I gotta admit, it was a great summer. Hot. Dry. Lovely. If you could stand the heat (and I have a pretty high tolerance), there was no reason not to be outside. I spent many happy moments shooting hoops, chilling on the back patio, playing with the cats, putzing around the yard.
But no more. Oh, the weather is fine. Perfect, actually. It's just that the sudden explosion of mosquitos has made being outside absolutely miserable. Recent rains seem to have spawned a whole year's worth of hatching. At least in West Michigan, they wait for you to exit your car and then swarm like the cloud of dust that hovered around the Pig-Pen character from Peanuts cartoons. There are too many to all draw blood, so the extras busy themselves flying into ear canals and pinging off cheekbones. And you have to do that baboon walk -- arms flailing around your head, legs bowed and taking giant exaggerated steps -- just to survive. AAAUUUUGGHHH!
Look, I know I should be grateful for what we had, and things certainly could be worse. Like, hurricane worse. But as Joe Walsh used to sing, "I can't complain, but sometimes I still do."
If there is some good that comes from this it might be helping us recognize how vulnerable we are to impulse. We'll soon be entering the desperation phase of election season when certain office seekers crank up the outlandish promises, appeal to our base fears, and out-and-out lie to get our vote. So if candidates happen to claim that they can make the mosquitos go away, don't believe them. The only real solution is winter, and that has its own issues.
John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.