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Welcome to Harvey Flea!

Harvey Flea, our adventurer extraoridinaire

Harvey Flea, our adventurer extraoridinaire

This is the online home of Harvey Flea, the world’s first travel writer who is also a mosquito.   With humor, fun, and buckets of adventure, Harvey trots the globe.  Read  Harvey’s bio here.

Harvey also welcomes essays from his friends.  These include Grumpy Retired Travel Writer Lady, Yuri the gloomy Moldovan, and Archibald Chops.  For more information on the cast, see  Adventure Strike Team.

Harvey Flea and the Trusty Travel Bug

11.26
2013

harvey-header1In this issue, I am going to discuss the travel bug.

Not the good kind of travel bug, the kind that takes over when you just have to pack a bag and travel somewhere else, even if that else is just down the street.

Rather I am going to talk about that other travel bug. The one related to Montezuma and his revenge tactics.

This is an important issue. Not just because my tum-tum is a wee bit delicate at times. But because the impulse to vomir (etc.) while on vacation doesn’t fit well with postcard expectations of our loved ones back home. However, it is something we travelers can manipulate to our advantage.

You see, dealing with those we left behind requires a delicate balance: We need to provoke just enough jealousy so our trip seems worth it, but not so much jealousy that they never give us a Christmas gift again. It is an incredibly difficult balance to achieve. Even I, a world-class traveler, have trouble arriving at perfection.

The Swiss like their cows.

The Swiss like their cows.

Sufficient amounts of time communing with the toilet can tip the balance in our favor. If the traveler’s awe-inspiring photos of the Alps make your mother-in-law seethe with envy, the traveler should groan slightly and point out that the stomach problems haven’t quite ceased yet. And it was too bad that the beleaguered traveler couldn’t make it to the artisan shop to buy Swiss cows. Such a shame. Maybe next time?

toilet-in-switzerland3I make it a point to always eat something that doesn’t quite sit well with me. Confession: I sometimes cheat and wait till I get on the return flight. That guarantees two things: I WILL get sick, and I won’t ruin my trip to the Alps.

Yuri Takes On Errant Decimal Places

11.23
2013

Do you have error in decimal place? Aha! I arrest you.

Do you have error in decimal place? Aha! I arrest you.

“Accounting is a scintillating career. Accounting is hot, hot, hot. Accounting lets me travel the whole world uncovering incorrect decimal places.

Accounting is the next big thing.”

I am listening to self-help tapes. These tapes are for accountants, to help accountants improve our - what tape calls it? - self-esteem.

These tapes try to make me believe accountants are like 007. The only difference is 007 has dangerous gun. Accountant has even more dangerous calculator.

And spreadsheet. Please not to forget the spreadsheet.

I am listening to these tapes, even though people laugh and say, “Walkman!? You have Walkman!? Ha ha ha!” because I need “to be galvanized”. *

And accounting. It is very, very “intoxicating.”

But maybe not so much in Moldova. I am living in Moldova, and here, accounting maybe not so exciting, because there is not much to account. We people in Moldova, we no have too much money to count. So accounting has many zeros.

This makes me hungry, because zero looks like doughnut.

We have delicious doughnut made with potato in Moldova. Nice. Round. Like zero.

So I will learn new accounting “savvy.”  The tape calls skills “savvy” because it is exciting, savvy is. Skills, not so much, apparently.

I want to be “international accountant”. Yes, international accountant, because then I travel. And I already know many, many things about international accounting. I did taxes for pretty stewardesses in airport in America.

And my English is almost very good. (Harvey wants me to study the English articles. I will study the English articles.)

Maybe I can be “forensic accountant” too. “International and forensic accountant.” I catch bad criminals all over world with dangerous spreadsheet and dangerous calculator. And very, very dangerous pencil. (Several pencil. I need several pencil.)

Calculating James Bond

Aha! 007 is accountant too.

I catch so many bad criminals, they call me “International 007″ accountant. Or “International .007″ accountant. I put decimal because I am not just Bond, but Accountant Bond.

