Just how big does your herd of mosquitoes have to get before you qualify as a farmer?
It seemed like a perfectly reasonable question to ask after accidentally inhaling a couple while simultaneously preparing to sneeze and stumbling through the boggy jungle that just two days ago was a closely-mowed yard.
Apparently I’d set off the mosquito equivalent of a stampede with waves of them spinning through the air in a whining horde as I made a dash for the door or the handy dandy can of bug spray whichever I could reach first.
About 10 days ago, I had cracks in the front yard that you could lose a weed whacker in or put a dexterity-deprived person like yours truly in serious jeopardy of a broken nose (other people might be in danger of breaking an ankle. Me? I’m the kind who would trip, perform a few utterly amazing ballet-style leaps and ultimately wind up face first on the porch 15 yards away.)
I’ve got a lawn growing at an exponential rate and what I see as a miniature able-to-stand-the-light-of-day vampire invasion (those would be the mosquitoes for those who didn’t grow up reading fantasy novels). My helpful neighbor tells me the invasion is probably homegrown, however.
So, if I’m growing a herd, doesn’t that make be a farmer?
Maybe I could market the little buggers as a home security system? Or would be potential spread of West Nile and Zika be considered germ warfare? Violating an international treaty would be bad. Real bad.
Figuring out how to train the little biting bugs on who’s a “friendly” and who’s an “enemy” seems to be a daunting task as well.
I don’t know whether mosquitoes have ears or not, but I can testify that they do not listen well at all to shouts of “Ugh, get away” or respond to flailing arms.
Instead they seem to see any human in the area as “snack time” as I can testify from the numerous whelps on my body.
Getting tired of being bit, I find it hard not to cheer when I learned the hard-working folks at the city Public Works department plan on eliminating my entire herd.
Hmmmm, I’m guessing I couldn’t claim that as an act of nature on a crop loss form?
Do they have a box for “nope, just didn’t work out the way I thought?”
With the foggy mist of bug-killing fog soon to be rolling through the streets, I guess I should give up this notion.
True, I live in a town formed by agriculture, largely sustained by agriculture and my hearty salute to them.
But it’s taken me all of about 20 steps from the truck to the front door to come up with a farming scheme and quickly discard it.
Guess I better stick with banging out words on a keyboard and give up on the whole farming thing.
Or maybe I should bale the front yard and sell it as hay?
It hasn’t been cut for about three days now.
Ought to be ready in, what, another two?
That would count as a crop wouldn’t it?
– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.