Beer? That’s my allure?

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel by Steve Estes

So finally there is some scientific justification to why I am the major draw for any mosquito that happens to be in the general vicinity of me.

If there are 20 people in a group, and one mosquito, then I will be the lone person who winds up with a blood sucker for a friend.

It’s always been that way. It didn’t matter if I was skinny, or carrying a few extra pounds, or well tanned, or lightly tanned, or oiled up for the sun or hidden behind sun block. None of those things made any difference.

Where ever there was one mosquito, it would seek me out and make it a day’s work to try and suck me dry of every ounce of blood it could get.

But now, thanks to a study done by some entomologist with way too much time on his/her hands, somewhere that mosquitoes are a problem, one of the reasons why certain people are bitten is that they drink beer.

Really?

According to this study people who drink beer are more likely to get bitten by the flying teeth than their counterparts who don’t drink the brew.

And although I do imbibe the occasional bourbon, my beverage of choice with alcohol content is indeed…beer.

Now if I were a steady beer drinker, I might be able to fathom this rather startling piece of knowledge, but my beer intake, if taken in total for a year, is probably less than one beer per day.

I hardly think that qualifies me as a beer drinker, and the chances that I have residual beer in my system on any given day are, well, slim and none.

But I can guarantee that if there’s a mosquito around anywhere, and it has choices on who to suck a few lines of blood from, I will be that choice.

I could almost buy the beer thing except that before I started drinking beer, which was around 17, just before it became legal for me to do so (legal age was 18 where I grew up) I was still the favorite target of mosquitoes everywhere I went.

Growing up in southwest Ohio, most of the small ponds around were stagnant water, and fertile breeding grounds for mosquitoes in the summertime. Many of the man-made lakes had little or no water circulation and thus huge swarms of mosquitoes could be found near any shoreline.

All I had to do was walk downwind of any minor grouping of buzzing mosquitoes and I was sure to have to swat several dozen. And even then, when I was younger and quicker, a few would get through and make a meal of my blood.

I’ve never been one to wear long pants in the heat. I’ve always preferred shorts and short-sleeve shirts, leaving a good amount of skin exposed to those tiny bloodsuckers.

I was a feast for the family. I could almost hear the mosquitoes sending out the right buzz when I came along, telling their family members, their friends, or even their friend’s friends, that they had found just the right morsel and come and get it.

I was it.

Now later in life when beer became the drink of choice, I can probably say that I would have been a tasty morsel when relaxing around the pool with the family as Holly doesn’t drink beer and the kids were too young to think of alcoholic beverages as a pastime.

But the beer theory falls short at other times as well. Even when I’m hanging around with other beer-drinking friends, they like to congregate near me because they know they are completely safe from the ravages of the flying teeth as long as I’m within striking distance.

So on this particular piece of scientific knowledge, I really think I’m going to have to call bull crap.

But as I ponder the results of the study and its complete lack of appropriateness to me, I am thinking of devious ways that I can fool the mosquitoes into leaving me alone.

Because I have always been such a tasty morsel for mosquitoes, I rarely bother with bug sprays. The cost simply isn’t worth the three less bugs that might target me on any given occasion.

But many of the people I know, those who are still unaware that I am the mosquito magnet, do use bug spray.

So perhaps I will empty the non-aerosol mosquito spray bottles that are laying around everywhere this time of year and refill them with beer.

When others begin dousing themselves with what they believe is a mosquito repellant, they will actually be making themselves more attractive to the flying teeth.

Maybe that will spare me if the bugs have a choice between someone who has downed a couple of brews and someone that that is now covered in beer.

Or maybe I can coat the inside of the screen with beer drawing the bugs to the area where sane people congregate while I stand unmolested outside the screened in areas.

Nothing else has worked, maybe a little mischievousness is what’s called for in these situations.

When folks around me start complaining about the heavy scent of beer, I will simply commit alcohol abuse and spill some beer on the ground, or the floor, and blame it on the dog for knocking it out of my hand.

This…yes…this is something I will have to try in the very near future.

But for now, excuse me while I brush up on my mosquito dance skills because I hear another swarm coming my way and I am, alas, all alone.

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