Does Size Matter?

My intelligence officer frantically bursts through my plastic door, salutes with the wrong hand and reports to me in broken sentences and insufficient oxygen-intake THE terrible crisis which has befallen us:

Highly General! We’ve been hit by a surprise attack that is of the scale and deadly precision of… yes… Dec. 7th, 1941… “A date which will live in INFAMY!

Stunned and not sure whether I left the refrigerator door open this morning or not, and whether I remembered to apply my under-arm deodorant, I asked my IO Alright, so how bad is it? What’s the damage report?

Sir of Highlyness, the reports are still preliminary, but all sectors are fighting gallantly in all directions! But there is just TOO MANY of them. We are being overrun!

I scramble to find somewhere on my big desk in front of my BIG chair underneath all my “kinky surveillance photos” and questionable magazines, Where is that file? I know it’s here somewhere! Shuffle, shuffle, push, push… HAH! There it is! My IO with the utmost attentiveness of a feline inside a pet-bird store snaps WHAT!? What is it your Highlyness!?

I open up the top-secret file labelled “Top Secret” to read valuable national security data for kitchens:

If you have been seeing small flies or gnats in your kitchen, they’re probably fruit flies. Fruit flies can be a problem year round, but are especially common during late summer/fall because they are attracted to ripened or fermenting fruits and vegetables.

There it is. The Coup d’état of preemptive covert preparations in early to mid-April. Yes, APRIL! What good does that do us in June under piles of kinky photos and unconventional magazine… research!? The extensive report continues:

Adults are about 1/8 inch long and usually have red eyes. The front portion of the body is tan and the rear portion is black. Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials. Upon emerging, the tiny larvae continue to feed near the surface of the fermenting mass. This surface-feeding characteristic of the larvae is significant in that damaged or over-ripened portions of fruits and vegetables can be cut away without having to discard the remainder for fear of retaining any developing larvae. The reproductive potential of fruit flies is enormous; given the opportunity, they will lay about 500 eggs. The entire life-cycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week. 

Obviously I cannot confirm the red eyes because the little f*ckers never stay still, especially when I try to look up close directly at their eyes! Tan bodies? What!? Are they migrating here from Caribbean beaches of UV-coconut lotion? Wow, what a life!

Eggs on fermenting foods or organic materials? That is unequivocally wrong! I have nothing fermenting within my zone-of-defense and most grocers don’t sell anything organic, at least not at reasonable prices! Damn, these little pecker-pests have figured out another method of infiltration and penetration! And I am NOT talking about Karen McDougal or Stormy Daniels. HOLY SHIT! 500 eggs!? The entire life-cycle from egg to adult can be completed in about [30-seconds]. Well, at least that’s much much longer than Donnie T’s endurance.

As I am reading this Top Secret file I have three enemy flies/gnats buzz me. One tries entry into my nostril the other tries my ear like my skull is the Death Star and they have delusions of Luke Skywalker grandeur! OH HELL NO! I’m swatting my hands everywhere like M.C. Hammer on steroids firing laser-maching-guns! BAAM! BOOM! gnatty-ness carnage everywhere!

But within minutes there’s another wave of horny-for-500-more fruity flies flying to my kitchen and to every orifice on my body… I presume because I do not have enough organic produce! Hence, I am the fruiter’s target. I must read the rest of the Top Secret fruit-fly files FAST… EEER!

ERADICATION – or Counter-attacks:
Once a structure is infested with fruit flies, all potential breeding areas must be located and eliminated. Unless the breeding sites are removed or cleaned, the problem will continue no matter how often insecticides are applied to control the adults. Finding the source(s) of attraction and breeding can be very challenging and often will require much thought and persistence. Potential breeding sites which are inaccessible (e.g., garbage disposals and drains) can be inspected by taping a clear plastic food storage bag over the opening overnight. If flies are breeding in these areas, the adults will emerge and be caught in the bag.

Are you fuckin’ kidding me? I have to find areas with 500 eggs? And we thought Easter was fun!?

I scream at my IO, Corporal Klinger! It is time to call-in SEAL Team D-O. We have no choice, no hope of clean orifices if we do not call-in the Specialized DO-ers.

Cpl. Klinger stares forward and stares forward… KLINGER! He jumps to attention, SIR!? I give him the piercing reprimand-stare, This is no time for daydream believers and homecoming Queens! Make the call! He salutes proudly, Yes sir. Right away sir! I’m sure the Black-Ops of Drain-O squad will see to it that Operation orifice is a resounding success!

Well, it better be or we will become the 30-second breeding ground of eggs-galore! Can you imagine being violated like that in 30-seconds? Both of us pause a few seconds and remember the long, long history of patriarchal plunder. Cpl. Klinger begins to open his mouth to respond. STOP! Do not answer that.

Right now we have a formidable fruit-fly foray requiring our finest feats of ferocity! Are you fit for this forthcoming fatal function of fracas fruit-fly… I must pause to wipe my lip and chin… FARNAGE! the Cpl. blurts out! You are indeed my Intelligence Officer. Go call SEAL team DO-ers!

The Battle-Smoke Slowly Clears, the Smell of Apple Vinegar Lingers with Fly-Bodies Floating Lifeless Everywhere

💀  💀  💀  💀  💀

It was near disaster. There were so many. They just kept coming and coming and coming. Three bottles of apple-cider vinegar (squirted with Dawn dishsoap) gone, strategically dispersed throughout our fortress defenses, precision counter-attacks by the SEAL DO-ers, and orifices brilliantly booby-trapped… the war had been won, but at what cost? Would we be able to withstand the next attack? Unless we breed like our fruity enemy do we have a chance? Yes, we were victors, for now. Like the dinosaurs we are big and mighty, for now. But can we last?

