Experts are saying that the mosquitoes are worse this year than in recent years. I just heard it on the news. The news anchor gave the official report, pausing to slap his own face between sentences.
Later, I went for a walk and there were so many mosquitoes outside that when I breathed inward, I actually swallowed one. In my actual mouth.
The thing flew into the back of my throat and bit my esophagus. Then it lingered for a while, I could feel him buzzing around. I started making the same sounds you make when you’re drowning.
The first person I yelled for was my wife. “Jamie! Jamie!” I screamed. I don’t know why I did this. What was she supposed to do about it?
But then, I’m a male. I always call for my wife to “do something” even when there is nothing that can technically be done. That’s how men are. Before I got married I used to call out “Mama!” in times of distress. I guess the idea among men is that Mama—at least mine did this—carries a bunch of magical things in that giant purse of hers.
My mother, God bless her, had to be so tired of hearing her own name being hollered so often. It’s a wonder she didn’t up and move to Fiji, where I hear the mosquito issue is at least under control.
So after the mosquito mauling I ran home swatting my legs, leaping, coughing, and hacking. Blood streaks were on my thighs, mosquitoes were buzzing in my ear canals. One mosquito landed on my shoulder that was about the size of a Nissan Altima.
This is a real crisis facing Florida, and if you ask me, we the people need it to stop. How long are we going to sit idly by and watch mosquitoes take over our way of life and ruin our esophaguses?
I talked with a leading mosquito expert named Al who lives in the single-wide at the end of my street. Al has been seeking gainful employment for sixteen years ever since he retired from the pizza delivery field and moved in with his girlfriend’s mother’s step-cousin.
“Yeah,” Al said, “I got a trick for dealing with skeeters. The way you prevent the bites is beer.”
He was serious about this. Al even showed me an article from a news magazine to prove it. But it turned out that the article proved nothing.
All the article said was that beer has lots of B vitamins. Then Al used his extensive medical knowledge, mostly gathered from daytime television’s Doctor Oz, to simply put two and two together.
Al walked onto his porch to demonstrate the groundbreaking Beer Theory. Three mosquitoes landed on his forehead, two landed on his neck. A thousand landed on his bare belly.
“It doesn’t work,” I said. “There are a million mosquitoes on you.”
“I can’t even feel’em,” said Al.
I talked to another expert. He asked me not to use his name, but I CAN tell you that he’s a retired Pentecostal preacher who lives a few streets over from me. He spends his days wearing jumpsuit coveralls and a ball cap that reads, “Jesus is my Co-Pilot.”
Which is a phrase that used to be popular during my childhood. At one time there were lots of bumper stickers bearing this slogan. And this used to really annoy my aunt Eulah who was a devout foot-washing Baptist.
My aunt would take her eyes off the road while driving her Lincoln Continental to glare at me and say “The Lord is not my CO-PILOT, he’s my PILOT.”
Then I would scream because Aunt Eulah was piloting her car straight toward a semi-truck in the oncoming lane.
We sat in the preacher’s garage while he wiped down his engine.
He said, “Things’re gonna get worse than mosquitoes, son. These’re end times. The moon’s gonna turn to blood, the ocean will turn to blood. Bible says lotta people gon’ be found short and wake up in hellfire.”
Then—and this really happened—he had a diabetic seizure. His wife appeared with a glass of orange juice and forced it past his lips.
The old woman laughed and whispered to me, “Try not to let that end-of-the-world stuff scare you, when his blood sugar gets low he gets pissy.”
I consulted another expert on mosquito problems. He was riding a mosquito-control truck, spraying pesticide into ditches and smoking a cigarette at the same time.
I interviewed him.
“Yeah,” he remarked. “Lotta people complain about these here chemicals we use. Lotta folks think these carcinogens are toxic to the environment and kill wildlife and screw up kids and such…” He took a puff on his king-sized Marlboro and laughed until smoke came out his nose. “Heck, my kids turned out okay. Except for the one.”
So the problem is clear. Something has to be done, but nobody seems to have the answers. And I for one am worried.
Because right now while I write, I am on a screened porch and there are billions of mosquitoes trying to get in. They are stabbing their little needle-nose bloodsuckers through the tiny screen-holes, making threats and saying awful things about my mother. I should be terrified. But according to Al I don’t have a thing to worry about.
Because I have an ice cold can of B vitamins in my hand.
James Taylor - October 31, 2019 6:17 am
Mosquito Yard Spray
Big bottle cheap mouthwash
3 cups Epsom Salts
3 12 oz cans cheap beer, stale
Mix together these ingredients, until salt is dissolved.
Spray anywhere you sit outside, around pools, will not harm plants or flowers.
