Once a mosquito landed a job waiting tables. “Hi!” it would greet customers airily. “My name’s Culicidae, and you’ll be serving me this evening.” “Hey, just kidding!” the mosquito would reassure star-tled patrons and then recite the menu, beginning with “Steak Tartare” and ending with “Chef Joey’s ‘Organic Surprise.’” “Take care of your body, and your body’ll take care of you, right?” the mosquito hummed as people mulled their choices. “I take care of myself, let me tell you!” it might continue to nobody in particular. Or perhaps it would declare, “I’m only here because I want, you know. I don’t really have to do this. I’ve got like a super incredible job during the day that keeps me real busy. I’m a personal trainer to the stars!” The mosquito moved around with striking quickness. Each time any of the patrons appeared taken by surprise to find it hovering close by, it would start up again wherever it might have left off moments before and tables away. “Nothin’ like a good workout to make you feel super good about yourself, know what I mean? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see what a great body can do for you! Look at me, okay? Perfect thighs, no flab in these pecs and lats, plus killer abs, and check out this tight tushie. Could I do ten hours at the gym this minute, or what? One two, one two, one two, one two! Like I always tell my clients, take care of your body and your body’ll take care of you. I’m totally into my clients, right? Sure, sometimes they get kinda stressed out over their ideal body image, you know, and wonder if they’ll ever get there. But I just remind ’em, hey, no pain, no gain! I mean, you are how you look, 24-7-365, or 366. Whatever. Listen, I’m here for you guys, I tell every-body, so work up a good sweat, okay, and I guarantee I’ll give you the kinda self-awareness you never knew you had. I mean, we’re talkin’ major in-touch-with-your–body stuff here! You want to look like a million, with an absolute knockout body, right? Hey, you totally can! ‘Look better, feel better, be better,’ I always, you know, say. No pain, no gain!” After an evening of such exhortation, patrons invariably left the restaurant in the mood for a workout, determined to take the mosquito’s advice and get into top shape before they ventured into public again. None of them wanted to ap-pear to others as if they didn’t have a great body self-image. In particular, they all wanted to be in prime form the next time they happened to find themselves at the mosquito’s table. Its lively “Hey, you’re only as good as you look, know what I mean?” hummed in their ears for days.
Copyright © 2003-2004, revised 2009, by Geoffrey Grosshans