Friday, May 27, 2011

A Few Words About the Food Chain

Contrary to what you may have been led to believe by cutesy books like Charlotte's Web, Archy and Mehitabel, and A Cricket in Times Square, bugs make shitty friends. They are crappy conversationalists. They can't hold their liquor. And they have the worst taste in music of the entire animal kingdom, no lie. I'm talking catastrophically bad. I peeked at this staghorn beetle's iPod one night at Frankie's Place when he went out to throw up, and I swear, it was all 90s boy-bands and Van Morrison. Fuck me.

The problem with a bug's so-called "personality" is that... well, would you consider it an evolutionary advantage to HAVE a personality when you're basically a plastic clamshell of 7-11 nachos with legs? One whose main focus is scuttling around trying to find a dark corner in which to lay eggs before a skateboarder with the munchies pries you open, ravages your contents, and washes the aftertaste out with a Rockstar? If some little exoskeletal bastard made an effort at self-improvement, he most likely wouldn't get through 15 pages of Swann's Way before having his head gnawed off by a vole. See my point?

At the risk of making a gross overgeneralization, I'm gonna stick my neck out here and say that where your species falls on the Dumbshit Spectrum mostly has to do with your risk of being eaten. Thus making bugs just about the dumbest motherfuckers on earth. But, y'know, at a certain point it's a case of diminishing returns -- which is probably why you humans have enough fucking free time to care about bullshit like throw-pillows, beard trimmers with attachments, and experimental jazz.

I have to acknowledge that the outlier in my hypothetical species-intelligence-model would be bears. Jesus Christ they are dumb. Bears do not understand satire. At all. I heard these two black bears talking once about an article from The Onion, and the one of them goes, "Can you believe this shit about the United Nations? It's outrageous!" and the only reason I didn't point out that it's humor that wouldn't be lost on even the most stoned 19-year-old liberal arts major is that I had a hangover and couldn't run too fast, and didn't feel like being eviscerated. And don't even bother trying to explain McSweeney's lists to them. WASTE OF TIME.

So sure, bears may seem like a food chain/intelligence exception... until you consider the only creatures that will eat bears: Yeah, that's right. Scavenger insects, bacteria, and Ted Nugent. Just sayin'.

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