So, yes. I will be world-famous accountant of .007 and international accounting. Are you criminal? Are you hiding decimal places? Are you scared? You should be scared. I will find you. I will drag you to Moldova. You will rot and die in Moldova jail.

But is not so bad. I will give you potato doughnut. And fun spreadsheet to read.

Because spreadsheets, they are “electrifying.” Like 007.

* Tape is very useful. I have recorded self-help information from computer because tapes, they are easy to carry. The computer, it not so easy to carry. And the cable for plugging to wall, is not too long.

Harvey Flea and How not to Overdose on Christmas

11.17
2013

There's nothing like the taste of coquito in July.

There's nothing like the taste of coquito in July.

Harvey Flea is writing from an undisclosed location as he is still hiding from his editor, who is waiting for a second draft of his manuscript.

Christmas has started early in many parts of the world. I am not sure what I feel about this. On the one hand, my Christmas in July party is one of the peak events of the year for me. I prepare by singing along to Aguinaldos in June.

But Christmas in the middle of summer is meant to be tongue in cheek. Christmas in October…it’s alluring, but also…I don’t know. It feels like it stretches the fabric of Christmas a bit too thin. Instead of seeing the season in bright greens and reds, these colors turn pastel. I don’t really like pastel colors.

There’s a reason stores are bringing Christmas even earlier this year. They are plying people with symbols of happiness so they buy more. Who can blame them? They’re hurting.

A part of me wants to fly up to everyone and hand them colorful Christmas cards that read, “Remember!!! Jesus is the reason for the season!!!” I stopped doing that when there was a an uptick of Psych ward admissions. People don’t tend to think they’re doing well mentally when mosquitoes scream at them and hand them cards.

So instead, I will fight the best way I know how. I am going to have a beach party in November.

Then I’ll get back to working on my manuscript.

Los rres reyes magos

Minky NaFluss and the Mocha Dangers Within

11.16
2013


minky-nafluss-glasses-2

Sniff

Minky NaFluss is this week’s guest writer. He is a professional snob. He has offended so many people, even the Cray supercomputer burst a proverbial gasket trying to keep up. He has been banned from Bhutan thanks to his acidic comments about street signs.

It happened on my way through an airport. One moment, I was taking for granted that the contents of my morning breakfast table were reasonably safe - at least they would take years to kill me. Then I found out the truth, the truth about the horrors that lurk within our very own breakfast feasts.

I was in a rush to get to my terminal. Sorely in need of sustenance of a caffeinated nature, I stooped in to a Burger King. (How uncouth. How desperate.)

As bad as the “coffee” at Burger King is, it no where reaches the horrors of airplane coffee, especially in coach, which is where I would be traveling thanks to the ineptitude of my (ex)secretary.

I stared at the menu, which at Burger King includes huge photographic evidence. I imagine this is for its clients who find reading - and real food - distasteful. I reminisced about the last coffee I had drunk at Burger King, one cold dawn 25 years ago. I shuddered. I looked at the other options. Burger King’s “mocha” showed a drink with heaps of fluffy-fuff cream on top; it was drizzled with a dark substance that I assumed to be chocolate.

The mocha it would be. Overly sweet? Yes. Artificial chocolate flavor? Undoubtedly. But I would need something to cut the edge off of sludge Burger King refers to as “coffee”. As a general rule, chocolate can work wonders in that way.

I said to the cashier, “I would like the coffee/chocolate substance that you refer to as a ‘mocha.’ Please do not add any whipped cream.”

Reasonable request.

The cashier stared at me blankly. (Although, truth be told, it was hard to tell the difference.)

“Did you understand me?” I asked.

The cashier’s mouth found some functionality. “The mocha comes with whipped cream.”

“The photos do make that claim,” I said. “But certainly you can leave it off? The cream doesn’t come pre-glued, does it?”

“No, but the chocolate is put on top of the cream,” the cashier said.

“Can’t you drizzle the chocolate on top of the coffee instead?”

At this, the cashier looked terribly confused. I tried to clarify my statement.

Why must it all be so difficult?

Why must it all be so difficult?

“Must you drizzle the chocolate directly on top of the whipped cream?” I used hand gestures to help clarify my point.

