Gnatman to the Rescue!

According to, the above gnat was one of the ten plagues of Egypt.

Pulling up out front of our second Halloween party last weekend, Mbot spotted a nasty looking witch hanging beside the door. “I don’t like dat,” he said. Then he paused thoughtfully. “If I put on my Spider-Man mask, maybe I won’t be afraid of the witch.”

He put on his mask and we marched fearlessly past.

I didn’t know until The Guru mentioned it recently that Peter Parker got his superpowers when he was bitten by a radioactive spider. The Guru raised a thought-provoking question: “Can you imagine if he was bitten by a radioactive mosquito? Or a radioactive gnat?”

It set me to thinking. Gnatman wouldn’t, I imagine, be nearly as heroic as his arachnid coworker. Instead of encasing his enemies in silken bonds, he would hover irritatingly, maybe playing the bagpipes off key until his foes ran screaming for sanctuary to the nearest high-security prison. Gnatman would be an extrovert. He would miss his swarm, and so he’d fill his apartment with oversized photographs of fellow gnats. Meaning that once he brought his dates home for the first time, they might not come back. And he would have a Napoleon complex, so he might be the only superhero to wear elevator shoes.

We can’t all be Spider-Man.

As a mother of a 2- and a 3-year old, I know that good things sometimes come in small, annoying packages. And so I have to think that Gnatman would possess some redeeming qualities. He would be persistent. Not always a good thing, but at least he would make the most of his diminutive dating options. And in spite of his being half annoying, undignified insect, he would still be out to save the day. And maybe, when he put on his Gnatman mask, he wouldn’t be afraid of the witch.

If you had your choice of radioactive organisms to be bitten by that would turn you into a supersomething, which would you choose?

Going above and beyond....105 Gnats made by the British company Folland flew between 1955 and 1974 . A Finn broke the speed of sound in one.

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