05 January 2011

Stinkbugs and Violets

Stinkbugs. There's stink-frickin'-BUGS in my kitchen! In January! When it's MINUS FIVE outside! Well, yeah, that's why they're inside. It's too chilly for them out there. I hate stinkbugs. They sound like helicopters when they're in flight, and if you touch them, they smell like, well, stinkbugs, with overtones of banana and apple (the delicate nose of chiquita and mackintosh, blended to create the indescribable aroma of a slightly deranged chemist's laboratory, reminiscent of autumn, old socks, and the cat's last accident on the couch cushions. Suggested pairings are... No, let's not go there). Needless to say, you can't squash them to get rid of them. Don't crush 'em, flush 'em. Many-a-one has met its watery grave in the whirlpool of my toilet.

Out-of-season wildlife in the kitchen. There are lots of things that occur out of season, or in places where they don't belong or don't fit, aren't there. (This is where I wax philosophical- don't say you haven't been warned.) Someone once said that the definition of a weed is "a plant that grows in the wrong place." I had a neighbour once who, with a passion, ripped up sweet violets, because they were too vigorous about invading her flowerbeds; she thought they were a horrible weed. Unfortunately, I didn't find out in time, or I would have transplanted them to mine; where sweet violets are concerned, the more the better (just ask Eliza Doolittle, she'll tell you the value of voy-lets). On the other hand, I wage an unceasing, albeit losing, battle against the alfalfa which insists on growing all over my property, whereas a friend of mine would love to have it on hers to feed her critters. And I do grow alfalfa in jars on my kitchen counter- but only to a length of a couple of centimeters, so as to then devour it spread between slices of bread slathered with mayonnaise. Everything in its place. Violets in my flowerbeds (but not my neighbour's), alfalfa in my sandwiches (but not my garden). It's all a matter of perspective.

I just ran across an excellent quote which expresses something along those same lines: "Whether you are regarded as disabled or gifted depends largely on when and where you were born." It's from Thomas Armstrong's new book Neurodiversity: Discovering the Extraordinary Gifts of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Brain Differences. Disabled or gifted- quite. Weed or violet? Stinkbug or...?

No, sorry, that's where the analogy breaks down. I don't think there is a desirable side to stinkbugs. I certainly don't think they would be any good in sandwiches. And now we'll have to wait until spring to find out, because I sincerely hope the one that just took a ride in the whirlpool was the last one I'll see until then.

Life, the Universe, Stinkbugs and Violets. It's all a matter of perspective.


  1. I love your post Angelika! Too funny! And I guess I need to read that book...not just the one chapter!

  2. You know, I like stinkbugs. I think they smell like almonds. I think they're cute. They don't bite or make any problems, really. When I find one in the way, I just move it over to a plant, or if it's nice outside, I just set it free. The woman who lived in my house before me had the house fumigated - over stinkbugs! She moved back to the city and along came...me - a stinkbug friend. I do love your post, though. I love violets, and as you mentioned, long for some alfalfa! LOL

  3. You do know, Mo, that some kinds of stinkbugs are garden pests, right? Eating your veg? Not trying to set you against stinkbugs or anything- just sayin'... :)

  4. I agree with you amo, stink bugs are infesting in our garden too. they really are nasty.