Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Mighty Hunter

This is a story about mankind's base instinct.  Long before we developed into civilized societies, we were tribes of hunters and gatherers.  While gathering may have played an important role, hieroglyphics and cave paintings rarely glorify the rituals of picking blueberries and daisies.  No, this is a story about hunting.

Certain people are offended by hunting; their attitude is that some creatures are far superior beings and have a responsibility to help others.  They believe hunters today are using technology that is inappropriate to stalk helpless creatures.  Some people would even go so far as to say we should arm the prey with weapons to kill their hunters to "make things even."  Those people might even enjoy this story...

The great and mighty hunt begins long before dusk most evenings.  I close my window to shut out the fresh air and I try to become one with my surroundings.  I will need to be focused if I'm going to succeed.  I will not have a battle plan, for tonight is as much about base instinct as it is about planning.  But, I have found that some advance field work will increase my chances for success.

My room is cell-like: sparsely decorated white walls, a tightly shut armoire, a desk with laptop computer another desk with several books covering its surface.  Two chairs, a nightstand, my floor-standing fan and my bed complete the interior decoration. 

The bed.  A place of rest or a place of action?  The bed will likely be the battleground once again this evening.  I am, of course, referring to the great evening battle of Man vs. Mosquito.

Let me set the stage:  Thursday night.  Power was off.  The generator was not working.  It was just me. And the mosquito.  Buzzzzzzzzz.  And a flashlight.  Tonight, I am the prey.  Have you ever tried locating a mosquito using only a flashlight?  Buzzzzzzzz.  At 4:00 a.m., with four welt marks and a decidedly uncheerful attitude, I decided to leave my residence and go to work.  Thursday night, victory went to the mosquito.

Friday night would be different.  The power was on.  The generator was working.  I decided on my plan of attack.  I would fasten duct tape around the doors and windows so there would be no escape.  I would go to bed before I was tired and wait - playing opossum to draw the mosquito toward me. Buzzzzzzzzz. S-l-o-w-l-y, I get out of bed, turn the light on and locate the mosquito.  Armed with the rigid annual report of the Neogen Corporation (who, ironically, manufactures a wide variety of products related to animal health care), I swat the mosquito.  I am then reminded of the slogan used by a famous manufacturer of a different kind of product: 

RAID: Kills Bugs Dead. 

I like that phrase. When it comes to mosquitoes, I don't consider it the least bit redundant.  Friday night will be a good night for sleep.

A post script:  I don't sleep with a mosquito net because it does not prevent this sound: Buzzzzzzz.  Instead, I prefer to kill the bastards and take preventative courses of action (namely, keep my door and window shut at night).  Saturday night was an especially vicious battle.  Somehow, five mosquitoes found their way into my room during the day, but I was unaware of their number until after I killed them all (three at night using the above "pretend I'm asleep" method and two this morning after I realized I was still being bit).  My previously white walls now have several marks on them...  


  1. My family has a place on a small lake in Maine. Every summer we fight this battle... can barely sit by the fire in the evening. But one cannot go up to the camp without gathering around the fire, so on those warmer winter evenings you'll find us by the pit w/netting around our heads, long sleeved shirts and pants, socks and shoes. Sweltering.
    I wish those pests stayed by the water where the fish need them more.

  2. Hail to thee, mighty hunter! I, too, have no compunction concerning the death of bugs who mean me harm. I'll go so far as to try to trap and release bugs that just happened to enter my space, but mosquitoes are miniature assassins. They get what they would deliver unto me, just on a larger scale.