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June 5, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Defensive cloth

Black with white stripes. Just like a skunk.

It’s been the stinker of the closet forever.

skunk. (Kevin Bowman/

Between the stripes and multitude of fuzzy snags in the shiny fabric, I always felt a bit like this.(Kevin Bowman/

Of polyester fabric that doesn’t absorb stains and dries instantly. Any liquid just beads up and runs off.(Leads you to suspect “washing” it is more like hosing off a car windshield.)

A vintage jogging suit: jacket with mashed plastic zipper teeth which won’t zip and pants with zippered pockets too small for a cell phone. Both featuring parallel white stripes down the sides.

Relic of shame, I know.

Why is it still around. A fan of organic material, never wore it much when new.

Then it became valuable for July 4th.

Not because of colorblind patriotism or loyalty to “Made in America”

It’s the long sleeves and long pants.

You see, I’m really really allergic to mosquito bites and, of course, attract them like crazy.

Growing up my mom was forever worried people would think I had Impetigo which is highly contagious. (And I think she worried more that others seeing her spotted child would consider her a bad mother.)

Desperate, she coated, sprayed, dabbed me with every mosquito repellent known.

I’m probably evidence that constant and long-term exposure to Deep Woods Off or DEET is survivable.

I swear that Deep Woods Off smell is absorbed deep into cell structure forever.

Too bad it didn’t deter mosquitoes.

Space detective saving girl from giant bug. March 1947 cover art by Grahman Ingels/Startling Comics (USPD.CR not renewed. Artist life/

Where’s a Super-Patriot Space Detective bug zapper when he’s needed? (1947 cover art: Grahman Ingels/USPD/

Now the mosquito defense of choice is covering up.

Never a wrinkle with the old jogger suit.

Oh, a few more fuzzy snags each year, but it’s usually not noticeable in the dark when it’s time for fireworks.

Careful to keep a distance from firework sparks, though.

Worried about getting hot, hot, hot and melting in more ways than one.

Keeping the thread.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

After days and days of rain, the summer buzz has arrived..

Goofy grinning boy. 1910 postcard that inspired Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Newman (USPD.exp. copyright, artist life/

What me worry? I’ve got skunk suit.(1910 postcard that inspired Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Newman/ USPD/



  1. easyweimaraner / Jun 5 2017 7:03 am

    that was my first thought too… stay away from fireworks :o) I have to admit that I still have mine, it’s red… I bought it from my first own money, so it can stay in a box on the attic forever :o)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 5 2017 7:32 am

      It was a thoughtful gift, trendy, and expensive at the time. A comfy roomy tent originally, but oddly fits much better with each year HAHA
      No doubt in the future some archeologists will unearth the indestructible skin suit and what conclusions they will draw…probably think it is relic of space invaders.
      Thanks for adding a comment to this rag pile

      Liked by 1 person

      • easyweimaraner / Jun 5 2017 7:59 am

        it will look like new when they discover our treasures.. polyester is furever ;O)))

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Crimmins / Jun 5 2017 7:10 am

    I am not the mosquitoes first choice but I am one of their “sides” to go with the main entre. I try to surround myself with people like you. If works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 5 2017 7:35 am

      I’m very popular at outdoor summer events HAHA. Thanks for the itchy comment. (and off to Home Depot for lumber…it’s’s cool-ish in the attic – slight delay with heat and having to provide emergency child care when a relative’s nanny was MIA…sigh…if it’s not one thing it’s another disrupting construction plans)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres / Jun 5 2017 8:48 am

    OK. As someone who’s had to find ways to deal with July in the marshes and swamps (at least, if I want any photos) I have a recommendation. Get thee to Amazon, or Dick’s Sporting Goods, or probably even Academy, and get yourself some pump-spray bottles of Sawyer’s Permethrin. A woods-prowler from New England put me on to it, and by gosh, it works. You can do tents, canvas chairs, etc.etc. I have one set of pants and shirt I use particularly for roaming, and if I can get away with wearing them a couple of times without washing, one application really does last a long time. Of course, it depends how often I get out, and what I’m doing when I’m roaming.


