This week find your invertebrate-loving invert just returned from a three-day Entomological field trip.
Yes, a busload of us bug-geeks packed our meagre and mothball-smelling possessions into what was essentially a tricked-out school-bus (by ‘tricked out' read ‘made not at all unlike a sardine can, via some mysterious process-possibly involving bonsai- by Japanese car manufacturers) and headed into a beautiful and pristine outback forest reserve that I had never heard of before last week to go Little Game Hunting.
It was time to show our beloved native insects just how much we loved and appreciated them by picking out the particularly beautiful and exotic ones and shoving a whopping great pin through their buggy bellies.
Australia being in the thick of the season that people overseas call "Winter" and we Australians call "Whaat? I can't hear you over this torrential downpour mate, whaddya- oh god, me missus and me prize jumbuck just got blown away by a bloody cyclone, someone call the farkin' paramedi- oh Christ, now there's a flood comin!", the twelve of us were happy to return from our field trip with our skins still on, but here is a list of the Highlights of Bugtoberfest '09:
A Busload of Britpop:
-The trip to the national park we would be foraging for fire ants in took five hours. During those five hours we were carjacked down memory lane by our bus driver,whose sole requirement for putting a CD on for our enjoyment seemed to be "Best before 1984." Five hours of Dire Straits, Cold Chisel, Ah-Ha and (I shit you not) Bucks Fizz later, everyone had collected their first insect of the trip- an earworm of Europe's "The Final Countdown". I know I wasn't the only one thinking of rushing our driver as a group, grabbing the tire-iron at his feet and sending him the way of Duran Duran.
"I Call the Big One Bitey":
– Assembled for lunch in the Camp kitchen (as in a kitchen shared by everyone in the various park dorms, not one staffed entirely by Zac Efron, Sean Hayes and the cast of ARE YOU BEING SERVED?) we were delighted to find that one of the ovens had been commandeered as an impromptu nest-box by a Ring-Tailed Possum and her six joeys. We immediately christened her "Jiffy Poss" and had fun feeding her and her young bits of celery and carrot and sweet potato, whilst patting her nose through the top of the range for hours. Then we turned the oven *on* and had parboiled possum for lunch, with possum joey entree fritters and celery, carrot and sweet potato garnish.
The Beetle-magnetic properties of Bisexuals:
Late at night we attempted to attract some big, nocturnal insects to a light-trap consisting of a big-ass mercury vapour light and a white sheet stretched between two gum trees. Whilst all of us did well, catching numerous Lunar Moths, Owl-Flies and so many Dung Beetles that the continent will probably be up to its ears in ‘roo poo this time next month, none of us did as well as the bisexual spider-expert, Mona. She didn't even need her insect smiting equipment- she just sat quietly on a log for an hour reading a book by the light of the mercury lamp- and every few minutes, she'd put the book down and casually grab a beetle the size of our minibus that had landed on her jacket. Mona's had to go into hiding now, as thousands of entomologists worldwide are now attempting to catch her and, in a painful but somehow erotic process, milk her of her beetle-attracting pheromones.
Fucking with the Tourists:
Being a heritage listed national park, the reserve we visited is also plagued by several tourists. Much fun was had on the second day when all twelve of us emerged from our dorms and assembled in the car park with our insect nets and killing jars:
American tourist with family: "You all goin' looking for insects?"
Me: "No….Why do you ask?"
The student dormitory at the park had 4 bedrooms, which could each fit three people. Of the twelve of us, nine were girls, and the rest, myself included, were guys.
Bedroom #2 immediately became the boy's dorm, and I was in Gay heaven- sharing a small bunkbed-style room and attached shower with two hot guys who had clearly been so busy packing all their insect gear that they had neglected to bring along their jammies- all three of us slept naked (separately- no games of ‘hide-the-stick-insect' alas, but the view was still nice). Ahh, straight boys- you're so busy fetishizing lesbians that you have no idea a lot of us Gay guys fetishise *you*. I think it's the "lure of the unobtainable". Well, semi-unobtainable; I've had my fair share of straight guys throw their Kinsey scale out the window and play naked horizontal twister with me- and it only took the extracted female hormones from nine prostitutes and a twelve-week correspondence school course on Hypnotism to get them there…
JIFFY POSS, THE STOVE-DWELLING POSSUM: