Thursday, 24 May 2012

Moral Ambiguity

I killed my first mosquito today. Hopefully, he will be the first of many this summer. The way that I feel, the only good mosquito is a dead mosquito. The first one is always the hardest to kill, not because I have any moral restraints about it, but because the first ones are the toughest ones. Not only did they manage to hatch earliest, but they are rugged enough to handle the extremes of weather at this time of year. I had to knock him out of the air, slap him when he was down, and just to be sure he was dead, I ran him through a table saw. I think he went through the table saw, but everything just happened so fast.
I say “he”, but as we all know, it is the female of the species that is the blood sucking parasite spreading disease. The same is true of the mosquito. Many scientists believe that because they spread disease among all vertebrates, it remains the most deadly creature of all.

My grandmother used to say that mosquitoes are good to have around because they feed the frogs, birds and bats. I loved her, but whenever she would say this I would stare at her in disbelief with only my head sticking out of the smoke from the leaf fire. That was the only way to keep the little pests away, but eventually you would have to breathe and then they would get you. The way I looked at it was that I wasn’t too keen on frogs, birds and bats anyways, and if they were to starve to death en mass it wouldn’t really impact on my life at all. Just sayin’.
Muskol 100ml Pump Spray
Years later, I discovered Deet, specifically Muskol with 100% deet. It is effective for up to 12 hours and I will willingly do their commercials for free. Deet allowed me to come out of the smoke and breathe clean country air again in the spring and summer. Well, you couldn’t actually smell the air due to the overpowering stench of the Muskol, but I knew it was there. Different concentrations will give you protection for a shorter time, which just seems stupid to me, unless you know that the frogs, birds and bats have been doing their jobs extremely well.

Of course there are drawbacks to the use of deet. The manufacturers suggest that deet not be used under clothing and that you wash it off after use or before reapplication. Bullshit! More is better! They go on to say that it can cause severe epidermal reactions and the US EPA has documented cases of at least 46 seizures and up to 4 deaths. To me, that just shows that Darwinism is still working well behind the scenes. Everglades National Park employees with extensive deet exposure can suffer from insomnia, mood disturbances and impaired cognitive functions more so than co-workers that are less exposed. Personally, I think it is a worth while trade-off.

I might even buy one of those electronic bug zappers so that I can kill the little pests remotely. There is nothing quite so restful at night as listening to the wind blowing through the trees, the crickets chirping and the zzzzt…zzzzt…zzzt of the bug zapper. The city says that this should be a year with few mosquitoes because of the expected warmer than average temperatures and the city crews were out spraying standing water all around the city to kill the eggs off. That means one thing to me; we are going to be swarmed with a biblical amount of mosquitoes this year. The city workers couldn’t smell dog shit if it plastered on the end of their noses.
Let them come! I have that kind of moral ambiguity that will let me kill them with wild abandon.

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