Move over, wheel. I’ve declared the Electronic Mosquito Bat to be the world’s greatest invention. Now, I’ve been told I’m prone to exagerration. Ok fine. I admit, stretching the facts, particularly at the expense of a good story, may be my, um, gift. But this time, truly, I can’t overstate or stress my hunch enough.
Yes, I believe the world could be a better place if we all embraced, owned, carried, heck, slept with – I don’t care what you do with it! – the Electronic Mosquito Bat, or EMB as I affectionately call it.
Shaped like a tennis racket, but with a net that is actually an electric field, users swat the EMB around and with a snap, crackle, pop and shocking blue sparks, any mosquito in its range gets sizzled to naught. There’s even a built-in flashlight! (I can’t explain why this excites me, but oh, it does.)
Now, now. Before getting all PETA on me or asking how the EMB is any better than that old standby, the stationary bug zapper light, I’d like to paint you a picture of agony and triumph.
It’s evening in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and you’re sitting by the lovely common area around your hotel’s pool. Like a good traveler, you’ve popped your daily dose of Doxycycline to protect you from a deadly case of malaria, and you’ve sprayed yourself (mind your ankles!) with your DEET-infused mosquito repellent (health warnings, be damned!). You doublecheck around you, see that mosquito coils have been lit, and are set to crack open a bottle of wine, stare at the stars, and generally enjoy the moment.
Without warning, you feel a pinch. It’s on your ankle. But you sprayed extra down there! You slap at the spot. It starts itching. You itch it but not before another telltale pinch on your ear. Now you’re alternating ear slaps and foot smacks. But not fast enough for the mozzie who just bit your knee. You look around and see your poolside companions are in the same torturous cycle. Oh, the humanity!
In a split second, the EMB is in my hands or Ayaz’s. Let the sizzle begin! Usually, I’m “the eyes.” Anyone who knows me is well aware of my lack of reaction timing. No surprise here, I’m slow to swat. I do, however, possess Spidey-like mosquito-spotting skills. I’ll give the cry, and Ayaz is on the scene, batting, swatting, leaping, climbing. He’s like the Baryshnikov of exterminators.
With each sizzle of the bat, our triumph grows. We high five. I make muscles with my puny arms and yell things like, “You wanna piece of me, mosquito!??!”
No, I’m not sure it’s normal behavior. But it sure is gratifying.
As for our neighbors around the pool? Well, sometimes they’re awed by our prowess. Other times, they look fearful as blue sparks fly around our leaping, swatting frames.
Phnom Penh was just the beginning. The EMB has served us well across the beaches of Cambodia, through Siem Reap, and now into Thailand. We first discovered it’s magic in India. EMBs were being used with a vengeance there and in Vietnam, as well. It’s absolute genius, really: an effective mosquito solution that’s more fun than a fly swatter (though I never actually thought of a fly swatter as fun, upon reflection).
But, why oh why, is it’s glory not rampant in the land of the free, the home of the brave? Just picture for a moment, a future whereby all Americans owned the EMB. Imagine the 4th of July barbecues, the family camping trips in the woods, the Little League Baseball games — all with sweet respite from summertime mosquito madness. America: It’s time to take the bull by the horns, er, bat, oh – whatever! The solution is here, the time is now, and I say with hope for change, that we may all hear the call, “Let freedom sizzle!”