Saturday, July 21, 2012

Why Don’t Mosquitoes Like Me?


Okay, why don’t mosquitoes like me? What do y’all got that I haven’t got?

Is the blood in these veins somehow lesser blood? Less good? Less desirable? Less tasty?

Do my platelets not appeal to the discriminating palate of your upscale River Oaks blood sucker? Too cold? Needs salt? Maybe a ready-made entry wound to help with easier access?

They all say I am lucky but I just feel bad because why don’t mosquitoes ever bite me?

Do you remember Bruce Willis in “Unbreakable”?  Remember? That part where he sits there and he’s trying to think back over the years about whether he’s ever been hurt? And he hasn’t – Bruce Willis hasn’t – because he is some sort of ill-defined Superman.

Well, that was me on Tuesday. I mean, not Bruce Willis. Not the Superman part. But the thinking-back-over-my-life part. Looking for bites. Trying to remember ever being bitten.

When Dana said, “We’ve gotta get these kids inside.”  She said, “They are covered in skeeters. They’re being eaten alive.”  I scoffed.

Yes, I scoffed! I scoffed because the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony is less than a mile away from us. And it is three hundred thousand members strong, and you, my friend, couldn’t come up with a better mosquito-killing method if you filled the streets with DDT all the way up to your knees.

Every night, right at dusk, a cloud comes up from under that bridge. It fills the sky. And the bats fly out. All three hundred thousand very hungry Mexican free-tail bats. They’re flapping and they’re peeping and they’re sonar-ing their way up and out with one thing on their tiny bat minds:

Eating mosquitoes.

So on Tuesday, when I heard Dana and I heard her mosquito excuse as a ruse for going back inside the house, hell yes I scoffed. I scrunched up my face and I pouted my lips and I announced that there were no mosquitoes around our house.

I said, “There is not a mosquito to be fou-u-ou-u-ou-”  and I was still saying it as I looked up and towards my family.

My wife and my kids appeared as though they had been dipped in some sort of mosquito coating. Their skin – I mean, the small parts of their skin still visible – appeared white and flaky, and their cheeks were sunken in, and they all looked three sizes too small under those layers of enormous and engorged mosquitoes. It was a feeding frenzy!

In that moment, my scoff changed to a scream. I looked at my hands. Scratched at my face. I reviewed my arms, front and back. Nothing!

I panicked. I slapped at what remained of my daughters. A cloud of mosquitoes straight out of Exodus buzzed and swarmed and came back around and landed right back on my daughters again.

But not on me. Not even by accident. Not even for lack of any other surface to land on.

Not a single mosquito landed on me.

*           *           *           *           *

Actual Houston mosquito.
I have lived outdoors. In Houston! In summer! In the heat and humidity and in the swamp-like consistency that is the Houston summer air. Where you wave hello to your neighbor standing fifty feet away and then twenty seconds later, she’s hit in the face with this soupy stuff from the ripples.

In all that time, in all those situations, in the mosquito capital of the world, I have never been bitten by a mosquito.  

So again I ask you: Why don’t mosquitoes like me?

*           *           *           *           *

It’s not that I want big red blotches. It’s not that I want to itch and to scratch.

I just feel left out.

Looking around at other people now, seeing them sadly rubbing Benadryl over their arms and across their necks, it is so easy to take this sort of thing… personally.

I feel a little jealous. I’ve got blood! If you prick me, do I not bleed? (Yes, I do!)

It makes me wonder about other blood suckers. Would a flea turn up its nose to me if I were the only warm-blooded beastie to be found?

What about leeches? Is my blood at least good enough for a leech?

They say everybody in this world’s got a super power. Until Tuesday, I never knew what mine was.


Now I think my super power might be Inedibility.

I’d be the last person dead in a West Nile outbreak. I’m the only human who would not need a Hazmat suit in case of an avian flu pandemic. Vampire outbreak? Check. Zombie Apocalypse? Bring it on. Maybe a bath salt party and my face is the only one left un-gnawed at the end of the night.

It is still just a theory. The only part I’m for sure about is the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes, which do not like me.  Maybe they do not like how red my red blood cells are. Perhaps my hemoglobin went a little heavy on the cilantro or my white blood cells refuse to make eye contact.

But right now, here, this afternoon, as I prepare to wade into Buffalo Bayou, covered head to toe in my own fresh wet blood as an experiment, still I wonder:

Why don’t  mosquitoes like me?

I am serving myself up on a big blood platter. Because we all need to feel wanted in this world.

Katy is here, my lovelies! Come! Come and taste!


