Monday, July 18, 2005

Man Slaps Mosquito, Arrested for Child Abuse

Humiddddd! So humid that the mosquitoes are content to hamper outdoor activities up until at least noon. Saturday, I’m with the three older boys in the backyard; they’re playing while I am trying to straighten out the garage. Jake runs to me in a panic saying “mosquito,” gets to me, turns his back to me, and there it is – sucking a pint of blood from the middle of his back. I slap it dead; much to Jake’s satisfaction. Let that be a warning to mosquitoes - dare to try to take Hatcher blood from one of my boys, and I will find you and kill you.

Ten minutes later, he and Joe are at it verbally, calling each other names. Jake says something that crosses the line. As I am reprimanding him, midway through my sentence, a mosquito lands in the middle of his forehead. While sternly giving him an earful, my shoulder muscles twitch instinctively to raise my arm and hand with wrist cocked, then I smoothly transitioned from backswing to fore-swing, weight firmly balanced between my feet, torso rotating to increase the angular momentum, arm extending, wrist action beginning, head down and eyes fixed on the target … SMACK! Square in the forehead, the mosquito never saw it coming.

A brief moment of silence to enjoy the moment. There is no blood on my hands, which makes the success all the sweeter for two reasons: 1) mosquitoes are usually quite fast when not stuck in the vein, and it is much more challenging to kill them then; and 2) it indicates that the insidious creature was not able to penetrate the vain before meeting its doom, so that Jake would feel no pain.

Brief moment is over, and Jake, who should be feeling no pain, is balling. And in a sad way. I submit the evidence of the crushed bug on my palm to his view to help him understand the inadvertent slap to his head was really a moment of great triumph for the two of us, together as a team. Somehow that didn’t comfort him. Wrestling with the possibility that he would now regard my as someone apt to striking him when he errs, a fear I most certainly do not want him to have, I cling to the hope that he somehow felt the mosquito’s presence and his fear of mosquitoes, rather than my picture perfect mosquito destroying slap, caused the river of tears.

“Jake, it was the mosquito, right? That’s why you’re crying. But I got it! It’s dead. You’re not crying about the slap, right – you’re crying about the mosquito!” I say in a pleading tone.

“No, I’m crying about the slap,” said in the muffled English of a crying three-year old.

If this humidity doesn’t break soon, I’ll be hauled up on charges.


Blogger pbryon said...

You should've just flicked the mosquito away. No, that's not the anti-violence liberal in me, it's the scientist. There's actually some evidence that slapping squashing the mosquito may make it more likley for infection to get passed, as the wound can get smeared with mosquito innards.

See what happens when you post something about my specialty and occupation? I take all the fun out of it!

Of course, you could just use the excuse of mosquitoes to beat your kids...but that kind of leaves you in a (Randy) lurch come January.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Incredible Dirigible said...

I'm reminded of your article "The Situational Ethics of Liberals", that asserts that the severity of the crime depends on who is committing it (in the eyes of the left). For example, it's a greater evil for a white conservative Republican to commit sexual harrassment than it is for a minority liberal Democrate.

That having been said, you, Hatcher, are a white, conservative, Catholic, (presumably Republican). So if you smack down your kids, you're a child abuser! I'm calling the cops. (And maybe the ACLU.) >:-)

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

However, if someone ( obviously, not the Hatcher) were to concoct a phony story about a non-existent mosquito, to cover for the fact that they actually enjoy slapping their youngster, then child abuse is the appropriate charge.


12:41 PM  
Blogger Clupbert said...

I think the emotional satisfaction of giving the insect blood thief the death penalty far outweighs any chance of infection. Flicking it would let all the other mosquitoes in town know who's blood to try and suck. It's risk-free if you flick them...

1:33 PM  
Blogger Incredible Dirigible said...

Good point, Clupbert. Ya gotta send a message. Keep your rep, Bro.

12:37 PM  

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