Sunday, June 29, 2008

The little buggers

We are at Brian's family's house at Lake Michigan. Side note: they refer to it as "the cottage" but I find it nearly impossible to do so because when I think "cottage" I think of a quaint, little place, and this is not a little place. To me, this place is a "cottage" only in its second-home and near-the-shoreness. Kind of how "cabin" and "ranch" out west have taken on entirely new meanings as a way to describe mountain homes, vacation homes, what have you. Why do we assign new meanings to these? Is it because it sounds snobby to say "my second home"? And am I the only one who thinks about these things? Is it because I don't even have one house? Who knows? Anyway, none of this is the point, so let's move along, shall we?

Today Brian and I went for a walk down to the beach. The instant we stepped out the door onto the winding little road through the other houses/cottages(which, by the way, was L. Frank Baum's inspiration for the yellow brick road; he used to vacation here in Holland, Michigan -- true story!) (I'm afraid my digressions are pretty much more interesting than my point) I was rudely pursued by mosquitoes, so I whipped out one of my handy pocket Off towelettes and wiped it all over my neck, ankles, wrists, ears, and so on. Every exposed body part, basically.

So, after frolicking on the beach (hello, lighthouse! hello, big dead fish picked clean by gulls!) we walked up the roadlet (not made of yellow brick, by the way -- he was inspired by winding cobblestones) back to the cottage house, and before we went inside we went over to the hose to wash off our feet and flip-flops. Brian turned on the water and I had been standing on the adjacent wet patch of dirt for less than two seconds when I felt the pinch on the middle of my forehead. A mosquito had dive-bombed my one exposed and not-doused-in-repellent patch of skin. Those little monsters! The forehead?! Who gets a mosquito bite in the middle of the forehead?? Then as I washed my feet, no fewer than three of them landed on Brian, ready to attack.

I wonder what it would be like to be a mosquito. I've been thinking about mosquitoes a lot lately, notably during my stint in Honduras, where I was paranoid about them. So what's up with malaria? I mean, how come thes malaria parasites can live in the mosquito (which so lovingly deposits them in us)? How come the disease is fatal to us, but not mosquitoes? Do they even have blood? Is that why they need to suck ours? Why don't I remember these things from, like, junior high biology?

All I know is they bite me.

1 comment:

jnap said...

You come by it naturally. I can be in an area in which fire ants live. No one else will know it, but "the little buggers" will find me!