42 comments:

  1. I read this post with my arms, covered in miniature volcanoes of itchy madness, crossed in jealous anger. But how could I stay mad at a post that brings up the Waugh Bat Bridge. I LOVE the Waugh bats. So much so I went kayaking on Buffalo Bayou, risking getting guano'd upon just to see those cute lil' skeeter eaters.
    You should go on a road trip to True Blood (that's the name of the place, right?) just to see if they'll throw you a nibble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are the one who alerted me to the fact that there was boating of any kind on Buffalo Bayou. Somehow, I never knew that...

      But today, when I was looking for a pic and/or link to the Waugh Bat Colony stuff, I saw something about a Bat Colony pontoon tour.

      Curiouser and curiouser!

      Delete
  2. I think you are the antichrist. Well, if I were religious I would probably think that. I guess you are just special, and nature wants to keep you alive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're just saying that to make me feel better about the rejection by the mosquitoes.

      However, the antichrist hypothesis would explain a LOT!

      Delete
  3. If you want an actual, non-snarky answer, it's probably because your breath doesn't smell right. The reason mosquitoes hover around peoples' faces before feeding is that they're checking out the breath for chemical markers which indicate "palatibility". If your blood isn't palatable to your local breed of mosquitoes, you'd not get bitten much. On the other hand, if you go to another part of the country, you're likely to encounter mosquitoes which are of different strains and they likely won't find your breath unacceptable, so they'll bite you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought my breath was the excuse for humans not liking me!

      I figured it had to be something like that, actually. I knew it wasn't a product - I don't use any weird soap or perfume or anything.

      It's me. I just don't have what mosquitoes are looking for.

      It makes me want to import mosquitoes that DO like me to maybe give the locals a run for their money. Snobs!

      Delete
  4. I guess everyone feels left out sometimes. It probably builds character. Or if you're right, and it really is a superpower, then you should probably make yourself an outfit. And also get a sword.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Him Stephanie!

      A superhero outfit for someone whose power is tasting bad to predators... What do you figure that would look like?

      The sword is a must. I can probably just use the one I already carry around at all times, though...

      Delete
  5. try leaving Houston, rumor has it your superpowers stay behind...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're just trying to make me feel good. I'm just not good enough for mosquitoes to bite.

      Delete
  6. Hey. Go easy. Be glad they don't like you.

    They don't like me, either. I almost never get bitten (and I swear those which take the risk die soon after).

    And I've lived in the Northwest, where the mosquitoes bred with the blimps on submarine-patrol from the Tillamook Air Station during WWII, and now resemble dirigibles with wings. The storage capacity of those buggers is truly staggering. They can drink small children dry.

    But no matter. There is Better Living Through Chemistry, if the bats don't do their job. And, with climate-change affecting nearly everyone, pretty quick the used tires in all the vacant lots in America are gonna dry up, solving the problem permanently.

    (I'm told it's not light, but bug-bites which trigger the Caribou migrations in Alaska. After spending some time up there in the late summer, I'm given to believe it....)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This planet belongs to the bugs. It really does.

      Which is okay with me, because there are some really cool bugs out there.

      And my scorpions and tarantulas will eat almost all of them.

      Delete
  7. There are three possibilities here. The first is, you're dead. It's time to check your pulse, really check it. Sometimes, ghosts think they are still alive, and their energy is so strong that they appear to be alive. The second possibility is that you ate a lot of garlic and/or onion. No one messes with garlic blood. Finally, you were a mosquito in your past life. You never attack your own, and while you are human now, there's still a bit of the mosquito in you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, it's these kind of great idea that make it so critical that you stay around here...

      I sort of look like a mosquito. So your third guess could be on the money.

      I wonder if vampires get bitten my mosquitoes. I mean, it's already second hand blood...

      Delete
  8. Maybe it's because you have no soul, so they aren't attracted to you.

    That wasn't an insult, btw, because apparently I don't have a soul either. When I go for walks with my wife, she gets swarmed by mosquitoes, and the kicker is that she layers herself in bug spray until her skin is nothing more than a glossy sheen of death. Meanwhile, without any kind of repellent, I haven't been bitten in years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's an episode of The Simpsons where Bart sells his soul.

      Automatic doors at convenience stores won't automatically open for him anymore.

      So that would be the downside.

      Let me try singing some James brown or Aretha Franklin, and then i'll get back to you.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Would you say that you ENJOY this blog page, Normal America?

      Delete
  10. the sneering (homo-phobic) snob, who obviously does make concessions in the case of gorgeous sexy young lesbiansJuly 24, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    Normal America, you are a worthless pile of dog-shit, only faggots have AIDS, beautiful young lesbians do not, now go away and insult some pansy queer bastards, leave Katy alone OK. By the way Katy, just to clarify something, i refered to Normal America as a "worthless pile of dog-shit" specifically because he insulted you (you gorgeous little darlin`), not because he hates faggots, for that he is a truly great individual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a relief to know you have my back!

