by jack benny
I know the wrath of mosquitoes.
If you have not been to the everglades in the summer, you have not experienced mosquitoes. Just trust me on this. They know how to grow ‘em in Florida.
Everglade mosquitoes are unique and awesome. They are not individuals, they hunt in packs. Clouds made up of nasty, biting, buzzing creatures. So many they look like fog. A swarm. A swarm so large you cant get a breath because there is no way not to inhale them. There have been times when I have had to brave the horde. I have dove into them. Never without a really, really good reason. Sometimes I win and get through. Perhaps they are caught off guard, unaware somehow, and slipped through. More likely, I am driven off by a wall of these wretched creatures. An impenetrable wall.
The saying “walking on a cloud” comes to mind. Only this cloud dances and shimmers and wants to eat you. They move like wheat in a breeze in Iowa, or birds who move together on thought of danger. Disgusting, biting little things that form squadrons. Each raises another welt that itches for days and can not be comforted until blood is drawn scratching. From my years of visiting Florida I have many scares to prove my encounters with its air force.
Those that live there treat these little insects as we do dirt, or a car tire, a passing telephone pole. They simply don’t notice or think of them. They are a shrug of the shoulders, they're just kind of there. The locals will sit out, with no shirt, no sunscreen, insect repellant or other Yankee contrivances, sipping beer at the dock. Perhaps everglade mosquitoes like northern blood. Maybe the skin of those who live there is harder to penetrate. I don’t know. The main topic is usually about the latest stupid tourist who just ran off into the woods ripping her shirt off as she went flailing about trying to rid herself of the gray that found her and ate her alive. “Oh well” they say, “she ran faster than the last one.”