When you are a Scout leader, you find that the boys tend to treat you as part of the scenery at times, not worrying too much about whether you are listening. Their conversations tend to be fairly candid. Incredibly, they believe that the relative privacy of a tent is also sound-proof. As a leader craving sleep, I can testify that tents are not sound-proof.
One such conversation that sticks in my mind was a discussion of what makes the best breakfast. The boys took turns sharing their favorites. Then, one boy declared that he liked pancakes with mayonnaise on them. There was a moment of horrified silence, finally broken by another boy saying quietly, "That’s just wrong."
That is much the way I felt this morning when I was awakened by the buzzing of a mosquito in my ear. As I groggily slapped at him, I realized that my forehead was already itching from a mosquito bite. It’s the middle of December, and I’m getting mosquito bites. That’s just wrong.
Of course, I know that Southeast Missouri is reclaimed swampland. I know that the water drains away slowly because this is where it naturally drains to. I know that malaria was commonplace here when my father was growing up. Still, seeing mosquitoes in December just doesn’t look a lot like Christmas.
That’s why we ask our clients to give their dogs heartworm preventive medicine the year round. They are spread by mosquito bites, and we have too many mosquitoes for too much of the year. Getting heartworms because you skipped the December pill would just be wrong.