Rhys Darby
Comedian Rhys Darby on life in New Zealand

Rhys Darby: My victory over the Red Baron


Mozzie's cheeky landing earns me a slap in the face.

The infamous German fighter ace, the Red Baron, flew into battle in a Fokker triplane. Photo / Supplied
The infamous German fighter ace, the Red Baron, flew into battle in a Fokker triplane. Photo / Supplied

Last night my wife and I were attacked in bed by mosquitoes. Considering this weather I'm sure a lot of you have been through this predicament.

There's nothing worse than your sleepy nod-off being interrupted by that familiar high-pitched hum. First we heard one, then we heard another.

My first strategy was to cover up immediately. I hid under the covers in the vain hope I hadn't been spotted.

My wife, not a fan of that technique, just turned on the light and sat poised with the spray. We managed to nail the pesky intruders but as we soon found out, they were only the advance party.

Minutes later as we settled back down to sleep, a car alarm went off up the street. This was the air-raid warning; we were under attack again!

It was just the one mosquito this time, acting on his own, the lone wolf, a skilled hunter. His hum was quieter and his moves were quick.

Dashing and darting about the room, this chap was clearly the Red Baron of mozzies, the air ace of mosquito squadron.

For the most part we couldn't even see him.

When the lights went on he was gone but as soon as it was dark he'd return. Rosie and I were madly slapping the air in the dark and spraying in his general direction.

I swear I could hear a tiny laugh every time we missed the target.

Soon enough this devil from the skies had gained the confidence to strike us even in the light. He had the cheek to land on my cheek so Rosie was forced to slap me in the face!


"I'm sorry," she said, "I had no choice."

The pain was intense, worse than a bite. Our bed defences had scored an own goal. I swore at my wife under my breath as the villain got away ...

There he was laughing at us from the far corner of the room above an antique lamp. This strategic master mosquito had managed to turn us against ourselves, a classic trick from that book The Art of War.

"Well, you're not the only one that's read that," I thought.

Then I switched off the light, slid out of bed, did a roly poly and sprayed him the face!

With a cough and a splatter he dive-rolled and dropped. I followed his trail as he looped to the ground, finally crash-landing on the sheepskin rug. His tiny red scarf landed gently beside him, I lent down and peered at him in disbelief ... The Baron was dead.

"He was a challenge," I said to my wife.

"You mean she."


"It's the females who bite."

The next day I buried the mozzie in the garden and gave it a funeral with full military honours. I played a blues tune on my harmonica, sung an improvised rap song and shot a cap gun into the air. In attendance were five ants, a beetle and two Lego men.

- NZ Herald

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