    • shoreacres / Jun 5 2017 8:49 am

      Also: the hunters on the SportsRadio610 Outdoors show were offering glowing testimony this weekend to something called Thermacell, which offers a 15′ zone of protection. That’s enough for a deer stand, or a patio. They were swearing by it, so it might be worth exploring for evenings outdoors.


      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 5 2017 10:13 am

        Hunters are always the first to find something! Will check that out. The clip on fan item from a few summers ago worked zero….Another reason not to have a backyard pool: if we had a pool it would go unused as who could brave the mosquitoes to get in it? Plan right now is to encourage frogs looking to relocate, not to mess with spider webs, and put out the welcome sign for lizards and birds!

        Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 5 2017 10:10 am

      You’ve talked about this one before – and there companies that sell clothing treated with Permethrin. Been around since 1979 or so – so there is data and research. Might be an option for extreme situations (like this summer?)
      It is a poison – but more toxic to bugs than people and dogs. You do not want to breath it or have on skin for any length of time. Probably should not be used on children. Pregnant women probably Ok in certain levels, but pregnant rats and rabbits nots so well. Cats are sensitive even to accidental/second hand exposure. (for warnings, symptoms, cautions for animals and people: ) Highly toxic to bees, fish and other animals in fresh or salt water. May or may not cause cancer,- agencies not determined that yet. (“EPA decided that permethrin was “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” if it was eaten.” wash hands very very well when preparing food and keep off eating surfaces.) Poison is so tricky – I’m cautious as who knows about accumulative doses of all sorts of who knows what was in them products when I was growing up.
      But you have to do something in bad infestations. Maybe roll in the original organic source: chrysanthemums. HAHA
      Thanks for the swampy remark..looks like our itch free time is over here. (All those people who bought houses and removed screens for a modern look or to see out better will probably be scrambling to retrieve them?). Sigh. And with all the rain, the plants will be wild jungle in no time…all the better for mosquitoes! Arrrrg

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres / Jun 5 2017 10:21 am

        The guys I know who’ve used it haven’t had any problems. The trick is never to apply it directly. Spray the clothing outdoors, out of the wind, and let it dry completely. Then, no problems. Combined with a whoosh of repllent for hair, and an extra dollop of Off for shoes and socks, and you’re good to go. It eliminates the problem of getting things like Off on hands and then the camera, too. Most repellants, over time, will damage camera bodies. Sigh. Every body is affected!

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 5 2017 10:34 am

          We actually had AG Permethrin around for use on the farm. The name of the stuff always made me laugh for some reason. Later the EPA decided people who had certain poisons had to be trained and licensed – which dad did, but he already knew the chemistry/potential harm already. Like most things, proper use is critical. Love your last line! so true (but doubt anything damaged the surface of skunk suit…neighborhood’s going to get darn tired of seeing me in it for dog walks and such HAHA)

          Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 5 2017 11:55 am

          I was surprised at the cat sensitivity. Don’t let Miss D. roll in the laundry or cuddle the fresh outdoor smells on the shoes. RC Cat’s thinking here is already less than linear, so any additional confusion would be chaos!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. heretherebespiders / Jun 5 2017 2:30 pm

    When I thought I was going to America this year, I did worry about the skeeters! I guess that is one thing I’m relieved of. None here, yet – but we have tiny midges that do the same amount of damage to me. Are you also blood type O? Supposedly that is the mozzie’s favourite vintage.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 5 2017 3:19 pm

      Gads – as if mosquitoes aren’t enough – those tiny little black midges/”no-see-ums” are also waiting – and once bitten it takes almost a week for those bites to disappear. UGH They get through screens and open doors. (I hate being trapped inside by bugs!)
      Not O blood type – there’s all sorts of explanations why bugs target certain people: clothing colors, eye color, perfume, soaps, metabolic rate…what works best for me is mountains or sailboats offshore. HAHA
      Thanks for scratching up a comment to leave

      Liked by 1 person

      • RKLikesReeses / Jun 6 2017 1:58 pm

        Acccck!! Those teeny little bitey bugsDO get though screens! GAH!!!!!


