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Monday, 27 June 2011

Ask and Ye Shall Receive - Whatever

By Jeanne Waite Follett of Gullible's Travels

You know that whole, “Ask and ye shall receive” thing?

Well, with me it’s been “Ask and whatever happens, happens.” Like the whole thing’s a crapshoot and there’s no Ultimate Customer Service agent on call to fulfill the bazillions of requests people make every day.

I remember quite distinctly some I made. The unanswered ones, that is. Those were usually along the lines of requesting reciprocity in the high school crush department. Not until I lived long enough to gain the advantage of hindsight did I understand what a boon those particular unanswered requests were. Most of them, anyway.

Of course, there were some prayers that were seemingly ignored and others that were answered.

The fulfilled ones almost always had to do with, “Please, just let me live through this and I’ll… (whatever the promise was I offered in return for a favorable outcome).”

What brought all this up were mosquitoes. Alaskan mosquitoes. Big enough to throw a saddle on and ride. Leap tall buildings in a single bound. Those mosquitoes.

They enjoyed a smorgasbord courtesy of my forearms yesterday while I was picking up litter near Turnagain Pass. When the little gluttons had drained a few pints, they went off to do whatever their blood-crazed libidos demanded.

I didn’t even think about them today before I went back to the same area to pick up where I’d left off. (Pun accidental.) Today they were worse.

With the weather threatening rain, the little vampires with the blood-sucking proboscises were convinced it was do or die today and they came at me in swarms.

Fifty feet from my truck, I found it difficult to breathe without inhaling insects. I really needed some repellent, but I was 40 miles from home and almost 30 miles from the nearest store. I was seriously considering turning back and asking some people in the pullout where I was parked if they had any bug dope I could borrow.

While I pondered, weak and weary, with many a famished flying tanker zeroed in on my veins, I continued putting litter in the yellow litter bag. Just before I turned back, I reached for an opaque white plastic bottle lying beside the asphalt.

I'd noticed the bottle lying on the dark gray sand next to the highway as I had slowed to pull into the parking area. It stuck out like - well, like a white bottle on dark gray sand.

As soon as my grab stick touched it, I heard angels singing. The clouds parted and a shaft of sunlight struck.

No, wait. Different story.

As soon as my grab stick touched that bottle, I said to myself, “No Way!” I lifted the bottle and turned it over.


Yes, Way! A lovely bottle of Off insect repellent. Tropical scent. Almost full even though the cap was cracked. I smelled it. Oh, baby, I would recognize that wonderful DEET smell anywhere, though I'd never before thought of it as wonderful.

I immediately took a bath in the stuff. After that, those mosquitoes and their cousins, the nasty little biting flies, drafted in my wake as I walked but didn’t bite.

So, you know that whole “Ask and ye shall receive” thingy?



Jeanne Waite Follett

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Jeanne - YUK! I felt every bite.

I could easily be a vegetarian. I don't like killing any living thing. But, mosquitoes are the exception.

At our summer home in Maine, they used to be so many of them that we couldn't see the car from the house. Then I purchased a 'Mosquito Magnet' and captured them by the tens of thousands. Each fall I filled 6 or 7 Skippy Peanut Butter bottles with their corpses, and gave them to various friends for Christmas.

Nowadays, there are very few. I like to think I had something to do with this, but it's more likely to be some sort of cyclical phenomenon. - Sandy

Delightful post! Ah, yes, I remember them well! I lived in Biloxi, Mississippi, the summer that "all the mosquitoes came over from New Orleans." I am not kidding when I tell you that when I went outside to hang clothes, my legs would be black with them in a matter of minutes!Couldn't take my toddler out at all. Ugh! I moved up north--now we have deer flies!

I wonder if those terrible mosquitoes, because they are so big and fierce also sound like dive bombers when they attack. I would imagine the noise must be horrendous if there are as many as you say. Have you ever thought of moving to a place where they aren't such a bother. but then where is that place?

I agree with the YUK! Only thing I have to say having lived my entire life in the big city, where mosquitos live, but not like they do in the great outdoors..camping I used to get bit up like mad..my son Wm used to love counting my mosquito "bikes" as a young'un, for some reason, my 3 kids did not get as eaten up as Mom and their Dad rarely even got approached...umm..I wondered then and still do..I also have allergies like hay fever and ragweed, none of the kids do, nor the grands, thank heaven..skeeters still love my blood, thank god for cities...I have never tried Deet - I just avoid the countryside til October..you are a trooper along with great writer...

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