Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Extreme Home Makeover: Botswana Edition

I lived in Alaska not long after 9/11. Shortly after I arrived my mother sent me a newspaper article from the Baltimore Sun. If I remember correctly the title, or at the very least subtitle was something along the lines of: “Everyone is now realizing what Alaska already knows, the power of duct tape.” The article was written during the time period when there was a lot of speculation about weapons of mass destruction. According to the author people were stockpiling duct tape and plastic sheeting in anticipation of a possible terrorist attack. However, while these supplies were running low in the Lower 48 states everyone in Alaska was using it with reckless abandon. More than once I boarded a plane only to realize the window was broken and “fixed” with duct tape. Here is the Baltimore Sun article if you are interested.

Remember the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding? And regardless of ailment the father would always prescribe Windex? Have a zit? Spray it with Windex! Sore throat? Windex! Broken toe? Yup, Windex should definitely do it. I think after two years in Alaska I adopted a similar approach to duct tape. If duct tape won’t fix it, then you might as well throw it out. Today, once again, duct tape served me well.

This morning I woke up and decided I had had enough. I simply couldn’t take the mosquitoes anymore. The problem is that it has gotten to the point that I can’t sleep through the night because I can hear them buzzing around my head, and will slap myself across the face in an effort to kill the mosquitoes. But last night was more than I could bear. I woke up constantly scratching uncontrollably. And the worst part was that I have about a dozen bites on the bottoms of my feet and the palms of my hands. I had already decided by the time I got to work that I needed to find mosquito netting for my bed. But when a student asked me this morning after observing my pasty white legs with giant red blotches all over them from broken skin, “Does that hurt?” I knew there was no other option.

After work I went to the mall and after visiting about six stores was finally able to purchase mosquito netting. This just might be the best $28 I’ve ever spent. The challenge was finding a way to hang it up in my bedroom. Here is my bedroom pre-mosquito netting:

I attempted several times to affix the mosquito net using duct tape and shower curtain hooks, but I wasn’t tall enough to stand on the bed and affix it to the ceiling. I tried to jump and use broom handles, but neither worked. Fortunately, I have two additional beds in my house, so I piled them all on top of one another, climbed up, and was able to affix it myself. I suppose in the end I could have slept on all three mattresses a la The Princess and the Pea:

Here we have the final product:

And with a model (moi) for full effect:

I’m so excited I may just have to go to bed early tonight.


  1. I've recently discovered this. It worked for me, hopefully it works for you. http://lifehacker.com/use-a-hot-spoon-to-instantly-relieve-itchy-bug-bites-615912899

  2. The pictures are priceless. Duct tape comes to the rescue.

  3. HAHA. Thanks Linda. Eric! That is awesome. Thank you so much. I am definitely going to try the hot spoon trick ASAP.