Every August the earth passes through the debris trail of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which causes the Northern Hemisphere's night sky to be full of shooting stars (actually, meteoric debris burning up in earth's atmosphere). In 1996, according to CBC Winnipeg, the Perseid Meteor Shower promised to be especially spectacular. The CBC advised people to view the event out in the country though, in order to avoid the obscuring effect of urban light contamination. So one night when no cloud cover was forecast, I set my alarm for 2:00 a.m., hauled myself out of bed in the middle of the night and drove about 20 miles north of Winnipeg (to River Road near Captain Kennedy Tea House) to stand under the stars and view the promised spectacle.
There was only one small thing that I failed to take into consideration. Every year, the City of Winnipeg fogs for mosquitoes in urban areas to keep the population down to tolerable limits. Of course, there is no mosquito control measures in rural areas. Complacent in my urban lifestyle, I didn't think to wear any mosquito repellent.
The first mosquitoes who discovered me immediately used their cellphones to call a few hundred of their closest friends and relatives to the feast. Those friggin' mosquitoes nearly ate me alive! And they were big, hungry bastards too. I lasted maybe 10 minutes before being forced to run back to the safety of my car. I drove home absolutely covered in bites. Itchy, itchy bites.
Believe me, the two or three shooting stars that I saw in those 10 minutes were NOT worth it. So don't talk to me about the wonders of the Perseid Meteor Shower. I don't want to hear it.