Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Insect Consulting, Inc.

TO: American mosquitoes
RE: Poor job performance

I regret being the bearer of bad news, but I feel you have a major problem to confront. It has come to my attention that the American mosquito industry has approached a point of crisis.

During the years of my childhood, you seemed to be enjoying a period of great prosperity. Your superior organizational skills and efficiency were the stuff of neighborhood lore, and I fastidiously avoided any area of stagnant water that might serve as your headquarters. But let us face the facts: in recent years your performance has been slipping. Yes, there was a brief surge of business during the West Nile scare, but even during those heady days, people were more grossed out by the dead birds everywhere than they were frightened of you, and it did nothing to add to that year’s bottom line.

If the situation does not improve immediately, you risk a massive and hostile takeover by foreign competitors. I have recently been touring the Cambodian mosquito industry, for instance, and I feel that they are poised for dominance of the market. Every aspect of their infrastructure is superior: biologic construction, breeding grounds, stealth tactics, etc. They seem to be drawing more liters of blood per capita than ever before.

Their brand image is superb. Humans, particularly the non-native ones, fear the trademark welts, notable for their size, duration, and peculiar bruising factor. The mortal fear of malaria and the unpreventable dengue fever only serves to add to brand recognition and visibility. There are observable results in the wild swatting behavior of tourists and expats, their carrying of smoking mosquito coils from room to room like sacred talismans, their sudden fits of tearing at their own flesh in the middle of the night. It is rare that the number of bites on my legs at any given time dips below fifteen. When it comes to Cambodian mosquitoes, we are simply talking about a better, more advanced product.

And they are achieving this level of production in a market saturated with obstacles. When was the last time American mosquitoes had to deal with mosquito nets? We’re talking about thirty-five, forty, even fifty percent DEET repellents flying off the shelves, here, all of which does little to affect Cambodian mosquito morale or effectiveness. And you guys are being taken down by citronella candles and a product named Skin So Soft? Please.

So it should come as no surprise that layoffs are imminent. If you don’t want to see American mosquito jobs being lost to foreigners, drastic measures must be taken quickly. It may be time to invest extensively in new egg production or training facilities or at least to move into the Lyme disease sector long dominated by the ticks. The ball is in your court, and the Cambodian mosquitoes are waiting for your next move.

Shannon Dunlap


Llalan said...

TO: American Mosqutios
RE: Insect Consulting Inc. Memo

Good Morning,

I represent the Thai branch of Southeast Asian Mosquitoes Initiative (SAMI) and would like to reiterate everything in this past memo from ICI.

Any white person in the area: beware. We are not interested in the skin of Thais, or Cambodians, for that matter. We want your soft, pale, delicious skin. We can see the blood running through veins just beneath your skin. It's almost to much to bear.

So, mosquito nets? Good luck finding one without a hole or getting in under it without inviting dozens of us in--it's rude not to actually. And 50% DEET? Please. You condescend to every SAMI member in thinking that will work. You're just going to end up with cancer AND bruising welts the size of half dollars.

I've heard tales of an American girl in Thailand whose Thai roommate counted all the bites on the girl's arms every night to a chorus of giggles and exclamations the higher into the double digits the count went. That was our work.

Your little nips in the Western Hemisphere make us look bad. All of us at SAMI--Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese...everyone--scoffs at you and hope you are prepared for a ruthless takeover.

So swat all you want: we're coming.


Andrew & Emily said...

Skin So Soft... American mosquitoes are such pansies.