  5. Littlesundog / Jun 6 2017 7:51 am

    I am outdoors a lot. Getting bit by some bug or other is part of it. I am very much against putting any kind of insecticide on my skin or clothing. What works fairly well for me – by applying again and again as I sweat, are some organic repellents by They have several products that work well, including “Petfresh” which I have used on the deer and my dogs. It is safe for the deer and they do not seem bothered by the smell or taste of it. It has an herby scent to it which I find pleasant actually. I see now that they have “BiteBlocker” for sportsmen so I’ll be ordering some of that since it’s supposed to be waterproof. I also concoct an essential oil blend which seems to work fairly well for ticks, but it’s worthless for other insects like those “no-see-ums”. This is a horrible year for ticks.
    Oh, and there is also a cedar soap from Lehman’s called, “No-Bite-Me”. It’s all natural too. An outdoor photographer friend sent me some and it really works for short sessions (like 3 to 4 hours).
    I was plastered with all sorts of probably unsafe and stinky insect repellents as a kid, and once was sprayed by a crop dusting plane while roguing in a corn field. I too, am evidence that we can survive insecticide exposure. But I have a sneaking hunch those chemicals are behind a lot of health issues. I am surprised I don’t have cancer. It’s probably a blessing I never had children. They might have had extra eyes or limbs!


  6. LisaDay / Jun 6 2017 12:07 pm

    Glad to hear it’s not just me – mosquitoes eat through my repellent as well. You have to be willing to sacrifice children whose blood is even more tasty – or perhaps it’s a young thing – then yours. This I learned recently.


  7. RKLikesReeses / Jun 6 2017 1:57 pm

    EEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! BUGS!!!!!!!!! Skeeters, hunh? Ugh. They love me so I never go outside in the late afternoon or evening or early morning. Not worth it. You’re brave to keep trying!! Ants are my nemeses. I’m sitting here, face like raw meat with hair, due to ants. IN SPITE of repellent, long sleeves, gloves, collar, hat, etc. I think they can teleport through fabric. Wishing you luck with your protection – hooray for whatever works!!!
    One thing that sometimes works for me – against gnats, anyway – is Vicks Vap-O-Rub® but if you smear enough of the stuff on exposed skin to keep the buggies away it can be tough to breathe and tears may flow freely.


  8. angelswhisper2011 / Jun 9 2017 1:40 am

    I think the mosquitos are attracted…and immune to any kind of insecticide, Philmouse, so I don’t do anything to protect my fur…they avoid me anyway…MOL 😀 Granny uses lemon oil and that helps her against the attacks and when you take vitamine B-complex it seems that they don’t like you at all 😀 Pawkisses for a mosquito-free weekend…*to Granny: better make that …life* 😀 ❤


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 11 2017 8:24 am

      Found a new spray with lemon oil and other natural ingredients, so I am hopeful about that. B complex vitamins are important for so many reason, so we have taken those for years. The biters are so annoying that on walk Molly wipes the ones targeting her muzzle on my leg. YUCKY. Basically the coastal plans are a swamp – especially after a week of rain. People have to mow their yards and keep landscape from getting overgrown to give the buzzers no hiding spots for sneak attacks! Different species feed at different times of the day, so we try to go out when brunch is over HAHA! Paw waves and thanks for buzzing over to chat.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. patriciaruthsusan / Jun 12 2017 9:00 am

    It’s good to hear you at last found something to keep the little devils from biting you. 🙂 — Suzanne


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