Ode to a Mosquito Exterminator Extraordinaire
Hail to the conquering hero,
His brain cells may total zero,
When fires burn, he may fiddle like Nero,
But, boy, just show him a fat mosquito,
Whap! Zap! There is no deadlier foe.
He may look like your ordinary Joe,
He may not put up much of a show,
But, take a bow, bro!
When the night light begins to glow,
That pesky mosquito’s got no place to go.
It can buzz around like a hippie on bong,
It can even keep beat with a song,
It can infect a goodly-sized throng,
It can bite its way through a sarong,
But it cannot escape our hero for long.
His eyes may be dimming with age,
His reason may be clouded with rage,
Him and his wife may not be on the same page,
He may be cursed at birth by a sage,
But when he slaps at a mosquito, you bet it bleeds in beige.
He may be one to run and hide from a bully,
His wife may be able to knock him silly,
He may be sneered at by goats billy,
He may be thrown for a loss by a filly,
But he can squish them mosquitoes willy-nilly.
You may have tried many a ‘quito repellent,
Perhaps even ignited a rocket propellant,
But contrary to public opinion prevalent,
And this will please even the most somnolent,
Our hero is a bloodied, but unbowed, opponent.
The mosquito is an obstinate critter,
It leaves one brooding and bitter,
It can only be combated by a heavy-hitter,
One who is (compared to you and I) fitter,
One who measures mosquito blood daily by the liter.
Mosquitoes are God’s creatures too, we allow;
They have a purpose in life, it would follow.
But if that is to bite, and in our blood wallow,
Sorry, that doesn’t sit well with our fellow.
He charges after them with a guttural bellow.
We might wish that he were a little more mellow;
That he would, like us, exhibit a streak yellow,
That he would quiver like a pudding Jell-O,
When them ’quitoes park on our ear and hum “Hello!”,
But not form him the tragic diffidence of Othello.
So, all hail our fearless fighter,
As around mosquitoes, he draws the noose tighter.
With regard to his wife, he may permit them to bite her,
Not out of cowardice, but just to spite her,
Ever since she purloined his cigarette lighter.
But his heart is in the right place.
He just wants to cut down to the chase.
He doesn’t care about their race,
Or if they come from outer space,
He just wants to kill mosquitoes all his living days.
–Prof R Nagarajan [1981/BT/CH] is currently the Dean , International and Alumni Relations at IIT Madras. Before joining IIT in fact, he wanted to be a writer.