Friday, March 31, 2006

Resident Evil

Today’s Friday Free-For-All deserves a special title.

You see its Spring Time, the time of year the Old Testament says when the Kings would traditionally go to war. Here in Savannah it the time of year we have a different battle on our hands – against the sand gnats.

Sand gnats are tiny biting flies that swarm down here in the spring. They are small enough to get through all but the finest screening, hang out especially in the mornings and evenings, and are attracted to CO2 and sweat.

Which means that they own the cooler parts of the day, but just in case, the hotter you get the more likely they will be attracted to you because you are sweating more and breathing more heavily. Oh, and you can’t really get away from them because they will swarm into your car as you open the door. And you better have good screens on your house!

Did I mention they bite?

There's nothing quite like the feeling of getting your scalp gnawed on from a dozen different angles at once. Especially in the morning.

I checked Wikipedia and Wikispecies and neither have entries for our special kind of gnat. The best web entry I could find is here.

I’m convinced these things are beyond nasty. They are pure evil. I think I can back that up Biblically.

They’re bad enough that they are the mascot of our minor league baseball team. I bet folks who come out of season think it is a cute choice for a mascot. But if they come down here now, they’d realize how annoying the gnats can be.

Apparently they breed in the marshes of the Low Country. I’ve lived on Amelia Island, FL (just over the border) and in Charleston, SC and I promise you the gnats were nothing like they are here.

Do you get the feeling that I don’t like gnats? Gorgeous will tell you I’m not so much of an outdoorsy kind of guy anyway. My idea of roughing it is a hotel that doesn’t have room service.

And I don’t need much of an excuse not to do yard work. Of course the time I have available to do it is in the gnat owned evening. So if you happen to drive by and see my yard is knee deep, please be patient. I have to combat Evil before I can even get to the grass.

People here talk about moving above the “gnat line” like it is some mystical far off place. I’m not sure where the line actually is on the map, somewhere between here and Atlanta, for sure. Near Macon, perhaps?

I don’t think the kings of the Old Testament were really so keen on fighting. Maybe they were just trying to get away from the gnats!

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