Two Days Since


Because at least one reader pressed the question, I am here to provide an answer.

What have the stink bugs done to you in your life that has you so wrapped around the axle?

It has been two days since the last stink bug was found. Over the past month we have located and excused about one stink bug per day from Bernadette. Where do they hide? Who knows; nooks, crannies, vents, sills. We typically spot the contemptible creatures sitting idly on some random wall or ceiling, seemingly begging for sweet, sweet death.

Our first encounter with stink bugs was near Pittsburgh. At the time, we thought "that's a quaint anomaly of western Pennsylvania." You know, like the smokers. With hindsight, we now recognize that our encounter with stink bugs remains ongoing.

Having now cohabitated with the buggers for a month, I have grown to appreciate a few things about stink bugs. One of my favorite traits is that they are stupid; the imbeciles of the insect world. A stink bug lacks the creative escape art of, say, a spider, or even the recognition of the need to escape that you would see in an ant. Stink bugs' evolutionary path apparently favored development of foul-goo glands instead of brains.

The other redeeming characteristic of stink bugs is that they are slow. It is not even that they are slow, per se, it is that they just do not hustle. As a former New Yorker, I relate stink bugs to the oblivious, dawdling tourists who stop in the middle of the sidewalk for no apparent reason and weave strange, slow vectors when they walk which give the impression of intent even though you know there is none (because they are tourists). Even when in full pursuit, a stink bug can only manage a leisurely stroll.

In combination, the stupid and slow stink bugs are easy to apprehend (unless they decide to fly, which they typically do not because they are stupid). It is for this reason only that I have not brought the cleansing escape of fire to Bernadette.

When a stink bug is encountered, the following procedure is followed:

  1. The most manly of our tribe (me) is notified of the stink bug's unwelcome presence.
  2. The supreme manly-man acquires a stink bug eradication device -- typically a loose sheet of paper.
  3. With manly grace, the stupid, slow stink bug is coaxed onto eradication device (paper).
  4. Stink bug is escorted to the door.
  5. With a quick flicking motion, stink bug is ejected from eradication device and premises.
  6. Weather and footwear permitting, the stink bug is smashed, by foot, into oblivion as punishment for its insolence and as a step toward the proper and virtuous eradication of their species from the North American continent.

We will be having a cake party on the seventh day after the last stink bug sighting.

Posted 2013-10-29 by Pete Grayson in misc.