Chris Johnson

Don’t tempt the skeeters

Few things are worse than having a beautiful day outside ruined by blood-sucking skeeters.

Well, except maybe getting your toes caught in an escalator. Or being attacked by a flock of starving buzzards. Or getting to the fast-food counter in search of a sausage biscuit only to find out that it’s 10:31 a.m. and they just stopped serving breakfast. OK, so maybe there are a few things worse than blood-sucking mosquitoes. And that was just my Monday!

My point is that it sure would be nice if you could go outside and instead of having to worry about being bitten by those buzzing bloodsuckers, you could enjoy the other things the great outdoors has to offer. Like sunburn.

Of course, there are a few things you can do to dramatically reduce your chances of being bitten by skeeters … and by dramatically, I mean like 3 or 4 percent.

One of my favorite ways to steer clear of skeeters back home was to follow the skeeter truck around my hometown of Oglethorpe as it spewed some kind of cool-smelling poison. I loved the smell of that toxic cloud as it drifted over the yard. Some of us back home even followed the truck around on our bikes, huffing on Huffys. In fact, one of the reasons we didn’t have a drug problem in my neighborhood is that instead of doing pot and cocaine, we just did the skeeter truck.

Alas, they quit running the skeeter truck around Oglethorpe. I suspect one of those tree-hugger types circulated some kind of trumped-up study about how covering its residents with deadly residents would have adverse effects on such things as breathing, staying alive and memory. Well, my best friend Charlie Sheen and I used to ride behind that truck, and I’m here to tell you that I’m still alive and breathing or my name isn’t Elmer Schwartzentruber.

If you don’t have access to a skeeter truck (if you do, shoot me and Charlie an email), your best approach to avoiding skeeter bites is to figure out ways to reduce how attractive you are to a skeeter. One way is to have a friend yell to the mosquito before it gets too close that you have a great personality. That’s a sure-fire red flag for a mosquito or anybody that might be considering putting their mouth on you that should move on.

Skeeters also are attracted to carbon dioxide that we emit when we exhale. So, one of the easiest ways to not attract skeeters is to simply not breathe. But if you do decide to breathe, try exhaling something like oxygen, nitrogen or DEET. Face it, we’ve got enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere already, and this breathing thing doesn’t revolve around you.

But the best way to avoid them is to not drink alcohol and go outdoors because skeeters are majorly attracted to drunk folks, according to recent studies. Of course, I used to live across the street from a Skeeter, so I already knew that.

And you thought those were freckles on Lindsay Lohan.

Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent. He can be reached at