anne mikolay 2012 120Summer is winding down. I can't say I'm sorry to see it go. It hasn't been a very good season for me. I didn't visit half the places I intended to, nor did I accomplish much of anything meaningful this summer. In fact, I spent quite a lot of time slapping myself silly. Why? Because apparently the word has spread among the insect population that this Irish gal offers an all-you-can-eat buffet. Despite my sizable backyard, mosquitoes have an annoying ability of zeroing in on me, and they always have.

When I was a little girl, mosquitoes feasted on me. I recall waking up more than once with bitten, swollen lips so large I looked as though I had received an overdose of Botox. It was painful, unsightly, and scary. For a time, I was so afraid to go to bed at night that my father hung a preventative No-Pest strip from my bedroom ceiling. It didn't work. I remained dinner for mosquitoes. My mother had a variety of home remedies for itchy bug bites and suggested applying a mixture of salt and baking soda or squeezing vitamin E oil from a vitamin capsule onto the itchy spot. Both worked – for about ten minutes. For me, the only real cure for itchy insect bites is calamine lotion, so I go about my daily errands with pink-streaked legs. Hey, if the younger generation can dye their hair purple and blue, a middle aged lady like myself can walk around with pink-striped skin!

So why do those nasty gallnippers find me so tasty? According to Scienceline.org, I possess the ingredients that comprise an attractive mosquito meal. Mosquitoes are drawn to people who emit large amounts of carbon dioxide (yes, I've been told I'm full of hot air) and have a warm body temperature (no, I've never been told I'm “hot”). The biggest reason mosquitoes bite me is my blood. Mosquitoes are attracted to certain odorent markers in human blood; blood type O (yours truly) emits more of these markers than any other blood type. Apparently, in the insect world, I'm special. I can't hide from mosquitoes; they can smell dinner up to fifty meters away. All things considered, I really am an all-you-can-eat buffet for these annoying pests.

I've tried spray-on insect repellents, repellent wristbands, and Avon Skin-So-Soft to no avail, so I continue to slap myself silly whenever I feel the familiar, summer sting. But fall is around the corner! The mosquitoes' days are numbered!

So, farewell, bloodsuckers! As summer dies down,

I look forward to days when you won't be around.

So long, gallnippers! You'll soon die away!

I'll no longer be dinner to nourish your day.

Adios, buggers! The buffet will soon close.

You shant feast upon me as I quietly doze.

Mosquito! Mosquito! I squish you down flat.

Music to my ears: splat, splat, splat!