Good Narrative Principles

I Feed Mosquitoes


IMG_2115Mosquitoes feed on a regular schedule. Once every three days, in case you’re curious. Brian’s job is to study and feed the mosquitoes. He and his colleagues take turns inserting their forearms into the cage. The hairy proboscis sliding into his skin feels a bit like a sting and then nothing at all. It’s taken him years to relay this detail about his professional life to family and friends.  But now, every Wednesday night, it’s become a habit of his to share stories about his work with complete strangers. Stepping up to the mic at local comedy clubs he whispers softly “today I fed thirty-five hundred mosquitoes”. That generally gets a laugh. Then he launches into his favorite unknown facts about mosquitoes. Brian’s routine doesn’t exactly kill, but he’s good enough to merit a slot relatively early in the evening. Between nine and ten, he returns home, cradles his colicky baby for a few minutes, comforts his wife before returning to his primary occupation – reapplying calamine lotion to his numerous bites. But his nails are never long enough to really scratch the itch.

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