Friday, April 20, 2007

Pork Pie

Karen wanted to buy the Mosquito Magnet. I suggested a large pig.

The mosquito population had been bothering us since the office party we had under a tent in our side yard one mid-July. I hadn’t noticed them much before that day, but around 7:00 that evening, they came out in full force for the kill. The citronella candles, part of the overall price tag, were not working. Our dinner for 25 guests became somewhat rushed at the end, with the tinkling sounds of coffee cups against saucers intermingled with loud slapping sounds against bare skin.

Our backyard is about ten feet of inclined grass abutting swamp that the green-minded in Massachusetts call “wetlands.” I once had to remove a pine tree out back that had partially fallen during a wet snow, making its branches too heavy for its roots to support before it toppled over. So I called the town department of conservation, and the administrator in charge told me I could remove the tree, however – since it was in “wetlands” – had to leave ten feet of the butt for environmental purposes. This will make some family of doves very happy. It looks stupid.

Wetlands though they be, they produce mosquitoes like a swamp does. Feasting hoards of them. We needed a solution, and that’s why I suggested the swine.

Karen had read up on Mosquito Magnets and how they emitted carbon dioxide, much like a human exhaling, which attracts mosquitoes downwind, and to dinner they come. I thought that if a large amount of carbon dioxide was what was needed, perhaps a large mammal would suffice, something in the order of a trophy-winning pig.

My reasoning was two-fold. First, the CO2 from the swine would approximate that of the machine and would attract the mosquitoes. Second, when winter came and the mosquitoes had died, we could slaughter the pig and enjoy fresh bacon and ham hocks (not that I’ve ever eaten any, but that would be a good time to start) all season long. One might fault my logic pointing out that we’d have to get a new family pig each year, while the Mosquito Magnet would last from season to season. Nevertheless, the machine would depreciate, need maintenance, and runs on electricity, which lately has been no bargain. The pig, on the other hand, would eat all the meals our three boys refused to. The Mosquito Magnet “Liberty” model, which is the minimum we’d need for our acreage, is $459. We could definitely recoup our costs in the chops that we wouldn’t have to buy from Stop & Shop.

Karen thought this was a ridiculous plan and sarcastically suggested we get a hippopotamus because it emits even more CO2. I have never eaten hippo meat, and while I wasn’t opposed to trying it, I thought the neighbors would object.

photo: muddy

No comments: