It's not about the house.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

But Could Either of them Beat Dick Cheney?

We've been overrun by praying mantises lately (praying manti? ephods?), which is odd, considering I'd never seen one up close in my life until last year. We found her in the We Don't Know What Kind of Bush out back, and I took some pictures of her to share with you, but it was with my old camera, and you couldn't really tell the difference between her and the branch. See?

As winter approached, Johnny discovered what he thought was an egg sac in our discarded Christmas tree (some other time I will explain why our Christmas tree was still in the yard in October. It has to do with a sparky outdoor fire we never got around to having. If you look closely at the picture of the veranda I posted the other day, you will notice we've gone and not done it again). He carefully placed the sac in a crook of the We Don't Know bush, and so far this year we've had two of them on our porch. A little baby one inside, on the window-screen (we don't know how it managed to get in there, but I swear I heard it say "salutations!" at least once before I let it go) and, another day, a big one perched on the mailbox to greet us when we got home.


Okay, by the time I got the camera Johnny had picked the bugger up, so it wasn't on the mailbox anymore. And the bugger was a lot bigger than this picture makes it look. Not huge, but certainly larger than the tip of Johnny's finger. Which that is, no matter what it looks like.

So I'm driving Johnny home from an emergency doctor's appointment the other day -- he's fine, it was just gas -- and he gets to thinking. "I wonder who'd win in a fight," he says, "a praying mantis or a dragonfly?"

We have loads of dragonflies in our yard, too. BIG ones. Or at least we used to. Haven't seen so many this year, though. Which suggests to me an answer.

"Praying mantis," I said.

"I don't know," says Johnny, "dragonflies have got some jaws on 'em. I've seen one take down a fucking wasp."

"Well, a wasp is a lot smaller than a praying mantis, isn't it? But then again," I added, excercising my prerogative to change my mind, "if the dragonfly gets to swoop down on the praying mantis, then it's no contest. Dragonfly, hands down. But if you put them on the ground facing each other and give 'em a three-count to begin with, I still say the mantis wins."


"Because praying mantes have longer arms. He could hold the dragonfly out like this," I grazed the windshield with my knuckles, "and the dragonfly would just be punching at the air."

"And then what's he gonna do," says Johnny, "choke the dragonfly to death? 'C'mere ya wee fucker! Try an' bite me, will ya!?' 'Gackackackkkkk....'"

He collapsed against the door in a fit of giggles. "Oh, what's wrong with me?" he said when he'd sufficiently recovered. "Why do I think of these things?"

"I don't know, honey," I said, wiping tears away myself.

"Maybe its the gas."


jen said...

Im reading backwards here. Havent gotten to the gas yet. And, I feel bad. Because I heart Johnny.

BUT!!! If you look online, you can find, on youtube, I think, this whole Japanese SHOW where bugs fight each other to the death. Gabe and I watched it for forever a coupla weeks ago. Its gross, yet enticing...If you watch long enough you might see your Mian Event!!

EGE said...

Oh, that's all I'm gonna say about the gas. Suffice to say he's full of it. Which comes as no surprise.

But! Bug show?! I'm all over it! If you look on youtube for praying mantiseses, you can see one eat a MOUSE!

Sparkle Plenty said...

Cool praying mantis and I love the car conversation...

("Cupcakes Fruit Pies Crumb Cakes Cupcakes Twinkies Fruit Pies Twinkies"--I'm still giggling over that story.) said...

Pretty much sounds like the conversations we have around here...

I'd go with the Dragonfly, they are mean.

beardonaut said...

Cool. Praying manti (I think "mantises" sound like something Gollum might say). We have such pedestrian insects here.

EGE said...

"Pedestrian insects." Snarf.

Beardonaut, if you weren't in Sweden, and if I weren't already married, and if you did not already have your girl... I might just decide to pretend-marry you.

beardonaut said...

Yes, pedestrian. They walk instead of driving big swanky SUVs, as American insects do.

Oooh. I've never been pretend-married. Or married. And I don't plan on doing it. Ever. But that the Vegas kind? *grin*