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Mosquito Toast

Dianne Lehmann

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My severely beset upon (after all, he married me) and long suffering husband, Bernd, is allergic to mosquitoes. So am I, but not to the extent that he is. Luckily for him, and not so luckily for me, they seem to like me better. But that is beside the point.

For a long time, we thought he was also allergic to cats. But as we found out when we moved to Dewey, Arizona, he is not allergic to cats. The office where he was first employed when we first moved here had a resident cat. No plugged up nose, no sniffles, no hacking and coughing. Turns out he is allergic to fleas. Luckily, there are no fleas above 5,000 feet in elevation where we now live.

When we were both still living in Southern California, erroneously thinking he was allergic to cats, we were still both allergic to mosquitoes. So, one night, just before getting into bed, I spied a mosquito in the bathroom. Thinking selflessly of my husband's extreme allergy to the pesky buggers, I immediately decided that this mosquito had met its end in me.

Unfortunately, being vertically challenged as I am, it was just out of my reach. Your mother always told you not to stand on the toilet. You always thought it was just to keep you from having a little fun. Not so. She meant it.

As I am stepping up on the toilet lid, my hubby who is already in bed says, “Whatcha doin?" I make no reply because I am so focused on killing the pest that I can't talk. This is one woman who is no darn good at multitasking. So the only thing my husband hears is my right hand repeatedly slapping the wall really hard. This noise elicits from him only a quiet, “Sweetie?"

This mosquito is fast. I mean really fast. As fast as I could move my hand, that bug was faster. Now I am starting to get frustrated and a little angry. Why can't the stupid thing co-operate and just give up? After all, I was not going to rest until it was dead. By this point, I had totally forgotten where I was.

Then it landed on the wall somewhat to the right of me. I thought good, I'm right handed and you are toast. I got the mosquito, but at that moment we both became toast.

The toilet lid went left and I went right; straight down between the toilet and the tub. Finally, my husband gets out of bed to see what I am doing. It was probably the dull smacking sound of my head hitting the edge of the tub that roused him. Luckily (I've been saying that a lot), the tub was one of those molded fiberglass models. Even so, it hurt like a son of a. . .

As he comes into the bathroom, he finds me with my hand clapped over my left eye and saying, “Oh, oh, oh, " repeatedly. Now he is really concerned and he is trying desperately to get my hand away from my face.

When I was younger, our next door neighbors had an old Chinese elm tree in their back yard. The trunk was so stout that it took three kids holding hands with their arms straight out at their sides to go around it. Randy, the oldest of three neighbor kids, had tied a five pound horseshoe shaped magnet to a high branch with a thick rope. My sister (younger than me by three years, but a bit more massive) thought it was a grand thing and decided to swing it with all her might so that it would wrap around the tree. She didn't know I was on the other side because she couldn't see me. That magnet came whamming around the tree and hit me squarely in the forehead above my right eye.

I fell over the fence between our back yards and flew into the living room where my parents and grandmother were looking at slides. I had my hand firmly clapped over my right eye and was saying, “Oh, oh, oh, " repeatedly. So you can see that I have a history of covering my eyes when it is really my head that has suffered the abuse. They had just as much trouble getting my hand away from my face as my husband did.

When he finally managed to pull my hand away, he sees that there is already a nasty knot forming on my noggin and very politely informs me of this. About this time, I realize that I am going to have to throw up. You might think, no problem, she's right there by the toilet. But I was so well wedged that I could not move. Bernd asks me what he should do. I don't know. . . should he get ice, should he unwedge me, should he get a bucket. . . what? Here I am hurting, dizzy and nauseated and he is asking me what he should do. I think I may have lost my mind for a moment at that point.

Somehow, while falling off the toilet, I had twisted my body around so that I was basically on my back with my shoulders stuck between the toilet and the tub. My right leg was at an awkward angle on top of the hamper which was well above head height while lying on the floor. My left leg was bent at the knee and my foot was in the tub. I clamped my mouth firmly shut and made motions to Bernd that thankfully actually communicated my desire to be extricated. Somehow he got me up and I emptied the vile contents of my mouth into the toilet. I then said two words to my husband, “Ice. Now. "

I had that knot on my forehead for a couple of weeks and a pretty good black eye, to boot. I had slightly twisted my right ankle and bruised it pretty badly also. My left hip was sore for a while from my leg being wrenched into the tub. Ask me if I still stand on toilet seats and the answer is a resounding, “NO!" I don't stand on swivel chairs, either.

It was fairly embarrassing explaining to those who asked how I had gotten the knot and the black eye. I was tempted to make up some story having to do with Kung Fu practice and a six foot long oak staff. . . no wait. . . that really happened. At any rate, I laugh about it now when I remember it. I could have learned the toilet lesson much more expensively. And you thought this article was going to be about mosquito toast. I've always preferred cinnamon.


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