Do numbers matter? Scary still, does size matter? We face an uncertain future with those levels of reproduction and libidos. I don’t think we hetero males will keep up. Have we been deluding ourselves over the millenia with dreams of superiority?

————

Live Well — Make Love Much More? — Laugh Often at our Arrogance — Learn Always from the Tiny Details

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Fecal Pushers

After many years of practice, there are certain types who have mastered the art of shit-pushing and some who have not.  A quick menagerie of the art…


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One of my favorite caught-in-the-act corrections:  I wasn’t kissing your wife Sir.  I was whispering in her mouth!  Then find the nearest exit.

Two industries that most everyone would agree shovel out “pretty” bullshit on a regular basis have to be financial investment companies and sales personnel.  Hello Ma’am, you will be amazed by this latest iPhone…a must have!  Just $299 or $39 for 48 months for FAST 4G speeds and a ba-jillion apps you’ll probably never use!  Or Sir, you are going to be blown away by our new-fangled Hedge-that-Risk-Away fund with a simple monthly direct-debit from your checking account, plus initiation fees, handling, commission, and risk-management fees!

Sound familiar?

I could never be an aggressive sales rep and survive unless I was selling donated organs to terminally ill patients and their families.  But there are some who can make the stinkiest bullshit smell like a rose garden.  And then there are those whose art is necessary, beneficial yet tragic.

The Clean-up Crew

Imagine living in a community that has no trash pickup and disposal, running indoor water/plumbing, no dishwashers, and no washing machines.  Would you cleanup after yourself, in every manner?  Would you cleanup after others, in every way?

Clean-up crew hard at work

Clean-up crew hard at work

Next time you are served a meal you cringe over, think twice about it because there are insects that would have a feast on your waste.  Actually, they do feast…and not just after humans.  Wherever there is fecal waste, there are most likely dung beetles.  They are life’s natural cleanup crew and they are remarkably resourceful.  They are tumblers, they are spelunkers, and they are dwellers.  They make the most of human or animal waste.

Dung beetles are a critical part of nature’s biocycle.  By eating and burying feces, dung beetles recycle vital nutrients into the soil and bury waste that otherwise attracts disease-carrying pests such as flies.  They also help new trees grow.  For example, in the rain forest, monkeys eat fruit where seeds are sometimes undigested.  When the dung beetle arrives at the aftermath, it packs up the feces into a ball, seeds and all, rolls it away and buries it.  Soon after up sprouts a new tree!  On a given night, one dung beetle can roll and bury up to 250 times its own weight in shit!  Imagine that workout.

But these hardworking necessary beetles don’t have it easy.

Shit-pushing Is No Walk in the Park

Every morning as part of my workout, I briskly walk 2-miles; one mile down, one mile up.  The hilltop I live on has about a 23-degree steep grade up or down for about 70-80 yards.  As I’m heading down the hill one morning, I notice in the middle of the drive a dung beetle perilously rolling his dung-ball across the cement.  Every so often he struggled to keep his dung-ball from turning down the steep hill.  Watching this beetle toil for his hard-earned shit, I couldn’t help but sympathize with his adversity.  I watched in amazement and suspense.  What would come of this beetle’s precarious effort?  Would he succeed and beat the odds?  Or would I be witness to horrific shit and beetle carnage?  The cliff-hanger moment was building with every revolution of his dung-ball.

The hill of dung carnage; blood & beetle parts edited out to protect the weak-stomachs.

The hill of dung carnage; blood & beetle parts edited out to protect the weak-stomachs.

He crossed the midway point of the drive still pumping those hind-legs over his neatly packed shit.  Five more feet to go.  Can he do it?  Four feet.  I find myself cheering him on.  Three and a half.  Then he and his shit-ball hit a bump.  Should I intervene like the hand-of-God, showing mercy and compassion for the shit this beetle has put up with?  NO FRICKING WAY!  And then as my questions of shit-miracle-ing lingered, everything went south….literally.  I began laughing my ass off.  Everything was out of control.  The “wheels came off” but the rolling kept going, and going, and going!  If Herbert Morrison of the Hindenburg disaster had been there he would have screamed “Oh the Bee-manity!

Sorry.  I should be more compassionate.  I should pay homage to this epic dung-beetle’s demise.  Let us bow our heads.

He was a brave shit artist.  The bravest I had ever seen.  He hung on to his shit-ball for five, maybe six revolutions down that hill-of-no-return!  Finally, the cruel speed and momentum….perhaps a killer dizzying headache too separated this warrior from his meal.  He tumbled two or three times behind that ball before coming to a most abrupt end.  In his never-say-die attitude, he scrambled to gain his senses, and immediately went searching for his runaway shit-ball.  But it was too late.  I watched that ball roll down the hill…way down the hill about 50 yards – two state lines in beetle distance – before bouncing off the drive into the ditch and disappearing in the grass.  It was gone.  Done.  This dung-expert had lost his shit.

* * * * * * * * * *

As utterly hilarious as I found this dung-beetle carnage, I had to find the teaching moment:  what is the moral of this story?

No matter how good or pretty smelling it is…don’t push your shit up hill.  You might lose it and it will come rolling back on you.

What moral story can you apply?  Let me hear them all.

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Footnote – on a cool etymology note, it has been recently discovered that these dung-beetles navigate their dung-balls by the stars in the Milky Way galaxy; their GPS if you will.  Click here.

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