      Delete
  11. steve prefontaineJuly 24, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Katy, have you seen Winsor McCays odd, edgy, 1912 cult item "How A Mosquito Operates" ? (its freely available on YouTube, you must watch it right now ! ! !), its a bizarre and sophisticated piece of animation, that, even 100 years on from its original release, still has the power to completely unnerve the veiwer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the first cartoon ever made, right? The one with the mosquito on the guy's nose?

      I read about it when I was looking for pictures for this post, but I haven't watched it yet.

      It's 100 years old?!

      Delete
  12. Katy, you know that "Header" picture right at the top of the page, its looks as though you`re about to kiss yourself, this gives me a lot of hope because they say that a lesbian who secretly fancys herself more than anyone else is in fact a 'closet' heterosexual chick who desperately wants a big knob stuck deep up her bum, and if we ever met up Katy i`d obviously be the geezer who would be more than happy to help you achieve that ambition ! ! !.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will notice that I rejected the comment you attempted to post after this one.

      I don't know if you are in the midst of some sort of neurological-based medical emergency or what, but I am going back to rejecting all of your comments until you take care of it.

      All of you aliases will need a doctor's release before we can let you back in.

      I'm worried about you is all.

      Delete
  13. lol you should visit India ,
    the kingdom of the female anopheles mosquito o.O

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Semi!

      Someday, I'll find a mosquito that likes how I taste. I might have to end up in India to find one, though...

      Delete
  14. interesting crowd you attract.

    How this turned into homophobic rants and exceptions based on looks is a window into the mind....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all about making sure I post think pieces. If I post quality entertainment, not just ANYBODY is going to come wandering in here to spew inane thoughts.

      Delete
  15. just the the chik-fil-a crowd between nuggets

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to eat at Chick-Fil-A! Their cole slaw and their fries are great.

      I don't eat much fast food anymore, though.

      I don't do boycotts.

      Delete
  16. They don't like me, I don't like them. They don't bite me, I don't bite them. I like it this way. Came by and followed you, hope you;ll have a look at mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a reasonable arrangement you have there, Crazy Mama!

      Maybe I just don't have the self-confidence to to overlook the 3rd most populace species on the planet hating me.

      I'll keep working on it...

      Delete
  17. Katy. Since your skeeters breed in those nasty assed bayous down there they likely can't tell the true blood from the rest. My Gram says that she didn't think they would bite Jesus, so using the fractured logic of my grandmother, you must have holy hemoglobin in your veins.

    Maybe it's Jesus juice or God goo running your cardio vascular systems. If you catch the bats genuflecting as they pass by, and they whisper, "Holy hemoglobin, it's Batwoman," then we need to do additional research.

    First I like to do some clotting and taste tests and then we can get serious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I missed that angle.

      With most mysteries I come across, my first question generally is, "How could this prove I'm a divine being?"

      Delete
  18. Katy,
    Thank you for your thoughtful comments at GJBJ. I appreciate your writing talents and efforts.
    JMJ

    Joseph Fromm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi and thanks for stopping by!

      Things get pretty wild over in your neck of the woods. You'd think things would get contentious here, but it's normally surprisingly calm. If I want contentious, apparently I have to go check out what the Jesuits are doing!

      Delete
  19. I can understand how you may feel left out but trust me, you ain't missing a damn thing.

    Do you do drugs? Maybe the skeeters don't want to be intoxicated from your toxin rich blood. No wait, that can't be it because they still eat me up. Maybe your skin is impermeable! Luck you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I considered drugs, spicy foods, soap, perfume, etc.

      I'm not consistent enough about any of the above to have a constant effect. I mean, I only do heroin on Thursdays (Hey! TODAY is Thursday!).

      Delete
  20. mosquitoes are attracted to estrogen...the more you produce the more they love to eat you! umm maybe lack of estrogen?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi, SSW!

    Haha... Hypothesis #42: I'm just not much of a woman.

    No worse than the other hypotheses (I have bad bread, my blood lacks something, I am a reincarnated mosquito)!

    I am learning a lot about myself...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Katy, maybe mosquitoes are like dogs and can sense overwhelming evil from a distance? They're afraid they'll catch something fatal from you, maybe?

    Whatever it is, I wish I could give my wife a dose. She can go out to pick tomatoes, be outside less than five minutes, and come in with half the bugs in North America attached to her epidermis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having an evil wife is a small price to pay for a wife with flawless skin!

      Delete

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