Thursday, October 30, 2008


I had a funny experience at the drug store yesterday when I stopped in on my way to work. The line for the cashiers was very long, stretching down one of the shopping aisles. I asked a guy with a cart in the aisle, “Are you in line?” He kind of grunted at me and positioned his cart so it would be more obvious that he was, indeed, waiting. I got behind him.

It was then that I noticed he had a HUGE mosquito hanging off the upper part of his right ear. And I mean HUGE. Apparently the mosquito had the good fortune to land on an area with few if any neurons, because this guy obviously didn’t feel it.

I watched the mosquito for a couple of minutes. It was clearly eating -- it got fatter and fatter, its body redder and redder. I wondered what I should do. I thought about trying to surreptitiously fan it off the guy’s ear, but surely the guy would feel that and think I was up to something. I thought about simply saying, “Hey, dude, you have a HUGE mosquito on your ear,” but then he was likely to squash the mosquito -- which, after all, was only trying to get its breakfast and doing what mosquitoes do. (Plus that would be a mess, because the mosquito was quite full by this time.)

I marveled at the situation. Doesn’t it seem unlikely to witness a mosquito attack in a drug store on Park Avenue at the end of October?

Eventually, the guy moved up to the cashier. I thought she might say something, but she didn’t -- she barely looked up, so I doubt she even noticed the mosquito. Finally, full to bursting, the mosquito flew away just as the guy was getting out his cash.

And that, I thought, was the best possible scenario. The guy never knew he’d been bitten. The mosquito got its breakfast. And I didn’t have to engage a grumpy fellow drug store patron. Problem solved!

(Photo: Graffiti sunset, Montauk, Oct. 2008)


  1. a perfect story illustrating how there are times that doing nothing is doing something.

    I probably would have tried to capture the mosquito as it was nibbling (sucking?) on the guy's ear.

  2. I think that's the most satisfying mosquito story I've ever read. So strange! And in New York--shouldn't it have died by now? It's nippy outside!

  3. Perfect Halloween story! A blood sucking insect, a giant one, too.

    Just have been reading about malaria, though, so if it had been me I would have smashed her to bits.

    Definitely was a "she-squito". They only drink blood so they can lay their eggs. In mosquitoes who carry malaria, it's the blood thinner in their saliva that transfers the malarial parasites into the blood stream.

  4. All's well that ends well.

  5. You and I might be the only people living in our respective cities who think that mosquitoes have a right to live and don't instinctively squash them.

  6. very descriptive, Steve . . . and kind of a "yuck" moment for me. :-)

  7. hahaha

    this made me laugh steve, thanks for cheering up my friday

    (tho also - yay! its friday!)

  8. Reya: Fortunately, New York is not a malarial area! (Having traveled in the tropics, I thought of that too!)

    Adrienne: I confess, if it had been on me, I'd have squashed it.

  9. Mosquitos have no right to life! I'll bet he wondered what had happened to make his ear so swollen and itchy later. But that was won very satiated mosquito that got away.

  10. You know, you could easily turn this into a full blown short story.... it's definitely "ripe" for that!

    A NY moment, indeed!