posted by Lorraine Bartlett

One of my hobbies is growing veggies. Thanks to Mr. Bunny, my home bean crop was chomped to the dirt before the plants could even begin to start climbing. Though I planted seven potato "seedlings," only two sprouted. However, my bean crop at the cottage is going strong...with one little problem. Or rather, 100+ of them.

Japanese_beetles In years past, these little iridescent bronze-and-green bugs would eat a few leaves and that would be that. This year, all hell's broken loose! They're chewing up the leaves in record time, leaving nothing but the outside edges and a few veins. It's not unusual for me to capture and kill (I don't use pesticides, thank you very much. As a former reader of MSDSs, I'm very wary of the chemical industry) up to fifty of these little buggers a weekend.

Crocs That's where the Croc of death comes in. Okay, backtrack. I wear Crocs. Yeah, those ugly plastic shoes, but they've put my plantar fascaiitis in remission, so I love them.

Anyway, first I take a little Dixie cup of water and a big wood chip (gathered from our pine mulch) and I dunk those horrid little bugs. More often than not, I can dunk two bugs at a time because next to eating my bean leaves, fornication is their second-most cherished pastime. A time or two I've even dunked a menage a trois. (Who knew sex was so important to bugs?)

Usually they fall into the water and swim--often the backstroke. Dump in more of their fellows and they clump together like members of Cirque de Soliel. And while they're clinging to one another, desperate to reach dry land, they...er...create excrement of a vibrant green variety, soiling my Dixie cup! (Probably more information than you wanted to know.)

I glean the leaves until I can find no more and then proceed to a paving stone which marks the spot of our former well. There I spill the contents of my Dixie cup and stomp them to death with my right Croc. TAKE THAT YOU ICKY BUGS!

Sadly, those that don't make the dunking fly off. Probably returning the moment my car zooms down the road toward home. Bad beetles! Bad Bad! But at least I know I haven't polluted the ground (or myself) and the wasps and flies have a nice feast on the bodies I leave behind.

Is it any wonder I kill in fiction?

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