The Insect With a Thousand Names


“Look Mom!; A giant, Mosquito!”


“Now don’t kill ‘im, son.  That’s a Mosquito Hawk and he eats mosquitoes.”




Near on 20 years later and there’s a plague on my house and someone tells me:  “A plague of what?  No, that’s not Mosquito Hawk; a Mosquito Hawk is a Dragon Fly, that’s a Mosquito Dragon.”


What is that thing?


It’s a story of mistaken identity and misdirection that belongs on Dateline.  Just to get it straight from the start; they’re called Crane Flies or insects in the Tipulidae family.  I would include a picture but they are not nice close up.  So, I asked someone who grew up in India what they were called and she said they were Daddy Long Legs.  And I sputtered “What? No way! A Daddy Long Legs is a spider!  I of course was being an ass as later I asked someone from the UK what she called them and she said she learned to call them Mosquito Eaters but then with a near apologetic tone said she grew up calling them Daddy Long Legs.  So now I had: Mosquito Hawk, Mosquito Dragon, Mosquito Eaters and Daddy Long Legs.  Last night I’m in Second Life listening to a live podcast feed and I ask a few other listeners what they’re called.  It takes a while to convince them I’m not talking about Dragon Flies but then someone says: “I think they’re called May Flies.”  Finally someone had the most common name (according to Wiki although I’d never heard it before) Crane Flies.


They don’t eat Mosquitoes.


This is a misconception because people also call Dragon Flies Mosquito Hawks and Dragon Flies do eat Mosquito’s.


And now, a list of Names of my Creepy but harmless home invaders:


-Mosquito Hawks

            -can also refer to Dragon Flies

            -can also refer to Damsel Flies

-Mosquito Dragons

-Mosquito Eaters

-Skeeter Eaters

-Daddy Long Legs

            -can also refer to the namesake Spider.



-Texas Mosquitoes (mmmhm)

-Jimmy Spinner


What do you call ’em?


The Truth about Debbie Gibson and Tiffany (fiction)

Unfortunately, everything you know about Debbie Gibson and Tiffany is part of a cover up meant to protect the innocent. Here’s the real story:

In the mid 1980s I was part of a special Regan administration task force to fight trans-dimensional alien invasions in Jr. High and High Schools across the US; sort of a Men In Black Jump Street.  So my task force was battling trans-dimensional creatures that had an appendage that extended into our world and attached themselves to the wrists of unsuspecting kids in the 80s thereby feeding on their intellect. This appendage became known as the slap bracelet. By 1987 we were successfully countering the Slap bracelet aliens with “Operation: Friendship Bracelet” but we began to run low on funds.  As a means of raising money fo the operation, I began writing and recording music under the pen name Debbie Gibson (my voice hadn’t changed yet). When It became clear that we needed a public face, team member Jenny Schwartz agreed to act as Debbie Gibson for videos and public performances.  With their backs against the wall, the Slap Bracelet aliens countered by creating a shape sifting fungal creature with a dangerous PR machine that became known as,  you guessed it, Tiffany.  By then it was too late for them, however, and the Slap Bracelet aliens dwindled in numbers and eventually chose to seek greener pastures elsewhere.  Although the campaign was a success, it wasn’t without casualties. Jenny Schwartz began to truly believe she was Debbie Gibson and still does to this day. As for the shape shifting fungal creature, although it does have a short life span in terms of fame, it has been know to spawn other creatures; the first occurrence as documented by the Obscure 80s Podcast was when the Tiffany fungoid spawned an entity known as New Kids on the Block. Every few years a new fungoid progeny of the Tiffany creature surfaces on the pop scene; The Spice Girls, Rico Suave etc. , but they have been determined to be relatively harmless. The biggest threat from these creatures came in recent years when several of them combined to form a creature of pure terror called James Blunt, but as usual, it’s power soon dissipated.

I tell you this not to get credit as being the real Debbie Gibson but to acknowledge the sacrifice of agent Jenny Schwartz in service of her country and planet. If you see agent Jenny, please play along with her delusion and refer to her as Deborah Gibson.

Thank you 80s Nation and be safe.