Is it really over?: Bug Night #11

“I don’t know what I am going to do,” mourned the Bug Night-er with tears in his eyes. He was bereft at the thought of no macroinvertebrates in his future until 2020.

The female White Coat tried to bolster his spirits with the promise of field work in the summer but he was inconsolable.

The other Bug Night-ers began to realize the gravity of the loss and mourned them each in their own private way. There would never be any more Bug Nights 2019. There would be no further strange emails in the in boxes of Bug Night-ers. There would see be no further interactions between Bug Night-ers and their macroinvertebrate friends.

“Whatever shall I do?” cried the Bug Night-er, “Wherever shall I go?”

The White Coats did give a damn but the Bug Nights contract ended on this very evening and they were very tired. Field work would begin in a matter of weeks.

The Bug Night-er would have to find comfort in his own way. Given his history of being too familiar with some of the more dangerous macroinvertebrates, the White Coats were concerned.

“I will have to find a way to have my own bug nights,” moaned the Bug Night-er in a nearly unintelligible sob, “I have other friends who care more than you.”

The White Coats assured the grieving Bug Night-er that that was not the case. Unfortunately, it was too late. The Bug Night-er was enmeshed in another case. Perhaps his last. Only time and a good stereomicroscope would tell.

It is the end. At least for 2019. Let’s make the most of our last night together. We will see you on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 (that’s tonight) beginning at 6:00 PM sharp

It’s all a charade: Bug Night #10

The Bug Night-er put one arm over her head, as if she was a cat, grooming her face—except she wasn’t a cat. She was trying to emulate her favorite bug for charades.

“Limnophilidae!” shouted another Bug Night-er with inappropriate confidence.

The charader was deflated. She attempted to emulate a dorsal hump on her second abdominal segment. She loved this bug and felt that everyone should recognize it by now. The sitting room Bug Night-ers gazed at their navels. Some, seeming uncomfortable, fled the room.

“Leptoceridae,” whispered the hovering standing room Bug Night-er.

The female White Coat asked the hoverer to speak louder and with more confidence.

“Leptoceridae!” she repeated with feeling.

“Ah, now I see it,” chimed in one of the other Bug Night-ers.

The next Bug Night-er began his Gerridae pantomine. More navels received gazes.

Look into my eyes and listen: Bug Night #9

“How many times have we told you,” asked the insect. It sighed the sigh of the most world weary being ever. The Bug Night-er was stunned. He had heard that the bugs could speak to volunteers but he thought that it was a metaphor, like a horse whisperer.

“The White Coats need you to organize us by order in your Petri dish,” continued the dreamy eyed bug, “See, there are Roman numerals etched into the bottom of each of the Petri dish’s four compartments.”

The insect’s six-legged companion chimed in, “Write down those four Roman numerals on your scratch paper, and indicate what you have in each and how many: see how some of the humans are using the clickers from the sorting days?”

The White Coats were grateful for the intervention. They were racing around the laboratory in figures-eight, trying to keep up with the more challenging identifications and assuring that they closed down the laboratory no later than 8:59 PM. They listened intently. It was wonderful having other volunteers—or bugs—parrot their nightly instructions from over the many years of Bug Nights.

“Identify. Organize. Write. Don’t wait until the last minute,” said the insect, “That’s the key to a satisfying Bug Night.

The Bug Night-er grabbed a clicker and scratch paper. Quietly, the female White Coat slipped him a sharpened pencil. The Bug Night-er did as he was told. What fruit was there in arguing with a bug? They were small but legion. Better not to find out.

You could learn a lot from a bug. We will see you on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 (that’s tonight) beginning at 6:00 PM sharp.

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