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Opening Arguments


Headline of the day, from a Wisconsin State Journal story: Mosquitoes want your blood. Gee, do ya think?

Everybody I know has been complaining for a week about how bad the mosquitoes are this year. Apparently, they are not just wimpy whiners:

“We know there are an abundance of nuisance mosquitoes. We're getting a lot of calls,” said health department spokesman John Silcox.

The recent heavy rains were an ideal environment for breeding of nuisance biters - the ones that cause a lot of welts and itching but no disease.

Me, I don't seem to notice them so much. I suspect it's  from spending a tour in Southeast Asia, where mosquitoes were a constant swarming cloud one had to always walk through. No domestic flying pests can ever measure up. Sigh, just another one of the war wounds I've brought back to inflict on my friends and neighbors and the people I pick fights with in bars. (You really have to read that. It is appalling and astonishing in its anti-war, wide-eyed innocence.)

Bees are something else. There is something about me that attracts them. There can be 100 of us standing around, and a bee will ignore the other 99 and come right for me. Any day now, I expect them to come right into the office looking for me: "Can Leo come out and play?" I hate bees. Don't you ever let one follow you into a bar where I'm drinking, or I'll show you what I learned in 'Nam, you ------- --------.


Bob G.
Fri, 09/07/2007 - 9:39am

Read that WP article...appalling is a damn good description.

As to the bugs...that's what the "bug juice" was for (tucked nicely in the band around one's helmet)
Mosquitos were the least of one's worries in country. They weren't packing a 7.62mm bite!

Funny thing though...in NJ, they're considered the "state bird"...go figure!



Steve T.
Sat, 09/08/2007 - 9:48pm

"Mosquitoes?" "-toes?" "Toes?"

In this evening's languorous state, I can't figure out (without mundanely cheating, by using Google or Dictionary.com) whether "mosquitoes" is the correct spelling, or a bit of humor intended to resonate with Bush the Elder's (and Huntington's own) potatoe-spelling vice pres, Dan Quayle.

It's a minor matter I know.

Hey, maybe "mosquitos" and "mosquitoes" are both accepted in your Funk & Wagnall's?

Let the curious Google the matter (it IS a verb now) and offer their own superior academic analysis of the Issue of the spelling of the plural of "mosquito."

Or (heaven forfend), let the best of them go to the Library and accomplish the research, and the final word on the subject of the correct spelling. I'm delighted to be set straight.

Steve T.
Mon, 09/10/2007 - 1:02am

"Mosquitoes" didn't feel right last night, but tonight the spelling feels okay.

Ever have that feeling when reading, or proofing?

I go to the dictionary far more often for a "maybe" than anything else. I don't check others' understanding nearly as often as I check my own.

Case in point -- my own spelling of "forfend"
-- or is it "forefend?"