Go pick on someone else. please!
Costner starring as Ray Kinsella, you’ll better understand my comparison of that field and my yard. Brief synopsis if you haven’t seen it, or it’s been a while since you have:
“If you build it, he will come.” These are words Kinsella, a farmer in Iowa, “hears” that inspire him to mow down a section of his cornfield to build a baseball field, a place where dreams can come true. Along the way he meets the reclusive activist Terence Mann, the mysterious “Doc” Graham and the legendary “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, a member of the 1919 Chicago White Sox baseball team banned from the game for allegedly throwing that year’s World Series. The movie is based on the W.P. Kinsella’s book, Shoeless Joe.
There are four occasions in the film when characters emerge from either the uncut acres of corn or the yard separating the farmhouse from the baseball field. In each of those scenes no one strides all self-assured onto the field or off the ball field into the corn. No. Everyone pauses, looks down at their feet, toes safely on “their side”. The smooth dirt of the baseball diamond taunts them, a tangible divider from the yard/ corn.
The only way I can venture out there with the hope of escaping insect bites is to wear yard armor. Coat myself, head to toes of my shoes with an insect repellent. The unhealthy chemical blends in these repellents are supposed to deter mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks from even thinking about getting a taste of me. If I miss a spot, say, just above my right elbow, one of those pesky opportunists will find it. Happens every time which is why this time of year my skin looks like it’s in the last stages of chickenpox.
The mosquito population has boomed in the last couple of weeks following a couple rain soaked days. They seem to think that the underside of my backyard deck’s ceiling is their own personal resort and have taken up residence there. I feel like a prisoner in my home when I want to venture out to the deck to tend to plants and see the multitudes of the Culcidae family clinging to the ceiling and screen doors and laying wait in the corners, the insect equivalent of bats.
Last week, desperate and so tired of saturating myself with sprays just to step outside, I tested a “remedy” I’d heard repels mosquitoes. Not a solution to the matter of chiggers and ticks, but discouraging one of the three to gnaw on me would give me a feeling of moderate success. This “remedy” is Bounce dryer sheets. Two ingredients in the sheets supposedly work wonders at keeping the blighters away. Stuff one in a pant pocket and you’ll have nary a bite. Sounding too good to be true, I decided to see for myself without using my body as the test subject. You’re going to laugh. I did when I stepped back to view what I’d done. I stapled two Bounce dry sheets to pieces of Scotch tape and taped both to the exterior glass deck doors. My supposition was that if mosquitoes stayed away from them then they’d stay away from me when I "wore" a dryer sheet.
Here is the result:
Every black spot you see on the dryer sheet, 2" below (looks like a pair of eyes) and that smattering of black specks in front of the nearest wicker chair is a mosquito. I measured their proximity to the dryer sheet. From inside of course. The furthest distance away from it was 4 inches.