I recently bought two mosquito bats, one for each of us. They're completely unsafe, I'm sure they would be banned in America: they run on batteries, and have fine wires which are electrified when you push a button on the side of the handle. If a mosquito blunders into one, it sizzles and makes a sparkle of flame; if you touch the wires yourself by mistake, you get a shock.

We are entertained by our bats. We sit on the lawn in the evening after badminton, waving them around and uttering cries of vicious delight whenever we make contact. When the mosquitoes swarm it's quite pretty, a tiny fireworks display in the darkness.

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