It has been a bit rainy here in scenic New Jersey. By a bit rainy, I mean it has rained nine days out of the last fourteen. Not biblical downpours, mind you, I’m talking the kind of precipitation that transforms suburban backyards into prime swampland, minus the alligators.
Such generous rainfall brings a wealth of wildlife to the suburbs. Squadrons of flying arthropods have come from neighboring states to vacation here at the Jersey shore. They are increasing their surplus population while frolicking at the beaches, rivers, streams, swamps, and backyards of the Garden State. I’m talking mosquitos, people, or as I like to call them, moreskeeters. Wherever I look, there are more and more skeeters. They are big. They are angry. And they are using their right of freedom of assembly to push their agenda – all for one and blood for all.
Only my dogs appear immune to these ravaging swarms of blood suckers. Far from protecting us in our hour of need, these dogs appear to be taking some perverse pleasure in providing the pterodactyl sized winged insects of doom with running, swatting, screeching targets for their bloodlust.
Prior to the rain surplus, my dog Jeffie had always been ready to protect me from harm, whether real or imagined. He laid by my side while I recovered from four surgeries, growling at anyone he deemed to be too close for comfort. He jumped on my chest each and every time I sneezed within earshot, ready to perform canine CPR. Jeffie had my back, nursing me when sick and protecting me from harm.
That all ended two nights ago. I was burning the proverbial midnight oil, completing an humor writing course assignment, when a low-pitched woof pierced the silence. Not wanting to interrupt my creative mojo, I ignored said woof. Bad move, for soon Jeffie was scratching a tunnel to the earth’s core via his crate. I was pretty sure that my home owner’s insurance wouldn’t cover such canine-powered structural damage. I had to face facts, Jeffie had to relieve himself, and I was the only one awake to take him out.
Ever the responsible dog owner, I went to the back door, turned on the patio light, and froze in terror. Mutant mosquitos had organized around the back door, and they were staring right at me, scanning me for weak points, performing the complex calculations needed to mobilize the highest number of bloodsuckers in the shortest amount of time. I pleaded with Jeffie, bribing him with all manner of succulent tidbits, if he would just hold off until morning. I rattled off all the diseases spread by mosquitos, and begged my dog to spare me from them. Who knew that a lowly canine knew the exact probability of a Jersey humorist contracting dengue fever from a marauding army of skeeters (damn near nil). I’m pretty sure he knew, for he looked at the gathering swarm of winged hypodermic needles and said “wuss”. Or at least I think he said wuss. I was too busy planning my sprint out the door while simultaneously covering all exposed flesh to hear anything.
Upon release from the bonds of the back door, Jeffie, the canine formerly known as loyal, seized the opportunity to perform the ancient canine helicopter dance. This ceremonial dance was a wonder to behold – his pooper shooter performing a maddening number of figure eights before depositing his fragrant offering into the ancestral dumping grounds. Sadly, warding off the advances of carnivorous insects cut into my usual appreciation of the canine rear-cycling act.
Only after I provided a most generous involuntary blood donation to the arthropod vampires, did my traitorous pooch scamper through the back door and back into his crate. Not a single mosquito touched Jeffie’s delicate skin. Stupid helicopter butt.
Please, if I get dengue fever, malaria, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or yellow fever after this fiasco, I want you to promise to remember me in song. For some reason, this song keeps springing to mind*.
Wasting away again in damn Mosquitoville,
Looking for my lost spray can of Off®.
Some people claim that there’s the weather to blame,
But I know, it’s my damn dog’s fault