~Nevada Bill/Eating Bugs~

When I was in my late teens/early twenties, I would eat the occasional moth, grasshopper, ant, etc. to entertain my young children and their neighborhood friends. I also swallowed other things, goldfish and guppies to name a couple, to amuse them (and myself I suppose). This was great fun on camping trips.

Haven ridden motorcycles all my life, I’ve ingested countless flying things I’d rather not think about. During the eighties there was a group of crazies who called themselves the Moon Men. They’d show up unannounced and uninvited at motorcycle rallies and campsites. Their wild antics were high entertainment so, in most cases, they were not chased away. On one such trip, I stopped at a mountain restaurant to eat on a balmy summer weekend in Colorado. Half a dozen loonies, Moon Men extraordinaire, were flitting about the café to the consternation of cooks and waitresses, catching moths, picking up bugs off the floor. Each had a glass jar into which went all the creepy crawlies he captured. Later that evening, around a blazing community campfire, the Moon Men cavorted and entertained me and a host of other midnight riders. The Moon Man with the most critters in his jar was the star of the show. He was acknowledged in low ritual, rewarded as it were, honored by his peers, encouraged and slapped silly (no far reach) while he smacked his lips, yummy-yummy, and ate the day’s catch of the entire group.

Somewhere along life’s path, I decided not to intentionally kill any more bugs. That is, bugs not biting or stinging me and/or my children. Those I promptly stomp, swat, chase, generally swear a sincere vengeance upon. Flies are not a part of my amnesty on critters. I hate the filthy, slimy, sometimes biting little bastards. I collect Rosie the beagle’s doo-doo every morning, drop it in one of those plastic grocery bags and tie it loosely in what I call a half-knot. I hang the bag from a light fixture in the backyard, go my merry way and wait. A couple of times a day I retrieve the bag, hold the top firmly closed at the half-knot, and literally punch the living caca out of the flies that have crawled into the bag. Yesterday, I am glad to report, I took out over a hundred of the little vermin and hardly got any on myself. I am determined and easily amused.

Last week, driving back from our wedding in Colorado, I was chatting with Kathy about what bugs me in life (no pun intended, heh-heh). She was driving (what a good and special girl to give me a break) and I felt it my duty to entertain her. A tiny green bug was crawling around on the windshield on my side of the car. Using my right index finger, I encouraged him over and over to hide himself in the corner between the rubber molding and the glass (I knew he was a he because I saw his little peesqueeter very clearly, thank-you very much). I asked him what he thought about the graveyard just the other side of the windscreen. “What goes through all your little buddies’ bug brains when they smash into that invisible barrier at eighty miles an hour other than their butt-holes?”

Kathy, amused at my discourse (I think), decided the little green bug deserved a name. After some deep consideration, she christened him ‘Nevada Bill’ in honor of the wide and ‘less than scenic’ state we were motoring through. Bill, as if excited to finally have a name, exhibited an amazing ability to hop several times farther than the length of his tiny bug body when I poked his little butt with my finger. He landed on my shirt pocket and perched there looking up at me as if to say, “Now what?” It was either that or Bill needs glasses. I pursed my lips and shot him a little whoosh of breath. Bill didn’t like that. In one little giant hop (I think maybe Bill can fly), he landed on the side window. I tickled the down button on the door panel and out he went into the wind-stream. I kind o’ liked that little guy. Sure hope he doesn’t run across any Moon Men.

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© artwork & words conceived by & property of Tom (WordWulf) Sterner ©

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