Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

`Giant Death Mosquitoes in D.C.!'. (Humor)

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

`Giant Death Mosquitoes in D.C.!'. (Humor)

Article excerpt

It's finally here in our nation's capital. The dreaded West Nile virus has made it all the way from the left side of that big river in Africa (the "Amazon"), and now we're listening for the telltale hum of mosquitoes struggling to stay aloft with their bodies swollen with disease. (And trust me, there's nothing scarier than a mosquito that's so chubby it's got an "outie" belly button.)

Solemn-faced newscasters have been hired for the emergency, temporarily replacing the perky former cheerleaders who usually read the news, since they've never been solemn in their entire lives. ("Solemn? Is that, like, when your manicurist cancels at the last minute?") While we are grateful to the local media for keeping us informed about the threat, our thanks go particularly to Fox News Channel which, against its better judgment, did not start its evening newscasts with "GIANT DEATH MOSQUITOES IN D.C.! We'll tell you how you can survive right after Sports, Weather, and an interview with the third runner-up on American Idol?

APPARENTLY THE VIRUS preys first on the weak and infirm, as opposed to, say, convicted corporate executives, who are rich and incarcerated. Experts have recommended that the best defense against exposure to the virus is to stay indoors and wear one of those beekeeper hats, with the mesh netting. (By the way, did you know you can actually eat stuff through the netting? But it has to be yogurt, and not the kind with the fruit on the bottom since that gets caught in the mesh, no matter how much you lick it. And then it just STAYS THERE all day, attracting insects such as mosquitoes. Not that I've tried it.)

If you go outdoors, the Centers for Disease Control suggests you first apply DEET, a powerful chemical repellant that must be used with extreme caution. Which explains why it's marketed with a dancing cartoon bottle with bouncy eyeballs, a cute little guy that children just love. In fact, if I was a kid, I'd want to pick him up, give him a hug, and then take a big, thirst-quenching drink from the decorative green bottle. But you shouldn't, on account of it's poison.

THE WORST THING about the West Nile virus is that it could be anthrax. Or, for that matter, the common cold. There isn't much difference in the early indications. …

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