Friday, May 11, 2012

Mosquito Masher

[This is a model presently in use]

Mosquitoes are a menace.  They have great fondness to some people and less to some.  I belong to the former, unfortunately.  My colleague Murthy asks 'Does mosquitoes bite?'.  If we say 'yes', he will argue that they have no teeth to bite, but they 'prick'.  He is right.  It does prick, quite nastily too, to keep us busy for the next half hour, scratch, scratch, scratch. It usually pricks without warning. They are considered an uncontrollable menace.

To get respite from this pesky pest, I have made protective bags [from old pajamas] for my two legs that go under the dark area of the desk [at home].  The blooming mosquitoes seem to know the arrival of the legs there and they love the dark areas. These reshaped, ugly pajama stockings [so, no photo] was a peaceful method to protect my poor legs from being 'pricked' so that I could work more peacefully at the desk. This is a somewhat recent idea. They are being actually used at the time of writing this post! One stocking for each leg.

I had 'invented' a cruel method when I was 14 or 15. The usual method of using both palms to kill them within 'clapping range' was having many failures [empty claps]. I thought of having one hand free while still swatting down a 'skeeter' [slang] successfully. They say necessity is the mother of invention. 

I had seen the use of 'finger cymbals' at temples and by some street beggars who sang and asked alms.  I adapted this idea for my cruel smasher.  The idea was also triggered by a school-day incident where I had smashed a mosquito between the pages of the book I was holding with both hands and reading.  It was slowly buzzing between the two pages of the open book and in a flash, I closed the book!  Yuck!  There was that 'chutneyed' mosquito that blotched a couple of words!  I saw blood.  You know what tigers become after they taste human blood?  Man-eaters.  I turned into a 'mosquito masher'!  That's where it started.  "The killer instinct"! 

Let me show you some mosquitoes on me and in my garden before I go further.

The above five pictures are taken in my garden. These are big mosquitoes as you can see in picture 2. Their pricks are painful only for a few moments. They do not seem to inject any poison, so we do not keep scratching the area which we do when those tiny ones prick and go away silently.  See the blood suckers below, on my skin. They can really 'get under my skin'!  They have, often.. and paid the penalty.

 Who says I do not donate blood?  Look how it has pierced my epidermis.

 Sucking from my finger.

 Prick, but no 'ouch', but later 'scratch'.

I just pressed it with the finger tip and pressed it lightly, enough to kill it for what it did. The sucker's siphon  is still in my skin.

Two different kinds of mosquito larvae in my water lily stone trough.

 See the blood it has sucked up.

Another shot of the pest sucking my blood in the garden. That was its last drink. 

Now let me come back to the masher, the subject of this post.  You now know why they deserve to be mashed!

I had old notebooks from the previous class lying around. I already told that it started when I was 14 or 15. The books had cardboard covers. I separated the pages from the hard covers and my 'weapon' was ready in such a jiffy.  My first ever weapon was ready, but it did not have the handle, though light to handle.  I found that a 'hold' a necessity.  I just stapled strips of flat cotton tape at the right places.  Lo and behold! I could now open the weapon's 'mouth' or close it at will, like a Hippo or a Crocodile!

When I had just invented this contraption, I was fond of showing my neighbours, friends and house visitors.  I remember esp. one of them, Dr.Mysore Shivaram.  He had just completed his degree in medicine.  He was wonder struck as I was very young at that time and had this 'invention' to show.  He asked me if I killed male mosquitoes or female ones.  I had no answer at that young age. I was happy if I mashed mosquitoes.  One mashed meant one less to bother.  Long later I learnt that females need some protein present in the human blood for its reproductory activity.

My cruel, merciless, easy to use mosquito masher can be a very useful weapon in some other ways as well.  It can improve our reflexes and hand-eye coordination and the mashing accuracy is more than 75%.  If reflexes and luck are quick and high respectively, it increases to 90%.  If we catch them at the edge, we can at least break a leg or two - of the skeeter. I will decide to patent this [just kidding], once the rate goes as high as 97%.  I must tell that it also tunes up our 'killer instinct'.  Now don't  think of asking me about these figures. It is a wild guess from the experience of using it for close to 40 years, every now and then!

In the last 3 decades, hundreds of these blood suckers have fallen victim to my quick reflexes *boast* that has also helped my skill in cricket. I had mashed down nearly 40 on a summer night 30 years ago. Some record!  I was patient on them for a long time.  Beware the fury of the patient man!

Existing mosquito population in a certain room can be controlled to some extent, provided you have time, energy and will to use the masher!  This is better than using mosquito repellent burning coils or vaporizing liquids that contain chemicals for all the safe advantages it has. In summer, we can use it as a hand fan also.

I cannot show the misses here, but I can show the mashes ['enlargify' it].

I have stuck white paper on both faces so that they can be removed and kept for 'record purposes'.  Once the 'dark red art work' is beautiful enough, fresh paper can be replaced!

You can also DIY [do it yourself] and enjoy mashing. It does not cost you anything!  It is different from the popular 'potato mashing'. Only difference is, potatoes will not be flying!

'Why does a mosquito buzz only near our ears?' asks a friend.  Because our ears can hear it but our legs can't!

I must say that this is one of my very earliest inventions.. or rather creations.

1 comment:

  1. Very funny stuff! Ouch! I'd better go; I'm starting to itch!


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