Saturday, October 4, 2008

let the insect wars begin

In my last post, I mentioned that I had this entire entry planned out in my head; and that's how I write. Usually, when I'm writing something, I'll get a general idea of the elements of the story I want to tell. Sometimes it's triggered by a dream, or just from something random I may have said or heard during the stupid-day. (Days are stupid because your head has to filter such a vast amount of crap, which is why I write at about 3 or 4 in the morning) Anyway, then I'll sit down and hammer out anywhere from a few paragraphs to a few pages and then I'll put it away and not do anything with it for months. When the rest of the story comes out in my head, I'll begin the actual writing. That's when I can get pretty manic, and anyone who's worked with me in a writing capacity knows I work at a blistering pace.

So, that's how I do it. I'm sure there are as many different writing processes out there as they are writers, so, as always... don't try this at home, kids (unless you have some very understanding friends and family members).

One of the many places where I lived when I was a kid, we had a pond with a bridge over it leading to our house. I know... you're probably thinking nice Feng Shui, but the even nicer thing, being a boy, was that this bridge had the most enormous black widow spiders living under it.

Oh... before I get any irate letters from bug-o-philes, I know black widows aren't insects. So, get over it. Oh yeah... and I will warn you, too, that black widows will end up dying in this story, so if you're offended by that...


I wonder who really cares about spiders being killed.

At times like this, I find my inner voice asking, "What would Gandhi do?"

Hmmm... I'll get back to that thought.

Anyway, my friends and I, of course, liked to catch these big black widow spiders and keep them in jars. Why? you might ask. We did it because we would make these arenas out of rocks and then make them fight with each other, or we would catch potato bugs and make them fight against those ugly things.

I don't know if they have potato bugs in other parts of the country, but, to me, they are absolute proof that the evolutionary mechanism does not favor aesthetics. If you haven't seen one before, this is a potato bug .


So... anyway, like all true-blooded American boys we would stage these contests of life and death. Yeah... it was just like freekin' Rome. The sad thing is, though, that potato bugs seem to be wimpy, liberal, pacifists. So we'd really have to prod and poke them to get them to engage the enemy. I guess the actual contest didn't really matter to us, the boy-patricians, because we killed everything we ever played with, anyway.

Now... I wonder if Gandhi ever did stuff like that when he was a little boy.

They probably have way cooler bugs in India that you could make fight. Cobras, too.

That would be the life.