Poor Biff’s Almanac: On Mosquitoes, Narwhals, Zappers, and Straws

Narwhals Mosquitoes Etc 01

Wow!  Two posts in a row!

I think that is enough data points to enable me to plot a curve and, with a little clever interpolation, determine that I am going to write a record number of posts between now and the end of the year.

Curves don’t lie.

But you know what does lie?

Ads for over-the-counter cold medication.

Take Clog-B-Gone!” they shout, “And soon your nose will be as clear as a breaching narwhal’s blowhole!  That’s right, folks!   In no time at all you will be just like a pair of breaching narwhal blowholes!

I’m here to tell you …. I feel nothing like that.

The best analogy I can offer is this.

You know when you go to your favorite milkshake joint and they bring you a shake so thick and frozen that you can’t even hardly pound a drinking straw into it with a mallet?  And then you find you can’t even get a teaspoon of milkshake through that straw even if you were using Wile E. Coyote’s Acme Meg-a-Vac-U-Suk-A-Tron?


Breathing feels kind of like that.

But breathing is so 2017.  It’s time to move on to a new groove.

I was feeling well enough tonight to get out into the back yard to refill the bird feeder and put water in the birdbaths.  The bird feeder had been pecked clean days ago.  The birdbath was as dry  as a cotton ball packed in desiccant in the middle of the Sahara desert.

There were no birds in the back yard.  I guess they gave up on me several days ago.

But one thing there was no shortage of was mosquitoes.  I was soon surrounded in a black cloud of them and so I held the garden hose in one hand and my electric tennis-racket-style bug zapper in the other, waving both wildly.  In retrospect, that may not have been a good idea.

Which is more dangerous:

  1. A tennis-racket charged with 2000 volts being waved through a fine mist of garden hose water and mosquitoes?
  2. Ten billion mosquitoes, of which a very small, but finite, number were carrying the West Nile or Zika viruses?

I felt it was comparable to buying two Lotto tickets and ten scratch-off lottery game tickets.  Chances are, nothing good was going to come of either one.

So, I turned off the hose and went into the house to try to cool off after my ten minutes of intense activity in the 104 degree heat (40 C).

And now I’m going to take some Nyquil and go to bed.

Here’s hoping I will soon make like a pair of breaching Narwhal’s blowholes.




    • The only home ready I ever tried was to put yeast in some flat beer into jar with aninverted funnel leading into it. The theory was that the carbon dioxide created by the yeast would attract mosquitoes down into the funnel and they would drown, not being able to find their way out through the tiny opening in the funnel. All it succeeded in doing was making my garage smell like bread. Not a single mosquito lost its life. 🙂


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