There is a scene in just about every zombie movie that looks the exact same. Some important characters end up seeking refuge in the perceived safety of a random house as they slowly become surrounded by the approaching lumbering undead. Suddenly the relative safety of their hiding spot is compromised. Random zombie arms and legs start pushing through hastily nailed slabs of wood covering various windows and doors. The comfort and protection that the building had briefly offered quickly fades when they realize there is nowhere to run as the brain nibbling monsters push their way inside trapping both the good and evil together.
I have something like that going on at my house right now. And I’ll get to it…but some background first…
I’m not sure if the whole sweet blood theory is true, but mosquitos really like me a lot. They are like really, really, really attracted to me; I’m telling you, to bugs I’m George Clooney, Bradley Cooper and that chick from the Blurred Lines video all wrapped into one mega desirable sac’o’human flesh dinner. Those little stingy bastards will zip right by a dozen other folks and swarm onto me like a pack of 11 year-old girls onto a One Direction singer walking into a mall Hollister’s. I can douse myself with DEET and OFF like an 11 year-old boy with his first bottle of AXE but they will still attack me. And it’s no coincidence I mentioned 11 years-olds twice, you see that’s about the time learned that I was so desirable, just not to what I wanted to be loved by.
I grew up in New York City. What the hell did I know of mosquitos? Yeah there were a couple of dazed ones in the park near my house but they were so confused between the smog, gutter garbage, hot dog carts and other various city smells I do not recall ever getting badly bitten up. Or should I say I do not remember getting more bites than any average person. But no, when it comes to bugs I soon learned I am not average.
When I was pushing 11 years-old I followed the family tradition of joining the Boy Scouts. Well I actually did not have a much of choice. I did not join, I was shoved. You were not asked; if you were a boy in my family you were in the Boy Scouts. I was not much the active outdoorsy type but that did not matter. Like it or not a few weekends a year and two weeks in the summer you were living in a tent, swimming in a lake and hiking in the woods…period. My Dad and one of my brothers were troop leaders and my other two brothers had become Eagle Scouts but more important, when the men of the house went camping my Mom and Sister had time to themselves. Boy Scout weekends were Mom’s vacation and nobody was going to get in the way of that.
Even with decades of experience at this stuff for some reason my family seemed clueless about preparing me for my first camping trip. I was not properly packed and my supplies were ridiculous. On my first weekend trip the leaders said I was responsible for one meal on my own, so along with my canteen and mess kit for food for the entire weekend my Mom packed for me one can of generic store brand cola and an old Nescafe instant coffee bottle with 2 cracked open raw eggs inside of it. Other kids had mountains of candy bars, sandwiches, peanut butter, cookies and dozens of sodas. Some even smuggled beers. I looked ridiculous to the other kids. I was ridiculous to the other kids. Who the hell sends their 10 year old on their first camping trip with an old Nescafe instant coffee bottle with 2 cracked open raw eggs in it? What were these people thinking? When my oldest brother was drafted did they send him off to the Army with an empty Chinese food soup container of scallions and a quart carton of buttermilk? What the hell? I was 10. I didn’t know. Might as well send me with a ‘kick this freakshow kid’s ass’ sign on my back. What a minute, I was a gawky city boy dweeb with dorky glasses, 3 years younger than everyone else and my Dad was one of the Troop leaders, I already had a gigantic ‘kick this freakshow kid’s ass’ sign on me. It was horrible. My Dad was supposed to give me a $5.00 bill so I would have some money to spend there but he forgot. Horrible.
Then came the friggin bugs. Everyone else would calmly sit around the campsite while I did a constant spasmatic contortion dance avoiding and slapping the biting bugs. I came home looking as punctured and scratched up as an old dartboard from the dark back room of an English Pub that caters to blind Parkinson’s patients. Everybody just laughed at me for the first couple of years of camping until we realized that I had a nasty allergy to insect bites so not only would the actual stings swell up about 5 times worse on me than most folks, I would also break out in crazy itchy lumpy hives around the areas of the bites. Again, it was horrible. No wonder I always came home looking like I had worn a barbed wire uniform.
It was not till I was in High School that someone got the idea of sending me to an allergist. He had never seen someone with such a bad reaction to the insect venom test. They tried giving me shots for three years but all these years later I still have the same problem. I try not to let it effect my life but it does rear its ugly head from time to time. Like when my wife and I toured Uluru in the Australian Outback I soaked my clothing in DEET and covered myself in netting like a beekeeper. Sexy.
Now it might sound crazy to you, but when my Wife and I built our house she wanted to be closer to ‘the country’, or as close as the suburbs allow. So we built a place that abuts thickly wooded Army Corp of Engineer land that surrounds a swamp on the edge of a big lake. Yeah I know. My backyard is like Grand Central Station for every flying, stinging, creepy crawly insect looking for the flesh of humans to nibble on. This takes me to my Zombie analogy.
Feeling bad for me, my Wife was sweet enough to make my life infinitely better by building a screened in back porch for me. I could sit outside in the safety and security of my sting-free comfort zone. Well until a few weeks ago. Some evil bastard brut bugs started breaking through my screens by physically eating holes in them. What kind of crazy monster mosquitos are out there? Like the Zombies in those movies the evil bugs are penetrating my fortress and clawing their way in. At this rate my screened in porch will soon be rendered useless and I again will be vulnerable to the flesh chomping army that lives just beyond my backyard. You would think a Boy Scout would know how to handle this but the only plan I have is to hunker down inside until winter’s first freeze. Damn Zombie Insects! Damn them to hell!!!!