The diary of Joe Mosquito
By Terry Joseph
June 18, 2004
In my line of work, telephone tipsters, whether anonymous or extroverted, are not exactly rare but what happened yesterday was pretty unusual. A couple of tiny pages, purportedly from the diary of one Joe Mosquito, turned up in the morning mail with no clue about the sender's identity.
Firstly, I had no idea mosquitoes kept diaries. Given their short life span and the business to which they are dedicated, it seemed a vanity to record accounts of their puny adventures but Joe was meticulous, if we are to judge by his notes, which had to be read through a really powerful magnifying glass.
He had received a call, it seemed, from a cousin, Mary Mosquito, who wanted to find out the latest buzz, all of which sprang from the standard question: "How de larvae?" Joe was effusive and noted every word of the exchange, which included a lament on repellants and details of initiatives by the municipal corporation to slaughter his family.
"These days we are under siege," Joe wrote. "They are blaming us for everything, encephalitis, dengue fever, malaria and West Nile Virus-to name a few. It is persecution on the scale of the Spanish Inquisition. A few fools are even saying we are helping spread HIV, as if we use human blood donations for redistribution to other people.
"Nobody is talking 'soucouyant' again. Every nick is branded a mosquito bite. I have to admit they have us on the run and with all this evidence we're not hearing a single squawk from those environmentalists who are rushing to save every other species on the planet. I know we have a few bad eggs in the family but that doesn't mean we're all rogue mosquitoes.
"Some of us, at least my close friends and I, just enjoy gliding in the cool of the evening, using the bug-mat for a little trampoline fun, getting high on 'cock-set' smoke or sitting by the nearest puddle singing 'I've Got You Under My Skin', which is a rallying song my uncle taught us. Even in scenarios like that, where we clearly mean no harm, soon enough, you hear the "pfffft" coming and you know a human with an aerosol can is on the loose.
"Even the most devout, who say they believe God made all living things, have joined the hunt. When they run out of reasons, they say we make this funny noise, I even saw it described as a 'war cry', when in fact it is nothing more than our wings flapping at high speed and the Doppler effect making it sound like we're zooming in or out as we move closer to or further from the human ear.
"But you cannot teach these savages anything. We are 'mosquita-non-grata' everywhere. Peter paying for Paul. Entire sections of supermarkets are set aside for noxious gases and you should see the hardware stores, stocked to the ceiling with murderous devices; when it is they who cause the spread of rascal mosquitoes.
"You wouldn't think rats and roaches were responsible for more diseases, death and debilitation. They take such care with rattlesnakes, bears and tigers, putting them in comfortable cages and feeding them but mosquitoes are on everyone's hit list. Equal Opportunities Act my eye! In fact, I even heard that the police now have heavily armed 'swat' teams but I'm afraid to ask precisely what they do if they find a stray mosquito.
"In the daytime, when we are goofing off (or taking a little rest and relaxation, as the teachers call it), the City Corporation sends out teams of guys, with pressurised spray and at nightfall, just as we get set to go food-shopping for the kids, a big truck with a huge atomizer comes down the street, killing off thousands of us at a time.
"It is all so unfair, cousin Mary, because we never asked human beings for anything but a blood sample, nor did we actually create any of the diseases they pinned on us. In fact, animals infected us first. We have even become victims of bigoted anti-Muslim sentiments, with the real killers saying we only added the 'ito' part of our family name to disguise the 'mosque'.
"None of us is as destructive as the Cocrico, yet they proudly put that cosquel-looking bird on their coat of arms but squash every last mosquito.
The way I see it, this is just another example of how the big oppresses the small and, you must admit, they don't come much smaller than us.
"Martha and I are migrating so we can spend our last few hours in peace. Let them keep their putrid stagnant water in every backyard. Some other mutant species will come along and flourish in that environment and, I feel certain it would be much worse.
"I keep a diary with all the facts. I shall send it to you by the usual method. If you can use this information to make our case I will be grateful, but be careful to not leave a trace, as they will initiate another witch-hunt and squash the life out of you.
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