Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Uninvited Guest

Picnics are a fixture of the great Canadian summer.

Something anticipated throughout the long, dark winter. The reward for spending months huddled around the wood stove.
Okay, I'm exaggerating.
But Canada does have winter.
And Canadians definitely look forward to summer.
And picnics.
The trouble with picnics is that they are so dependent on so many factors.
Weather is a biggie.
For instance, it's rather hard to picnic in the rain.
Though it has been done.
Wind, too can play havoc with one's plans.
As well as one's picnic blanket, napkins, paper plates.
And smaller guests.
But one of the most insidious of picnic problems is the uninvited guest.
And, believe me, they show up for every picnic.
They show up if a picnic is merely being contemplated.
I'm sure they have poked their noses in at your picnics.
And I do mean poked.
I'm talking mosquitoes here.
Those little, lighter-than-air messengers of doom.
Irritators extraordinaire.
High-pitched precursors to prolonged itch and expressive words.
Known to achieve sizes heretofore only seen in the pre-Cambrian days.
With the ability to carry off unsuspecting small animals.
The reason Canadians wear their winter gear year round.
And learn to eat quickly and with one hand.
While the other hand feverishly stands guard . . .
My friends were picnicking.
Their entire family had turned out.
They were visiting.
Eating.
Laughing.
Enjoying the beautiful day and fresh air.
And generally doing those things that make a picnic so enjoyable.
Grandmother was seated at one of the many picnic tables.
Enjoying a hamburger.
With a sesame seed bun.
In the company of one of her young grandsons.
That's when the uninvited guests arrived.
One particularly determined individual was making life miserable for said Grandmother.
She lifted a hand and grabbed at it.
Now the normal hand motion is: Grab. Look. And if one is successful, Smash.
She completed the first two manoeuvres.
Grab.
Look.
Rats. She had missed.
But she did see a sesame seed, stuck to her finger.
Which she then, happily, licked off.
Now I should probably mention, here, that the grandson was seated opposite, watching his beloved grandmother.
I probably don't have to describe what he thought he saw.
But I will.
Grandmother grabbing mosquitoes.
And eating them.
His horrified expression and the words 'Grandma! Yuck!' which burst out of him alerted her to what he was seeing.
She quickly explained.
And peace and appetite were restored.
But she raises an important point.
Instead of making mosquitoes the uninvited guests at a picnic, why not make them the picnic?
Who's with me?
Smashing hands up!

27 comments:

  1. Just a few days ago there was a news article about the possibility of insects becoming a feature of our dinner tables. I think I've eaten a few mosquitoes in my day, and they tasted like ... nothing, really. So I think you're on to something here! How many mosquitoes do you think would be in a kg? Maybe they could be farmed? We need your expertise on this!

    So funny about what the grandson thought he saw!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to Monty Python, the normal male mosquito goes for about an eighth of a penny. So that's eight to a penny. Weighing roughly nothing. Hmmm . . . by the kilo, they'd be pretty expensive. I'll have to re-think . . .

      Delete
  2. If I have to eat a mosquito - it better be before he/she has a meal!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, les moustiques....we met a LOT of them while we were camping this year. Probably because we camped next to a bog for a couple of days, so really, no one to blame but ourselves.

    Eating them, though? Hmm. Maybe killing them and putting their little heads on pikes as a warning. I'd go for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oohh! So medieval! I like how you think!!!

      Delete
  4. I read somewhere that we eat 17 pounds of bugs every year - I'm sure some of them are mosquitoes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is that 17 pounds with or without sauce? :)

      Delete
  5. I once yelled Roach! and my husband killed a raisin. Not the same thing, but...sorta. we were young. In married students housing hovel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bwahahahahaha! That raisin will never bother you again! Never!!!

      Delete
  6. Skitties (as my Grandad called them, ants, wasps.....all uninvited and potential sources of protein. Personally I do NOT like cooking or eating out of doors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that 'Skitties'. I, too, like my creature comforts. Including a nice, comfortable house . . .

      Delete
  7. Make them the picnic! LOL. Good read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, SuperLux! Where do you weigh in on the whole 'bug fricassee'?

      Delete
  8. Make them the picnic???? Well, protein I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pure protein. At least that's what I tell myself . . .

      Delete
  9. Everybody hates me because if there's someone else to land on, they choose them. I remember golfing up at Fort McMurray where the mosquitos grow to the size of a B-24 Liberator and I was clad in cut-offs and T-shirt. the other three guys in my group were fully clothed and the mosquitos drove them crazy. Of course that made for some unflattering remarks directed in my direction. My better half also is a major attraction for those high-pitched fliers. She's now using one of those electronic repellents that hangs on her pants pocket (or belt) and they sort of leave her alone. Me? Well, I have to admit that if I'm the only game in town, they land on me too, usually bill first; something like the Federalies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. I hate you.
      My Husby is just the opposite. We always sit him in one corner to attract all biting insects. The rest of us enjoy a bug-free summer . . .

      Delete
  10. I hate mosquitoes every time I walk the front door I get attacked. The backyard is fine the front not so much. On another note Carol I was on the phone all day with the Alzheimer's Association and PayPal and unfortunately there is no way to do it. I was told they are sorry but they will make sure next year it would be added, go figure! I did try really, really hard but they said there is not enough time to get it set up. Stupid mistake on their part. Thanks for trying though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rotten mosquitoes!
      Thank you for checking! Paypal is my only recourse. Next time for sure!

      Delete
  11. Don't know how Carol got in there except I am talking to Carol Graham on fb and probably just called her Diane! Definitely bedtime. Tried to correct but hit the button to fast. Please forgive my stupidity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No worries about the name, Rena! I usually get called Debbie. Carol was a nice change! :)

      Delete
  12. So nice that you were thinking of me +Rena McDaniel. Interesting post - I hate bugs of any description! Eating them - not gonna happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and me, Carol. You and me. That scene in the Indiana Jones movie The Temple of Doom where they are all eating bugs? CREEPED me out!!!

      Delete
  13. When I read uninvited guests I thought you were meaning ants. I've watched many a cartoon where a few ants have carried away an entire picnic including the ground cloth and basket!
    Could you cover yourselves in insect repellant? And burn some of those citronella thingys that you poke into the ground? Surround the picnic with a half dozen or so and get them going before you start eating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've not had much trouble with ants. Maybe the 'skeeters keep them away? :)
      Husby usually sets up a circle of citronella. We always know it's either a picnic. Or someone is being voted off the island!

      Delete
    2. "voted off the island" hahahaha!

      Delete

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