Saturday, July 31, 2010


My parents didn't have many rules in our family that were spelled out as such. One of the few, however, was, "If you kill it, you eat it." It started when Grandpa Manny first took us fishing: I loved catching sunfish after sunfish, until the basket was completely full. I soon found out, however, that catching fish was supposed to have a purpose: food. If you caught fish, you ate fish. For some reason, I soon after lost all interest in the sport.

I then forgot about the rule until I got my first BB gun. The thrill of shooting at tin cans quickly wore off, leaving me to set my sights on more challenging targets. One day, a squirrel up in a tree seemed to be eyeing our house with hostile intent, and I was forced to shoot it out of self-defense. I wasn't the greatest shot, so it took quite a few attempts (don't worry, I kept my eyes peeled for a white flag, but he never backed down); frankly, I was surprised that I actually killed it. Then I remembered the rule. Or more accurately, Dad got home and responded to my tale of bravery by reminding me of the rule. Thankfully, I had already dropped the squirrel in a sack and hurled it who-knows-where into the woods. After having my memory jogged, I expressed to Dad both my desire to willingly obey him by eating squirrel stew, and my deep lament at being unable to do so, since I relocated the squirrel without first obtaining a forwarding address.

I originally wrote this post because, when I was home last weekend, I found out about my parents' new nighttime ritual. Due to the prolific rain Iowa has received this year, there's plenty of standing water and thousands of mosquitoes. These bloodthirsty hoardes have been infiltrating our house, and consequently Mom and Dad now embark on a nightly mosquito hunt in order to avoid looking like plague victims each morning. (In fact, now they are sleeping under mosquito netting - I half expect them to speak Hutu upon my return.)

This post was going to be a witty application of "if you kill it, you eat it" to my parents' present misfortune. However, I did face the problem that 10 mosquitoes a night were going to be pretty hard to make into any sort of edible arrangement. Then I read this article. A woman in Taiwan caught over three pounds of mosquitoes! That's definitely enough for mosquito meatballs, skeeter steaks, or any one of a number of pest-related delicacies. Just wait until she shows her parents...

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