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Only in Mexico: Electrified Flyswatter

feature photo

In Mexico, there is a general assumption that you, as a member of the public, are going to try not to do anything stupid. In particular, you are going to take basic steps to avoid hurting yourself. Our favorite working example of this attitude, and one you are probably tired of hearing us repeat, is that if you fall into a hole in the street being dug by the Ministry of Roadside Hole Digging, there is no one to sue if you get injured. The Mexican attitude is that, as a thinking human being, you have an interest in not falling in holes and getting hurt, and if you forget that, you have no one to blame but yourself. Contrast this with the prevailing attitude about personal safety and responsibility present in the United States, where you are constantly warned about the relative heat of coffee and the insides of pies, as well as the dangers inherent in, say, having plastic bags around, or using a hair dryer while showering.

This difference in attitude and basic trust in consumers allows Mexico to sell some astonishingly fun, awesome products, which are often made in China and imported for sale, here. Take, for example, this “Rechargeable Mosquito-hitting Swatter,” a gift from my friend Larry. Behold:

In case the above photo doesn’t properly illustrate the function of this item, I will explain. This is a plastic, undersized tennis racket, which, instead of nylon strings, contains a metal mesh grid, coursing with 2,500 volts of electricity. That’s right. It is a giant, electrified paddle used to swat bugs out of the air. And in case this function wasn’t clear, the designers even opted to put a GIANT LIGHTNING BOLT ON IT. It’s like something a comic book superhero would use. And when it runs out of juice, why, you can even plug it right back in, so the flying-insect killing fun never has to stop.

The decision about whether or not to use this item in the middle of some giant, mystical body of water, filled with rocky, craggy islands, is left entirely up to the purchaser, but obviously, it is suggested.

Imagine, for a moment, the reaction to this object appearing for sale on store shelves in the United States. The only warning I received about it was from Larry, who suggested that it “might be a good idea to read the instructions before using it.” I did as he asked, but, being written entirely in Engrish, the instructions didn’t give me a lot to go on. Here they are, reprinted in their entirety, with misspellings and assorted weirdness left intact:

Directions:

  1. When charging, please use AC 100-240V, 50HZ power source.
  2. Before using, please charge the batteries for 8-15 hours. They can be recharged in recycle for 600 times.
  3. When hitting mosquitoes, which is sucking blood on human bodies, you can easily kill them just by pressing it’s switch.
  4. When the indicator twinkle, it indicate that the batteries run out.

Warning:

  1. For more safety, do not press the switch or touch the ourface of net when swatter is in charge.
  2. Please do not finger the medium-layer net.
  3. Please shake swatter for cleaning off insect carcasses which remain in net. Be sure don’t wash it with water.
  4. The swatter may become without high-voltage or in low-voltage conditions when it absorbe damp in wet weather, the effect will be declined. Then, it can be dried by blowing with electric blower or shining with sunshine. The effect will be recovered soon.
  5. Children must instruce under adult when use it.

Whatever, I didn’t move to Mexico to read badly translated Chinese instructions. Let me tell you something that you WON’T find written on the packaging: This thing is amazing on every conceivable level. The first time you smack a fly out of the air, there is the sharp, cracking sound of electricity, a tiny blue explosion, and a dead fly on the floor, you will know a deep, profound satisfaction. Our dogs are terrified of it…there is something about the sound that really freaks them out, and sends them scurrying under the bed. Of course, it is hard for me not to spend all afternoon stalking around the house like a lunatic, electrified racket extended out in front of me, looking for bugs. Thank you, Mexico, for trusting that I can have this object in my life without hurting myself.

Update: Interested in purchasing one of these? I don’t know where this one came from, but Alibaba can hook you up, if you are willing to buy a container’s worth at a time from China. A container holds 38,040 electrified flyswatters.

There Are 14 Responses So Far. »

  1. this is a detestable invention and your zeal for insecticide proves that you desperately need to be protected from yourself as America intended.

  2. Are you doing an impression?

  3. I have to have one. That being said, do you think it would be ok to stick my tongue in the netting and turn it on? I’m an American and the instructions don’t say not to so I’m assuming… Hang on, just fell into a street hole… Again…Dam!

  4. Don’t taze me bro

  5. I have been getting queries of where to get one of these fine electronic pest control machines. Go to Win-Fa Chinese buffet, located off Paseo Montejo across the street, south of Sam’s Club. They sell them at the cash register. Why a Chinese buffet would be selling these is anyone’s guess, but maybe we shouldn’t look too closely at the sweet and sour chicken.

  6. Bloody brilliant I’d say. Is there a mandatory waiting period and a psych exam for purchase? Should there be? :)

    Go get’em Mozzie Hunter.

  7. We bought four of these yesterday. Ahahahahaha! They’re going to make great gifts for people NOB (assuming the customs guys don’t keep them).

  8. We had one of these in Florida! Ask your dad…it was one of his favorite things to do…bug patrol. Guess the nut doesn’t fall from the tree…

  9. I’ve had one of these things for a few years now. It only ‘kinda’ works. I used to swat at a fly and get it lodged in the mesh wire, but the electricity was pretty weak. A lot of times it wouldn’t even kill the fly. You’ll have to test it out and give us a report. Just how effective is your little insect electric chair?

  10. Ours is 100% effective. In fact, when a bug hits it THERE IS AN EXPLOSION. It’s awesome.

  11. I have found them for sale in hardware stores, like True Value. I use mine on scorpions here in Arizona. It really pisses them off at first, but they eventually die. It runs the the batteries pretty good.

  12. We bought one at Sterens, the electronics store. It is powered by regular batteries, and is a little more “high end” than your Chinese Buffet version. It’s pretty cool.
    regards,
    Theresa

  13. Malcolm: I have read this like a 1,000 times and each and every time I read it again, I laugh ALOT…specially because I remember when you showed me how this racket works…

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