Abez sez Assalamualaikum!

Mosquito bites are back in fashion. That’s my excuse for having so many of them. Being a hijabi-jilbabi no one can see the ones on my arms that are as big as pennies, but my face is not so lucky. When the mosquitoes start biting my face (that part of me tastes the best, they say) I’ll look kind of pink and spotty, and very un-professional and very un-teacherish.

Since the weather has just gotten warm, the mosquitoes are just beginning to amass their forces. Soon they will invade the house, using the dreaded whine-in-ear-while-I’m-sleeping attack and the equally annoying bite-every-knuckle-on-both-my-hands tactic. Both of these are marvelously effective at destroying my dignity. You can’t wander around scratching at yourself in public, otherwise people think you have nasty hygiene or something.

You know, when my sister and I were little, we used to take our mattresses and fit them in the bed frames sideways, so that they curved up and made a tunnel. Then we would put a fan at the end of the tunnel, and sleep that way so the mosquitoes couldn’t get us. Later in my life, I got smarter and rigged up an entire tent around my bed, not for the mosquitoes, but for the centipedes that invaded my basement bedroom back in the states. They were nasty things those damn centipedes, like fake eyelashes zooming around the walls…shudders….it still grosses me out to think about them. They would fall off the ceiling into my bed and die there, and I would lay down and find dead centipedes on my pillow and then run screaming from my bedroom and go sleep on the sofa upstairs.

When I lived in Karachi, cockroaches were the bane of my existence. One of them (the big ones, 2 inches long and one inch across) fell on me when I was showering and I nearly had a heart attack. Hordes of them would invade the house at night from the garden, and run around like they owned the place. That’s the problem with old houses in Karachi, they’re all built open, the living room in that house had only three walls. The fourth wall was a carved gate that opened up into the garden. It was very bizarre to be watching a TV that had trees just behind it.

Hmmm, this blog is kinda pointless. Perhaps this story should have a plot, and eventually a moral. Ok, here it goes. So General Lal Baig of the Cockroach Command swung his forces down upon my house from the north. Little did I know that at the same time, Major Mooch-a-lot of the Mosquito Marines was leading a secretive thrust in through my screen door defenses in the south.

I, Sensei, stood alone, grim resignation written over my battle-weary and itchy face. Would I be capable of fighting another battle in this never ending war? To my trusty sidekick I turned, my braided cap at a rakish tilt over one cold gray eye. Outside the noise of the new flame throwers went ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa…oops, wrong story. #

But yeah, so I whip out a can of bug spray and take deliciously malicious pleasure in blasting all the little buggers to their dooms. The moral of this story is: Mortein high performance surface spray kills bugs fast.

But the real moral is, “Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day* either speak good or keep silent, and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his neighbor, and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his guest.” -The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and all prophets. Hadith on the authority of Bukhari and Muslim.

# Read The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, by James Thurber

*Last Day = Day of Judgment

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