July 26, 2014 in Features

The Slice: Have some respect for the bloodsuckers

By The Spokesman-Review
 

As you know, the Inland Northwest is not highly ranked nationally when it comes to our mosquito problem.

Sure, we have buzzing bloodsuckers here. But anyone who has spent summers in Alaska or Minnesota (or lots of other places) would be happy to tell you. The Spokane area simply does not have it bad when it comes to mosquitoes.

OK, maybe they were ferocious once at the lake. Or perhaps you got chewed up on a local camping trip. The fact remains, stepping outside after dark around here is usually a survivable experience.

People here don’t have to scream “For the love of all that’s holy, shut the door!”

Which raises a question.

Shouldn’t we sort of admire the relatively few mosquitoes we do have?

Think about it. Unlike the hordes of needle-nosed pests one would encounter in the Midwest, Northeast or South, our vampire bugs are practically rugged individualists. They are just working hard to make a living.

They have some of the traits we are said to admire in our neck of the woods. They are willing to go it alone, living off the grid if necessary. And because they are not present in overwhelming numbers, they cannot hide in a cloud of similar insects. They have to stand up and be counted.

Spokane area mosquitoes, those that aren’t eaten by voracious birds, attack even when the odds are against them.

You almost have to respect that, even as you’re busy trying to do them in.

Almost.

Why fewer kids read the print newspaper: The Internet? Maybe that has something to do with it.

But I think the real reason is adults with maniacally gleeful expressions presenting children with advertising inserts touting “Back to School” sales.

Today’s high-mileage grill: “On our 40th wedding anniversary on June 1, 1997, our children gave us a Weber Genesis 1000XL,” wrote Max and Lynne Sparr. “Still going strong and we cook out several times a week all year long.”

Today’s Slice question: What member of your extended family has been asked “What were you thinking?” the greatest number of times?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Sande Paulson wonders if catnip should be thought of as “weed” for cats.


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