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MOSQUITO, NOT THE SAME AS A MOJITO

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MOSQUITO, NOT THE SAME AS A MOJITO

Cindy Maddera

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I feel like I've been having a hard time sitting down and writing anything these days. A lot of this is due to how busy things have gotten lately. I've just been too busy to compile any thoughts into one space and by the time I sit down to actually do that, to actually tell you about all of the great and fun things we've been doing, I've forgotten what it was I was going to tell you. Also, some of those things are serious topics that I'm not sure I'm ready to talk about. They are grown up discussions on combining households and figuring out what's wrong with Dad. Things I'm either not ready to talk about yet or don't have all the information to share. The only information I can share is the number of mosquito bites I have on one leg. It's eleven. No wait...twelve. It's twelve (ask me again tomorrow). I had no idea that Spring here would mean poison ivy for me and late Summer here would mean malaria season. Actually, I'm really surprised that I have not come down with West Nile or malaria. The other day I was out watering the garden and I looked down at my thumb and there was a mosquito sitting on my thumbnail with her proboscis jabbed into my cuticle. And if you think that a mosquito wouldn't be able to get much from a cuticle, you are wrong. A mosquito leaves just as large and itchy bite on the cuticle as it does on any other fleshy region of the body. And that's another thing. I am not walking around in my yard naked. I am fully clothed and even wearing jeans on many of those occasions. My underwear is HUGE! Why is it then that I keep finding large itchy whelps on that area where my thigh meets my ass? How does that happen? Well, I'll tell you how.

The proboscis on mosquito is made up of feeding styles collectively called a fascicle. There's a lip of tiny teeth around the outside of the fascicle that vibrate at a frequency to microsaw it's way through your skin. If it can microsaw through skin, surely it can do that through clothes. Basically the mosquito is chewing you and your clothing and it only requires about 16 uN of force to insert the fascicle into the skin. I know this because I read this abstract. There are scientist out there who are trying to figure out how a mosquito can bite through a layer of denim and a layer of giant cotton panties to get to that fleshy part of your (and I mean my) butt. Technically, they're looking for new ways to fabricate better needles, but I know, deep down, they just want to know how and why they have mosquito bites on their butts.

Or maybe I'm just trying to tell you that I've been too busy scratching my ass to write a proper blog entry.