Well, that was an interesting week, wasn’t it?!
There for a while it was a little hard to keep up with it all.
By way of a quick run-down, the Iranians blustered up and sank one of their own ships, the Chinese continued to deny anything and everything, the San Antonio City Council took its place among the ranks of the thought police, several governors and activist judges turned the power-abuse knob full right, and their constituents ramped up the corresponding protests accordingly, the latest CNN reporter opened her mouth at the president’s coronavirus briefing and removed all doubt, SARS-CoV-2 continued to behave like the nasty little thing it is, and people continued to either over or underestimate it and indulge self-destructive behavior anyway.
Additionally, the cat escaped the bag on both Flynn and Obama-gate, Nancy “Antoinette” Pelosi and crew took another whack at voter fraud, systemic corruption and the public treasury pinata — and then, as if any subset of that wasn’t bad enough, we get breathlessly panicked headlines of the coming of the Japanese murder hornets.
“Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!”
At the risk of being a bit cheeky, I think there are some similarities here. Just like the pre-existing “normal” influenza strains which routinely kill upwards of 80,000 people a year, the tendency is to ignore or dismiss the troubles you’ve already got in favor of some sparkly new ones that might be more fun to play with.
With a lot of nerve-jangling panic, media, social and otherwise, fairly exploded with hot mess warnings about murder hornets, like they were already thwacking into the windows with buzzing murderous intent.
Spoiler alert: They aren’t here in Texas yet, and you’re a whole lot more likely to run into several critters here that are a lot more common, painful and annoying. We’ve also got some waspish creatures which are equally large but totally benign when it comes to people. The Cicada Killer is a wasp, but is disinterested in bothering anyone save cicadas. And in that regard, they have my wholehearted support. Cicadas are huge, too. They are also noisy as the devil. A significant reduction in their population wouldn’t bother me a bit.
In the realm of pre-existing evils and painful critters, red wasps and fire ants are plenty enough to worry about already.
Then there’s the dang skeeters. We certainly had some hungry ones in the high country, and they were a definite pest when we were living in Paris proper, but these things out here are in a whole new league of mean. I guess they call them the Asian Tiger, and they’re big enough the stripes are easily discernible in flight. They’re not quite Chernobyl-esque, but I wouldn’t want to doze off on the porch in the evenings during a hatch-out. A fellow could get exsanguinated that way.
June bugs remind me a lot of the 2- to 4-inch beetles that fly down from the high country in Colorado. Likely a close relative of Prionus Californicus, the California Root Borer Beetle, they look about as nasty as a bug can get, all glistening head, thorax and jaws, and a deep maroon body with a dull sheen. They weren’t particularly dangerous. I’ve never known anyone to be bitten by one, but they’re really kinda ugly and the trouble with them is, they’re pretty good straight flyers, but the species was never graced with a working rudder, and aeronautic gradual turns are a foreign concept to the lot of ’em. The silly things steer by impact. When they want to alter course, they run into something. Then they make hissing noises, re-orient their launch trajectory and off they go again. Basically it’s navigation by braille.
That works, I suppose, but like the common Texas June Bug, they don’t much care if the object they run into is inanimate or not. June bugs do circles with no defined target nor sense of responsibility. They’re into contact turns as well. But I have to admit getting hit with a Rocky Mountain Timber Beetle is on a whole different level of yikes.
So it goes.
From the observation booth here at The Paper Radio, this coming week I gather we’ll see the continuing political fallout — including from the New York governor ordering contagious Covid-19 patients to be housed in nursing homes, and his decision to tax the income of any and all volunteers who came to help out when the nastiness got real deep.