Fifties          

Buzz Off


When I opened my eyes the light was very dim, and yet I knew it was morning. During the night, mosquitoes had sucked on my forehead, nose and eyelids; my forehead had swollen up to three times its normal size and my eyes were almost closed. It was on that morning, at the shores of Lake Valhalla; I was determined to find a mosquito repellent that worked.

In the mid-fifties, there were very few mosquito repellent products on the market. The products that were sold as mosquito repellent, smelled so good, you would thought they would change the name to "Come and get it". As I walked down the trail, I was leaving a scent behind me, that brought fleets of flying mosquitoes out of snow melted wet spots. I should have known something was amiss, when my ears picked up a slight humming noise behind me.

I found an Army surplus store, in north Seattle. I asked the clerk; if they had any mosquito repellent, he told me, he had no idea, but told me to look over at the first aid section. There was a huge bin, just filled with belt poaches and large packs marked "First Aid" After a couple of hours, I came across a little clear bottle of gold color liquid, in one of the belt poaches. When I twisted the cap off, the smell hit me, and made my eyes water, arms length away, and when I read the label "Repellent" at last, the real stuff. I found three other bottles of the gold color liquid, and I purchased them for a dollar.

As the others were unloading their packs from the station wagon, I already had my pack out, and leaning against a tree. I poured my newfound mosquito repellent into the palm of my hand; I closed my eyes and started rubbing the repellent, all over my face and the back of my neck. "Oh Man, what's that stuff John? you smell as if you just came out of a pit, of a outhouse." "Wow! Stay away from us."
"Is that deer musk?"

I was thinking as my partner were directing their comments toward me "Just wait." I had to walk behind everyone, as we traveled up the Cascade trail, to Bear Lake.

That night, after we had eaten our dinner, my partners stood around the campfire, in the smoke, while I lay unmolested on my sleeping bag. The campfire was dying down, and my partners were getting into their sleeping bags, when I heard the hum of blood craze mosquitoes, assembling for their evening meal. In a very short time, I could hear my partners slapping themselves, then a voice from out of the dark, asked.

"Hey, John can I have some of that mosquitoes repellent"
"Me, too John."
With a smile on my face, I passed the bottle over to my partners.

After fact:..The next morning when we got up, we all started laughing at each other, the mosquito repellent had stained our faces yellow.

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