Heroes and Villains I
Those of you who have been reading the site content and possibly some of the blog material will, by now, have begun to form your own view about this project. I suppose it stands to reason that if you have got this far, you have had your interest piqued for any number of reasons – the charity, the Mississippi, the madness of the undertaking or because you are also a rower (past or present – you are still by sporting definition partly or wholly bonkers. Certainly slightly deranged. It’s a fact. Don’t fight it).
Well, I have been wrestling with this now for more than four years and during this time I have had lots of opportunity to assess the various elements that I have encountered thus far and contemplate some of the elements yet to come. I decided, therefore, to begin a series of short blogs on these elements, divided into those which are benevolent, supportive, enabling, accretive (the Heroes) and those which are malevolent, destructive and draining of spirit and will (the Villains).
Not sure what it says about my psyche (I am a rower and I refer you to my comments above…), that I begin this series with a villain. In fact, possibly Project Enemy No 1. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce our omnipresent friend, the Mosquito.
My powers of attraction to these insatiable, blood lust driven purveyors of misery is, as yet, unparalleled. I have shared rooms with guys on rowing trips where they have declared themselves prone to being bitten by these flying demons. They end up sleeping like dead men, whereas I, having spent a sleepless night tormented by the high-pitched whine of the vampire mini bombers, emerge looking like a pizza. It’s not the West Nile virus or Malaria that bothers me. It is the fact that the merest nibble engorges sub-cutaneously to look like someone has slipped a quails egg under my skin.
I am deeply concerned that we, and especially I, will have the undivided attention of millions of these creatures as we plod our way down river. This of course starts in Minnesota, where my unimproveable wife pointed out to me that the state bird is a mosquito…… Even down south, in Tennessee and Louisiana, with mosquitoes blunted by the excess of gorging on hapless residents, they will chuckle to themselves as they home in on new flesh. It may, of course, be that by then I will look like a cross between Forrest Gump (bearded running version) and a raisin and thus be too desiccated to bother with. At least I can hope…..
Next, the first of the Heroes.