Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Survival of the fittest

Add one more to the list of things that couples do when they find themselves wide awake in the "wee small hours of the morning": Go on a murderous rampage.

A woke up around 5am to go to the loo. I woke up instantly being a light sleeper; Actually more than that, being terrified of being by myself in the dark. I asked him to switch on
the lights. Which he did. Which is when we realised that hovering over us was a swarm of mosquitoes. And for a frozen moment, we stared at each other - them (the hovering mosquitoes, frozen in mid-hover and I, frozen in my supine position, A, with his hand still on the light switch. The moment passed. And as if on cue, my arms started itching from a million bites.

Both sides were galvanised into action. A
tackled the ones above, swatting at them with a face towel and I, with newspapers (I am a sudoku fiend and must, must do one last one in the newspaper before lights out), my slippers (they are very effective) and even my pillows (yukh...will have to change the pillow cases).

We are on the 11th floor. Its pretty windy up here. How in the world can these tiny things fly so high. Or do they take the elevator? Or perhaps a single intrepid pair did. The Eve and Adam of this clan. Then they settled in nicely and rapidly multiplied and took over.

We won the first round. Within 10 minutes or so, their numbers dwindled to a scant 2 or 3. This small victory more than made up for the red splotches on the creamy walls and floors (not to mention, perhaps the underside of the pillows...eeks...I didn't dare look).

But the survivors were a tough lot. When we bent to the floor, they zoomed up to the ceiling and when we stood up, they sank to the floor. Clever little fiends. Whoever thought of intelligence in mosquitoes? That is not in the scheme of things. They are born, they breed, bite (cause malaria -- only the female anopheles mosquito, dengue -- these only bite in the mornings...yes its true...) and then they die. That's it. But here were 3 mosquitoers doing guerilla warfare.

We'd switch off the lights and quieten down and within seconds, there'd be the irritating nnnnnnnnnnnn in our ears. We'd switch on the light (taking turns) and find them, innocently sitting on the highest and farthest wall. And so on it went. A tie.

They might have outwitted us and pooh-poohed away our brute strength, but the war is not over yet...

"Remember to buy a spray or mosquito coil tomorrow," I said to A, as we decided to call it quits for the night (or pre-sunrise) and lay down and quickly pulled the covers over our heads. Survival of the fittest, afterall....

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