If you had time between dragging your unmotivated ass into and out of work yesterday to check the news online, chances are you were deluged by semi-hysterical notices regarding Florida’s latest imminent environmental cataclysm. Mutant mosquitoes the size of a ninth grader’s fist are, even as we speak, staging en masse amid the swampy hidey-holes of the Everglades, just waiting for the weather to turn warm enough to inspire a statewide assault.
They’ve tasted the salty nectar of amateur python-hunter blood, and they’re hungry for more!
OK, so, gallinippers are not really the size of a ninth grader’s fist. They’re more the size of a quarter. But still — that’s like 20 times the size of a regular mosquito. A mosquito 20 times the size of a regular mosquito is, by all accounts, a Giant Monster Mosquito.
And they’re starved for the blood of our pets, our fauna, and ourselves! USA Today quoted a MOSI employee as saying “it goes after people, and it bites,” and that being bitten (honest to God) “feels like you’re being stabbed.”
Yeah, all right — regular mosquitoes are pretty much starved for blood, and go after people, and bite. But … stabbing!
(About five other outlets also used this same quote, BTW, which appears to have originated with Orlando’s, ahem, Fox affiliate.)
And. AND. Staging, you guys! Staging to SWARM! A SWARM OF GIANT STABBING MONSTER MOSQUITOES THE LIKES OF WHICH WE’VE NEVER SEEN!
Except less hyperbolic outlets note that this summer’s possible “swarm” of gallinippers could be similar to last year’s “swarm” of gallinippers, the one caused by floodwaters left in the wake of Tropical Storm Debby.
Remember? Remember last June’s catastrophic statewide gallinipper swarm? The one that carried off your burro in a cyclone of buzzing winged death after stripping the paint from your house and the skin from your mother-in-law? How could you forget?
Oh, yeah — it never happened.
Sure, another weird, crazy and potentially inconvenient element of nature is making its presence known, particularly at the south end of the state. And yes, apparently gallinippers can be more aggressive than regular mosquitoes. (And I’m sure being bitten by one isn’t quite as pleasurable a tactile experience as, say, receiving oral sex from your favorite cast member of The Avengers.) Some people will get stung, and it will suck, and life will go on pretty much as it always has down here where the freaky humans and the freaky animals mingle.
But why does it have to be looming disaster? Why does everything have to be an apocalyptic goddamned environmental nightmare? Get rid of any standing water. Don’t walk Poopsie along the edge of the retention pond at dawn or dusk. Be informed. Be alert. Be aware of your surroundings.
You’re much more likely to be a victim of the scare machine than of the gallinippers. Don’t.