Summer time and the living is easy…
Or so the song says.
Frankly, here where I live in Maryland, just outside of D.C., the overriding qualities of summer are heat and humidity
Perhaps that’s why time always seems to move more slowly in summer. Like me, it can’t find the energy to move faster.
Not for the first time, I wonder who the idiot was that decided to plop down our nation’s capital right in the middle of a swamp.
I’ve been told, although I’ve never confirmed it, that some countries offer their diplomatic corps members hardship pay because of the weather, if they will accept a posting to Washington.
I can believe it. I’m holding my hand out for a little of that hardship pay right now. Can you see it?
The humidity here is so high that you can see moisture suspended in the air around you. Really. You can believe me.
Now, I lived in the deep South for years – three quarters of my life, and I’m not a young woman. I’ve nested in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, and I’ve spent long stretches of time in South Carolina and Louisiana as well.
These states are peppered with SERIOUS swamps. Ever hear of the bayou or the Okefenokee?
And yet, I’ve never seen mosquitos like the ones grown up here. Calling them dive bombers would be the world’s biggest understatement. Why one of them knocked me down yesterday, when I got out of my car.
Three others were practicing their aerial maneuvers in front of my TV screen all evening, while I was trying to find a house for a nice looking young couple on HGTV. Now I ask you, was that very polite?
Then I decided to head for my bed – BIG mistake! I turned on my bedside lamp and let out a screech.
At first, I told myself not to worry. It was only a huge shadow of a mosquito lurking on the wall behind my bed, but oh, no! This monster was the real deal.
I swear Harold, as we’ll call him, measured about six foot by four. No joke. Would I lie to you?
So I did what any reasonably intelligent, middle-aged career woman would do in the circumstances at a quarter to midnight. I lifted the receiver from my Hollywood phone, dialed, and woke up my somewhat-grumpy-at-having-been-awakened BFF.
How was I to know that it was somewhere around two hours since she had gone to bed?
“Don’t be a wimp,” her not-so-nicely-uttered response came back over the phone line. “Kill it.”
“You don’t understand.” I searched for a way to make my point clear. “This thing is beyond big. It’s HUGE. I’ll have blood dripping down the wall right behind my head and onto the pillow, and I just had my hair done.”
“Oh, blood on your hair helmet. Yuk! Well, we can’t have that now, can we?”
For a moment, I thought I had detected a note of sarcasm in her voice, but decided against it. After all, she was still half asleep.
“But you said it was HUGE, right?” my BFF continued, having decided to be helpful.
“You got it in one.” By now, I was growing impatient.
“No problem,” came her ultimate answer. “It’s a male. Just give him a wallop with one of your Selbys. Male mosquitos don’t bite. They’re the ultimate cowards. There won’t be any blood.”
Then, she hung up her phone and left me to deal.
So, what else could I do?
We’re talking about my BFF here. I had no alternative, but to trust her.
Armed with one of my best Selby high heels (the left one for you purists), I gave a wide swing at the thing on my wall, but softball and tennis never were my best sports.
Sensing my anger, it took flight, and I watched as it slunk itself off the wall and disappeared somewhere along my back hallway into the dark.
Quick as a wink, I slammed my bedroom door shut, realizing that it was way too big to slip back in under it.
Obviously, I’ve survived what turned out to be a rather horrendous night, but believe me, this story isn’t over. The D.C. swamps and their homegrown critters still await another opportunity to annoy me.
Just as soon as I shut down this computer, I’m going out shopping for several yards of mosquito netting and the biggest can of outdoor Raid I can find.
Oh, geez, it was female!