Utter silence.

“Certainly,” I continued, “you don’t need to place the whipped cream as a protective barrier between the chocolate and the coffee?”

Silence.

“Do you?” I asked.

Silence.

And that is when I realized the terrible, terrifying, shocking, life-altering truth.

Chocolate must NOT come in direct contact with coffee for fear that it might create an explosive combination that would take out the entire airport and half the surrounding metropolis.

That is the only possible explanation.

Oh, the horror of it all.

This could be you.

This could be you.

I tried to confirm my shocking theory with the cashier for she was, after an, an expert in permissible chocolate and coffee combinations.

She responded with a look of confusion. Apparently one needs special clearance to divulge this sort of classified information.

And so I left Burger King, saved by the skin of my teeth and without my dangerously volatile chocolate-and-coffee-chemistry experiment.

Before I let you go, some final words: We are living on the brink of extinction, you and I. Every day - and we don’t even realize it - we mix seemingly benign substances into highly dangerous fissile material, or so I learned at Burger King.

In comparison, sitting in coach doesn’t seem so awful.

Harvey Flea Communes with Chocolate Perfection

04.16
2011

harveyheader23The steamy earthy brown oozes down, bearing down on me as I stare, transfixed, unable to move except for the shiver of anticipation that runs down my spine. It is a formidable presence. 700 times bigger than I am, this mound, covered in lava, is a force of nature. There is only one way to stop it.

With my mouth.

Profiteroles!

Profiteroles!

I am, of course, talking about the profiterole. Oh, how I love that word. Let me interrupt my written account so I can take a bite while the chocolate sauce - the only kind of lava worth eating - is still warm.

Are you jealous? You should be. Very. Very. Very jealous.

But don’t hate me. My culinary pursuits are therapy. You see, I have been hard at work writing my mystery memoirs, and let’s just say I am a wee bit behind schedule. Just a smidgen. Or four or five smidgens. A few months. But you just can’t hurry genius. That’s what I keep telling my editor. Not directly, of course. I haven’t picked up my phone in months. But I send her e-mails when I know she is offline and can’t speak to me directly.

Profieteroles!!!

Profieteroles!!!

She’s taken to sending thugs (she calls them assistants) to my home. This creates stress. Stress makes me eat. And when I stress eat, there is only one thing I crave.

Prftrlethg.

How rude of me. I had my mouth full. Profiteroles is what I meant to say before pure chocolate heaven enraptured my tongue.

Of course, the only place to go for profiteroles is France. There are two reasons for this.

Reason # 1: It’s France. No explanation needed.

Reason # 2: My editor is allergic to French people. This is one of her many flaws. But I thank the good Lord for this idiosyncrasy, because when I want to avoid her, I run screaming to France and fall into the warm embrace of the nearest profiterole.

So I am in Paris, in an undisclosed location to prevent my editor from sending her thug/assistants after me. Of course, if she does, I know exactly where I can hide.

Yes, indeed. I mix in very well with the chocolate sauce. You can barely see me.

Of course, she might not send anyone. She might be under the impression that I am dead. Perhaps because that’s what my answering machine message claims. But it’s not entirely untrue, now is it? After all, I am in profiterole heaven. Ergo, I must be dead.

Profiteroles!!! Heaven!

Profiteroles!!! Heaven!

Back to the profiteroles. You don’t have to cover profiteroles in chocolate sauce. A pastry shop on the Rue du Bac in Paris tops them with delicate cream. Do I like them that way? Of course. The classic profiterole has vanilla ice cream or cream piled up inside, but the ones I am communing with now have ginger ice cream. Do I like them that way?

Do you even need to ask?

It is an arduous task, being that I am of such small stature (but huge genius, might I remind my editor?) to do proper justice to a profiterole. But duty calls, so I must return to my fire-and-ice choux. I leave you, however, with a video explaining how to make your own profiteroles if you’ve let your passport run out and are unable to make it over to France to join me in my quest.

If you do join me, don’t touch my profiterole. I might not let you live.

Just kidding.

Sort of.