The Outsider: Vampires stole my mojo
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | September 28 2017|
When I think back, I could have been starring in some horrific, 1980s made for television, vampire movie, such was the pitiful scene and my terrible attempts to act nonchalant in the face of such overwhelming odds.
But, then again, maybe that is all in my overactive imagination.
Either way, let me tell you about my first proper duck hunt. Like every good horror movie, everything started out fine. With the sun still shining brightly and our hopes high, three of us laughed and joked as we piled into a small, tippy canoe, along with shotguns, flashlights and a large assortment of plastic wildfowl.
We paddled along the narrow meandering path of a small creek that wound its way through giant beds of arrowheads and cattails, the boat rocking wildly every time my heavier-set hunting buddy shifted to get a better view.
A likely looking spot was found and we disembarked into thigh deep water amidst a large reed bed. Decoys were deployed. Jokes cracked about killing Pat’s mojo (it’s a hunting joke, honest) and we settled in to wait for dusk.
It was then, as I stood silent in my watery hidey-hole that I began to notice the blood sucking hoards massing. As the light fell, the hum of the billion mosquitoes, still active thanks to our better-late-than-never summer, got louder and louder.
I knew that I shouldn’t move, for fear of scaring away any migrant mallard or wayward woody that might fly in to check out Pat’s mojo (makes me chuckle every time), and the mozzies knew that too. In they swooped, prodding and poking, searching for any part of me that wasn’t amply covered to plunge their proboscises into and suck my blood.
My face, my hands, ears and back of neck, all were easy targets. I squirmed and swore as the vampiric masses drank their fill. I dared not even look down for fear that an army of hungry leeches might be scaling my waders, looking to join the feast.
And then the ducks came. Bang bang bang! Excitement, and, for a few minutes, just before darkness fell, I forgot about my miserable situation.
The three ducks that we dropped offered themselves up just like the innocent bystanders that are always slain in those terrible horror movies. Then, reality hit hard. The mozzies got thicker. The moonless night was suddenly very dark and I, we, were thigh deep in a swamp. Our ducks still to retrieve, our way out of this mire now a complete mystery to me.
For the next hour, we paddled, waded, stumbled, splashed and swore as, feeble headlamps partially illuminating our progress, we staggered around in the dark searching for the lifeless bodies of our feathery quarry.
Only after the vampire mozzies had satiated their thirst did we collect our final duck and navigate our canoe wearily (I was tired due to blood loss!) back through the narrow channels and escape from the watery hell to dry land and the relative safety of Jeff’s truck.
It wasn’t until I was back at home basking in the glory of a successful duck hunt that the horrors of the evening began to fade. I got off lightly by 1980s horror movie standards. But even now, if I drive by a swamp in the twilight, I half expect the true star of the film, a giant 16-foot tall, very rubbery-looking mosquito with glowing blood red eyes and an altogether unconvincing gait, to loom out of the darkness, quack and swallow me whole!
WILL JONES - is The Outsider