Mata rápido y sigue matando
Saturday 21 October 2006 27 °C
I like a quick death. And that is exactly what I am giving the mosquitoes here in Puerto Escondido. I used up my entire mini-can of Raid insect killer this morning which has lasted me a whole 5 weeks. But here in Puerto Escondido, a mini-can is not sufficient to kill those blood sucking little buggers. So I had to go down to the local abarrotes to pick up another can. But on the way down I popped into the local pharmacy to get some hair removal cream (I knew I should have got that bikini wax done in México City!) and overheard a conversation the pharmacist was having with a customer. He was describing his symptoms: pain at the back of the eyes, body aches and fever. The pharmacist, without blinking an eye, told the poor chap he may have dengue fever (of which, the pharmacist later told me, there are currently 4 different strains of the virus in the region). The pharmacist went on to tell the poor chap that in order to ascertain exactly what was wrong with him he would need a full consultation with her husband - the local doctor - but that in the meantime he might like to take some pseudoephredine instead, because he might just have an ear infection or sinusitis and she thought that pseudoephredine would do the trick. (Thank god for Dr John Scally of the Travel Clinic in Essendon who kitted me out with a portable pharmacy before I left Australia!)
Well, you all know I do love a good drama and I haven't had enough of that lately, so my imagination went into overdrive (again!). The pharmacist sent the poor chap away with a couple of pills and said that if he didn't feel better tomorrow that he should go and visit her husband for further investigation.
So, I picked up my depilatory cream and headed straight down to the local abarrotes to get my killing machine & terminate those dengue fever carrying mosquitoes. This time I bought a big 490ml can of Raid Max. What attracted me to this can was that it states: "mata rápido y sigue matando" (the exact translation in English is "kills quickly and continues killing" but I think, from a marketing perspective, it would be better read as "fast knockdown & continual knockouts!"). So I returned to my hotel room and got to work knocking out those darned pesky mosquitoes. It was quite amazing to see their dead bodies sprinkled over the white tiled floors. And I even managed to kill a spider and a couple of ants. How those darned creatures get in here I have no idea. There is fly-wire on all the windows, but they must have a secret entrance somewhere. And this was no time to be worrying about good and bad karma: I could die from dengue fever with lots of good karma. Or I could live without dengue fever with lots of bad karma. I choose life.
Anyhow, a few minutes after performing my auto-fumigation ritual my nostrils started to go a little numb... as did my tongue. Then I started to imagine that perhaps I was also killing myself as well as those horrible bichos. Could a person die from the toxins in "mata rápido y sigue matando"? I started to drink lots of water and sat outside for a while, wondering how I would explain to the pharmacist that in my panic to rid my hotel room from dengue fever carrying mosquitoes, I had actually poisoned myself with the stuff I was using to kill them. And would she just send me away with a single pill containing pseudoephedrine and tell me to return in the morning if I weren't feeling any better? Does Mondial Travel Insurance have a health emergency hotline? Does México have a Poisons Information Centre? Argh! So I just took a multi-vitamin instead and hope that I will regain some feeling again in my nostrils and tongue. In the meantime I will Google search accidental insecticide poisoning.