what you need, and use what you have." As I prepare to close on the sale of our home on April 30, 2021, I'm deciding what I need based on the likelihood of using what I have. I give some things away without a flicker of feeling. When more meaningful items like the piano I inherited from my parents leave the premises, I feel like I'm saying goodbye to an old friend for the last time. Sarla's death lessened my attachment to the home we had enjoyed for 15 years and life as I knew it. I didn't need and couldn't possibly use a house that could satisfy the needs of a family with four children. I'll no longer experience residence, a concept identified with staying in a specified place, as I've heretofore known it. Life will never be the same, nor do I want to attempt to shape my future into a likeness of what I once knew.   I've set my sights on adventure. I want to be challenged by not knowing who or what I'll meet on the road. The outdoors is one of my default antidotes for stress. Other than my rig, I won't have an indoors base. Whereas others might opt to downsize so that they have the stability of a landing spot, I won't be able to go "home" as I've known it. I'm jazzed about the prospect of being at the whim of the muse, to go where my finger lands on turning pages of the Rand McNally atlas. My dog, Lola is indifferent even though I've been talking to her about the journey every day. She looks quizzically at me when I enthusiastically say we're hitting the road together. I'm confident that she'll do well. We've previously driven together to and from a destination 12 hours from home. She curiously gazed out the window and occasionally snoozed in the passenger seat. She didn't express displeasure about the podcasts and music selection that I chose to entertain and inform me while driving. This trip isn't driven by personal goals. Will I learn more about myself? Will I take advantage of the opportunity to reflect? Will I be lonely? Will I be uneasy? I'm motivated by a curiosity to follow the questions.

3 thoughts on “Mosquitos

  1. I would recommend a visit to Alaska where the mosquito is the state bird. Sarah Palin was once observed riding a mosquito for Aerial America series on National Geographic Russia.

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  2. Colorado welcomes you. While there are some mosquitos here in the front range (Denver/Boulder/Ft. Collins), they are minimal compared to where you have been. And as you head further up into the mountains where the air is thinner and cooler, they are practically non-existent.

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