Blog-Bud Jim, aka Suldog, put up a couple o' posts a couple o' weeks ago (or mebbe less) illustrating his rather unique manner of dealing with household pests... like mice, spiders, ants, and other sorts o' creepy-crawlies. Jim would make a good Buddhist, seein' as how he buys and uses those "Havaheart" violence-free mousetraps and favors "catch and release" operations for other creatures that are found in places where said creatures have no bid'niz bein', like in the kitchen, or in your closet, the bathtub, yadda, yadda, yadda. These posts generated a lot o' comment, as might be expected, and in one comment Jim said something to the effect that he didn't mind people killing bugs, as long as they ate what they killed.
Which brings to mind this old post, of course. I've massaged it a lil bit from its original form and added graphics.
BugsI’m putting the final touches on dinner last evening (read that: taking the last of three grilled cheese sandwiches out of the frying pan) when, from literally out of nowhere, a medium sized daddy longlegs drops on to the counter in front of me. I quickly put that grilled cheese on the cutting board and take a swipe at the spider. I miss. He’s a quick little bugger! There’s only one escape route available to said spider and he takes it, leaping on to the cutting board, heading straight for my dinner. I take a couple of stabs at him with my finger, again. Miss. Miss. Now that bold little SOB is actually ON my dinner, so I sweep him off the sandwiches with the flat of my hand, surgical precision be damned. I succeeded in sweeping him off the cutting board back on to the counter from whence he came. He was terminated with extreme prejudice and the remains deposited in the trash.
Fifteen or 20 minutes later and we're done with dinner. Those sandwiches were good! As I’m clearing the table I look down on the cutting board to see what are clearly two tiny little legs amongst the remnant crumbs. Which, of course, raises the question: “How many spider legs did I actually eat?” After a brief “ewww” moment I realize this ain’t the first or the last time I’ll consume a bug, in whole or in parts. The government has standards for “acceptable” amounts of insect parts and other filth in our food, ya know. And here they are. I’m glad I didn’t have any fig newtons for dessert.
Which brings to mind another bug story. In the last installment of “Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine” I told you about my mid-70s trip to Ramasun Station in Thailand and associated events. During that trip I became very good friends with a young lady that worked in one of the local bars in Kho Kha. One evening after work I’m sitting at the bar, nursing a Singha and minding my business when my lady friend slides on to the stool next to mine. We exchange greetings, and she says: “I bring you present.” “Cool!” sez I.
She reaches into her (very large) purse and pulls out this little cage made out of woven palm fronds or something, about three inches in diameter by two inches high. She then opens the top of the grass cage and dumps out this VERY large beetle-looking insect on to the bar. The beetle is about the size of an Almond Joy piece, which is to say it’s a really big bug. It's alive... and crawling ponderously around on the bartop.
“That’s nice,” I say. “What am I going to do with this?”
“You eat!” she says.
“You SHIT, too!” sez I.
She looks at me in a mildly offended way, shrugs her shoulders, picks the bug up off the bar, bites off the bug’s abdomen, and chews it up with exaggerated smiles of delight. I almost threw up.
It turns out she had offered me a Rice Bug, a particular form of beetle found in rice fields. This beetle eats rice, “processes” it, and stores the resulting paste in its large abdomen. A real Thai delicacy, so I’m told, even if the bugs are normally deep fried or steamed. My friend ate this one raw (and ALIVE, fergawd's sake!), though. It was a day or two before I kissed her again.
Well, that last sentence isn't entirely true; it was more a matter of hours. True lust conquers all.
The image comes from a Thai travel site, along with a description of the bugs, the going rate for same, and the various ways they're consumed. If'n you're interested, of course.