Saturday, November 29, 2008

Satan's Fetus

This monstrosity concocted in the vile imaginings of the most sinister of minds has many names: Satan's Fetus being the most accurate, although it's also known as a Jerusalem Cricket or (believe it or not) a "potato bug". This is no bug and potatoes are completely irrelevant to the story. Whoever called this thing a "potato bug" needs to be slapped vigorously with a wet fish.

One of these Spawn Of The Evil One showed up in our patio area while Wendy & I were (yet again and somewhat futiley) attempting to persuade our new puppy that pooping outside is immeasurably preferable to, say, the carpet in our bedroom. The Creature From Nuclear Experimentation Gone Bad -- several inches long and butt-ugly -- crept noisily out of the darkness, and we discerned immediately it was a demonic presence.

Normal attempts at "casting it out" didn't seem to be bearing much fruit, so I looked up, and discovered the following perfectly rational and immensely practical advice on dealing with these six-legged nightmares:
"Drench your entire yard with gasoline and set it ablaze. Once the fire has burned itself out and the ground has cooled, cultivate the soil to a depth of seven feet, saturate the area with battery acid and top the surface with gasoline. After a few minutes, most of the surviving potato bugs, now irritated, will burrow up for air. Set the yard on fire again, and let it burn itself out. The remaining bugs should be crisped. Add water."
Since we don't actually have a yard, and setting concrete on fire didn't seem all that prudent, I just dropped a brick on The Thing.

But I had to STAND on the brick before it did any good, if you catch my meaning (crack-goosh).

This insectile abomination will now be added to my list of things that are in all likelihood a direct consequence of the Fall of Man in Genesis 3: brussel sprouts, mosquitoes, country music, and now, potato bugs.


  1. I have to disagree. Brussel sprouts are great and since my lovely wife refuses to cook them, I usually only get them at them at some holiday feast. And then there's country music. I'm been migrating to those stations every time I drive through the BC interior. I'm surprised it hasn't affected you too. It's gotta go well with the Mexican atmosphere as well, don't ya think? Of course, in my family, dialing in a country station is a call to arms. I do it at my own risk.

    btw, congrats on 25 years of dating. Its a cool post.

  2. the snow in Pennsylvania does not sound so bad at all today.

  3. MaryAnn,

    Ever our normally over-inquisitive puppy wouldn't go anywhere near the Spawn!


    Naw, you haven't convinced me -- haggis may be a sign of the end times, but brussel sprouts prove the disastrous consequences post-Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    I'll admit to having a greatest hits album by the Eagles, and an iTunes copy of Johnny Cash singing "Hurt", but that's as far as I'll go on that topic. :)


    I keep thinking it's still August or at the latest, September. This weather is messin' with my head. WAAYY behind on Christmas shopping as a result? :)

    I guess these Devilish Mutants are one of God's ways of keeping us in warm climates from getting too smug...

  4. SO, big was that thing?

  5. About four inches long. Maybe five, but I think closer to four. It's squished under a brick now, so post-humus measurements would in all likelihood be less than definitive.

    But at least it's dead. (I checked, just to be sure...)

  6. Four or five inches? Now I'm really grossed out. I'm sure the next time I'm crunching into an undercooked brussel sprout I'll thinking of something else. Thanks. You just ruined my christmas meal:)

  7. OMG....thats as big as my hand...creepy!! and...just where in the world are they found? (please do not tell me i can find them here in the sunny South US.
    and....i got your book...started it with coffee this morning. looks very good so far.

  8. "While gardening laymen sometimes confuse the potato bugs with the Ladybug, one or two encounters with potato bugs will solve that problem. Adults are oval in shape, range in size from 6 to 11 mm and have 6 tan-coloured legs" obviously this is not the same thing as you found...unless yours found some nuclear waste and morphed into superbug. ON A FUNNY NOTE>>> i found the potato bug HYMN:
    to be sung with the tune from O Tannenbaum. oh my.

  9. They are actually called "Ninos de la Tierra" and can be deadly if they bite young children. At least very dangerous to young kids. But they definitely are worth squishing.