Friday, March 10, 2006

It has been

raining off & on over the last few days, occasionally quite heavily, as the bottom edge of the monsoon trough passes across northern Australia. Even now the clouds off to the inland are acquiring that grey glassiness that might indicate another storm is about to arrive. But it's also been reasonably warm, & the mosquitoes are out in plague proportions. Disturb them & your arm, within seconds, resembles one of those commercials for insect repellants, where some dickhead sticks his arm into a glass case that is swarming with the little beasties. I keep thinking of Ross River virus, Q fever, some other thing that brought crows crashing down out of the skies that I saw last week on a documentary that Brad Pitt narrated. Which, at the same time, was also killing people without explanation, but nobody made the correlation with the crows, especially not the Centre for Disease Control because they're so far up themselves that testing animals is beneath them.

Let me just point out in passing that it was a veterinarian who first posited the relationship between kuru, a disorder that was discovered amongst the Fore people of New Guinea, & scrapie, a disease that affected sheep & goats. & let me just say that it was only veterinarians who protested against the British Board of Agriculture loosening its regulations on what could be fed to animals. & let me finish my aside by saying guess where bovine spongiform encephalopathy, shortened to BSE, popularly known as mad cow disease, came from. Feeding cows infected animal parts. Oh?

Not that I'm putting that forward as something to be found in my garden. I'm the only mad cow around, freaking out about the mosquitoes, doing strange dances as I attempt to swat them. No crows are falling from the sky, but with that raucous caw they have, I don't think I'd mind.

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