We’ve split the atom, sent man to the moon, cured polio and smallpox, but we can’t repel mosquitoes without a chemical that melts plastic. The label on Ben’s 100 Max Formula is lousy with warnings: Do not inhale. Do not apply over cuts, wounds or irritated skin. Do not apply near ears and mouth. Do not apply to children’s hands. Do not allow children to handle this product. Do not use under clothing (as opposed to ‘Do not use underclothing.’). Allow me to assuage your fears. This DEET-based spray is manufactured by the Tender Corporation.
Some eschew DEET, but I’m not one of them. ‘Freedom of the hills’ is mere myth without freedom from the bugs. If you choose to wear a dryer sheet to ward off mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus, be my guest. I’ve been wadered up, veiled in mosquito netting only to find 76 million bloodsuckers vying for the remaining epidermal real estate. The back of my hand, which I know so well, looked like Braille. Hand over the yellow oil. I may die tomorrow, but at least I won’t get eaten alive today.
More than one woo-woo type has suggested the zen approach of ignoring the little vampires. Perhaps I should leave my rain shell at home and try to ignore the precipitation.
If I won the lottery, I would invest a portion of the windfall into research and development of an effective DEET alternative. I already have a name. With apologies to the makers of Off insect repellant, I’m going to dub my bug juice Fuck Off!