Tthe other day, my neighbor called me early in the morning to tell me they were everywhere. He said there were millions of them and they just about took over the neighborhood. Since I had yet to have my first cup of coffee, I asked him what the hell he was talking about.

He told me the Japanese Beetles had come out of nowhere, the night before, and were eating everything. I looked outside and knew that the war was about to begin. The first thing I could see was the damage. I couldn’t eat as much as they ate in one night!

Most of my trees had their leaves half-eaten off, with the dead stems that were once covered leaves smothered in the metallic-colored ‘insects from hell’. They were all perfectly covered in their armor. I tried to shake my trees of them but they wouldn’t move. It was as though their feet had special grips to them that allowed them to stick onto anything they wanted to stick onto while the few that fell to the ground looked up at me, and dared me to try and step on them!

After I tired to crush them by stamping my feet, they again looked up and wondered if I was serious. My flowers were the next to go: the red flowers of my geraniums were all that was left of a once-proud plant, their leaves were no longer, and the stems were covered by the foreign menace. Looking over at my garden, I noticed a brownish cloud hovering over my zucchini and green beans. It was as though they were circling for the kill. And kill they did! Within seconds the entire cloud of flying parasites descended onto my garden, and I was literally able to hear them munch through the leaves and stems of my work. I thought I was protecting my garden by hanging a beetle-bag at the far end of my property but I later found out that they used this area to refuel, and enjoy some rest and relaxation before their next kill. They asked for war and war was what they’d get!

I then dressed for the battle that was before me. I put on my favorite baseball cap which I considered indestructible, because it couldn’t look worse than it did: I wore my favorite t-shirt and jeans, knowing that my wife was going to throw them out soon anyway: I wrapped a towel around my neck, because I did not want to bring in any stray beetles into the house, to terrorize my wife (she hated them more than I hated the sound of her high screeching screams). The first thing I did was to hold onto the trunks of my trees and try and shake them off. This was working well until I tried this tactic on one of my newer trees.

Next week I will have to plant an even newer one! Seeing what I was doing, the ‘General’ beetle must have sent out ‘Zero-like’ swarms, to fly around my head, in order to catch me off guard. They flew inside my glasses, and stuck to my eyebrows like they stuck to the leaves of my trees. They flew into my hair hoping that the thought of such an ugly animal would scare me away. Never! The challenge was now on. I threw my glasses to the ground, and began to stomp on as many of the dislodged beetles as I could. I am just glad that I had another pair of glasses in my house.

Knowing that my first attack was in vain I brought out my second line of offense. I bought a product called, ‘Bug Be Gone’. I also bought a pressure applier that had a long hose so I could soak the tops of my trees. I put on my cap and my other pair of glasses and off into the front lines I went. The first thing I did was attack the tree that had the most beetles on it. I pressured up the applier to its highest-pressure value and immediately sprayed the tree. I just wish I had checked the direction of the wind before I did so! My wife said I woke up a few minutes later with hose in hand.

I then wiped my glasses of the white slime that I had applied to myself, and off into the front lines I returned. This time I covered my tree with the fluid that guaranteed it would kill anything in its path and watched as my enemy died before me. Did I say die? I think I watched them frolic in the liquid. It was almost as though I gave them a little recreation before they continued to eat my property. I swear I saw some of them wash between their tentacles. Maybe I used the wrong concentration: the directions told me to use two tablespoons per gallon of water. I decided to strengthen the mixture and didn’t use any water.

Again I attacked my tree, screaming obscenities as I sprayed every part of my soon-to-be-dying tree with a thick white serum. The beetles started to die but so did my tree. I didn’t care. I was winning the war! I then sprayed everything that even looked green, throughout my entire property. As soon as my prey fell, I immediately made sure they were dead by stomping them into the ground. This, of course, meant that I also stomped all of my zucchini, beans, summer squash, and tomatoes with them. I watched the little SOB’s fall from the air and my property, as the plants themselves were poisoned, to the point of never having the capacity to grow again.

In fact, I am convinced that nothing will be able to grow on my property again until at least the next millennium. The day was over and, looking out over my dead property, I noticed mounds of dead and dying beetles. I also noticed that all of my trees looked as though they had been bulldozed, and my garden no longer had any resemblance to what a garden is supposed to look like. As for my flowers, they were destined never to bloom again. But, I had won!

The next morning my neighbor called me to tell me that the neighborhood was swarming with mosquitoes. I decided to stay in bed.

The End

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email: james.fabiano60@gmail.com