Mosquitoes gone for approx. 80 days
Jerry catherine Deloney - October 31, 2019 12:01 pm
I’m reading A Land Remembered. Awesome book about the crackers. How they started, the cracker king, settling south FL and cattle. One chapter they’re driving a herd in a Marsh so cows can get salt . It’s been dry. Big rain came, water rose and mosquitos blossomed and swarmed like big black smoke clouds. Biting people and cows, they were up their noses and mouths. Cows died bc they couldn’t breathe. Anytime I complain about the little biting bug I’m going to remember that and think, well…we don’t have it so bad. But thank God for spray trucks and screens!
Martha Black - October 31, 2019 12:55 pm
Yes mammas do get tired and weary, weary of that same ole dress & hearing “Mammer!” We try to just try to keep on “showing a little tenderness” but eventually you reach the point a co worker of mine did and just yell out, “Lord, I wish my name was a_ _ hole, cause you are not allowed to say that……”
That’s when daddy has to step in and……. “Squeeze her, don’t tease her, never leave her
Get to her, got, got, got to try a little tenderness, yeah, yeah……..”
Richard C. - October 31, 2019 12:56 pm
And now for the question that must be asked: Is it esophaguses? Or is it esophagui?
Ala Red Clay Girl - October 31, 2019 1:09 pm
Some people hate barn swallows who build mud nests in barns and in corners of porches but those little birds eat mosquitoes. They are the only reason I can sit outside at night on my back porch and not feel like I have donated blood. Thanks for my morning laugh, Sean.
Steve Winfield - October 31, 2019 1:23 pm
The recipe James Taylor describes really works. (BTW James, love your music) I live in a dark humid Alabama jungle 50′ from a creek that feeds a 1/4 acre pond. You can’t even make it to the car without getting bit once or twice.
Happy Halloween everyone. 🎃
Shelton A. - October 31, 2019 2:10 pm
My insect venom allergy has returned. I have bites from 4 weeks ago that still itch. The skeeters are getting bigger and nastier. I, for one vote, for eradication. I can’t drink B vitamins…I’m left with Deep Woods Off. That works okay, but the bloodsuckers are fighting to get through it. Dadgum skeeters. Keep the B vitamins (and screened porch consumption thereof) flowing. Blessing to you, Jamie, and the dogs.
Susie - October 31, 2019 3:20 pm
Harriet - October 31, 2019 3:46 pm
Hilarious!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahhahahahshshshhfurucjdssfzgsfhaha hahahahahsh!!
Linda Moon - October 31, 2019 3:54 pm
The only ‘skeeter I ever liked was Skeeter Davis. One of my favorite songs of hers was “The End of the World”. The only good mosquito is a dead mosquito, having met the End of its World through Beer B Vitamins which resulted in mosquito extinction as a result of apocalyptic end times that may have caused a lack of human blood. It is Halloween today, so my mind is on my favorite blood-sucking Dracula type: Nosferatu. Be careful. Enjoy those B vitamins from the can in your hand, Sean! I’ll be thinking of you while I enjoy Nosferatu!!
Nancy M - October 31, 2019 4:01 pm
I have two sons. When they were little, I told them one day, “My name’s not Mom anymore. I’ve changed it and I’m not telling you what it is!”
Sometimes I sat on the front porch, or did my grocery shopping in the evening when husband was home, just to get a little break.
Connie Havard Ryland - October 31, 2019 5:00 pm
I laughed so hard. As a life long Southerner, I can attest that either mosquitoes are getting bigger and meaner or we just stayed outside so much when I was young that we didn’t pay attention to them. And, trust me, I think every mom on the planet has threatened to change her name a few dozen times. I know I did. Lol. Thanks for the giggle. Let’s all pray for some cold weather and maybe kill off the mosquitoes for awhile! Love and hugs.
Bette - October 31, 2019 6:37 pm
There are mosquito larvae-eating fish that have been introduced into ponds around Leon County and have significantly reduced mosquitoes.
James e inman - October 31, 2019 9:42 pm
Before the neighborhood got to crowded, a couple of low-brass number eight shot from a teelve guage would get ya to ya truck! Now days it’s frowned upon. Skeeters just love that we’ve become so civilized. So now you hold ya breath and run and pray you don’t trip n fall. They so big over here they use US#1 for a landing strip. Keep up the fight … don’t trip!
Dawn A Bratcher - November 1, 2019 5:20 am
Robert Chiles - November 2, 2019 1:56 am
It’s all ya’ll esophaguses.
Dru Brown - November 5, 2019 5:44 am
Dru Brown - November 5, 2019 8:25 am
Okay. I laughed till I choked! ❤️