Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Rally - Scottish vampires

I’m still scratching from the weekend. And no it’s not fleas, nettle rash or brambles, it’s all down to Culicoides impunctatus, or in plain Scots, that tiny toothsome biter with a bloodlust bigger than a busload of vampires, the Highland Midge.

It’s no wonder that car clubs struggle for marshals on Scottish forest events with this maddening little blighter constantly on the scout for succulent tourists, and Marshals provide the perfect fodder – they can’t run away!

Saturday’s Gleaner Oil & Gas Speyside Stages provided a feast day for the little feckers. Whereas spectators can move around and competitors are encased in cars, the poor bloody (or should that be bloodless?) Marshals were stuck outside at the mercy of Scotland’s vampirettes. The only time they got any respite was when a light breeze got up (they don’t like air currents over 4 mph) but that only made them madder and hungrier and want more when the air was still.

The midge might only have a lifespan of 20 to 30 days, but by goad it can make life a misery for those who work and play out of doors, from spring through to later summer.

But here’s a thought. For a nation that can export bottled water, tinned shortbread and sheep’s entrails by the truckload, how about boxed midges? If we could trap colonies of the little beggars and ship them out to the world’s trouble spots, we could stop war and terrorism in its tracks. The folk with the guns would be too busy itching and scratching and constantly washing their hair and their clothes to worry about fechtin’.

I wonder if anyone in the United Nations reads this?

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