There was an episode of Mork and Mindy, a two-parter no less, where Mork takes aspirin for his headache. An unforeseen side effect of the aspirin, being that he's an alien and all, is that Mork starts to shrink. Smaller and smaller he grows until he falls between the threads of the table cloth and lands in a microscopic medieval world. That's a crazy idea. Horrifying! Think of all the worlds and civilizations wiped out in the daily goings on of just one person. What happens when that table cloth gets washed?
Wow-- tIny little worlds everywhere-- and obviously our world is sitting on some giant's table cloth. That clearly follows, after all. Sure, it's an extreme thought experiment, but you know, if you can get big ideas from "Star Trek," then why not "Mork and Mindy?"
I have noticed some startling things in the bug universe around my house and yard. And, it could be argued, that's kind of like the mini-medieval land. All those tiny little creatures with their armies and giant citadel things (I've got a couple of large anthills in the yard), and spider houses like you wouldn't believe-- seriously impressive web work. Recently witnessed in the basement has been both the cave cricket and house centipede. Those are carnivores, I think, so what are they eating? Little tiny things I can't see and don't want to think about. Dust mites? Baby spiders.
But sometimes there are large external geopolitical bug forces that come sweeping into the realm. Outsider bugs who come in large numbers looking for rafters for overwintering (this is all conjecture and misremembered facts from some show I saw 18 years ago on the Discovery Chanel). In my experience, these seasonal residents, are usually some sort of invasive Asian beetle.
The west wall of the house must be so toasty warm for these little guys. I don't know if they're attracted to the radiant heat or what, but they love that wall. The sound of hundreds of little fake ladybugs (harmonia axyridis as opposed to "ladybugus regularis") sounds exactly like you'd think it would-- an assault of tiny little thuds as they fly headlong into the exterior wall with their armored little bodies. Then begins the indoor march where, if they resist the siren call of ceiling mounted light fixtures, they will be rewarded with sheltered hibernation somewhere in my attic space.
These were there first visitors that came en masse the first year we lived in our home. I thought this was as it would be till the end, but no. Then came the stink bugs. The two forces encountered one another for the first time about three years ago. The same west wall, shimmering a promise of rest and warmth for the upcoming season, beckoned not just the orange and black but now the stink bombers as well.
The violence these two parties met one another with was nothing short of horrific (if you're a bug). I didn't realize the extent of the carnage until the following spring when closets were cleaned, heavy chairs moved, and window casings vacuumed. The stink bugs had won. The dead ladybugs were everywhere but fallen stinkies were in high numbers too-- bodies jumbled together.
After the reign of the stinkbugs, the fake ladybugs made a return, and powers, as to be expected, have shifted back and forth as the years have passed. We have an agreement. Regardless of which side your on, if I can catch you with the vacuum, you are mine. If I catch you with my hand or a papertowel, I'll take you outside. I won't squish any of them because even the ladybugs smell bad and it's an sos that signals their buddies to come and help out. No thanks.
It's an uneasy agreement. But it works. And most of the time it's out of sight, out of mind. But just when I thought I'd discovered the new normal, I meet this...