Christmas beetle jan 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The topic of Christmas has pervaded a lot of blog posts this week. We’ve had ‘weird and wonderful’ Christmas gifts, family feuding and ‘how to get through Christmas by becoming Jewish’.
Christmas trees and decorations have been prematurely erected in the shops and Coles are playing Nat King Cole every chance they get; while here on the Beaches we lethargically do our best to ignore the hype and onset of euphoria and internally try to summon up some yuletide enthusiasm.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not moaning. I LOVE Christmas and every commercially insincere, full-of-schmaltz facet of it, apart from one thing:
The uninvited guests. Those bloody Christmas beetles.
And they’re back!
Forget the tinsel, baubles and kitsch outdoor lights, you KNOW it’s Christmas when the first Christmas beetle attacks you on your deck.
They arrived unexpectedly last weekend and cluster-bombed our guests. They do that you know; lull you into a false sense of security January to October, then pounce. It was just a typical balmy Sunday evening and we were innocently chewing the cud with our usual motley crowd who share the weekly ‘get pissed on Sunday/forget about Monday’ ritual, when we were savagely attacked by the critters. One minute we were languishing idly in the sultry weather, the next moment we were forced into the Christmas beetle dance as the wave of insect missiles hit our deck with the precision and speed of the attack on Pearl Harbour.
Anyone who has been at the receiving end of a CB attack recognises that co-ordination is not their thing, really, which is why the casualty rate was that much higher.
The thing about the arrival of the Christmas beetles is that although their name might appear symbolic of the ‘season to be merry’, they’re hardly harbingers of peace and joy. Chaos, maybe. They invoke fear and then panic. These creatures are hands-down the noisiest and clumsiest insects ever created; embarrassing when you consider the Olympian perfection of some of the REALLY terrifying creatures we harbour here to frighten off any potential immigrants to our shores.
Without being exoskeletally incorrect, Christmas beetles seem a bit thick! When it comes to flying, they are the kamikaze of the beetle kingdom, but with infinitely less brain power. One can only assume by their erratic flight path, that they have no predetermined mission, in fact no f*cking idea where the f*ck they are going.
It’s probably why they’re ONLY allowed out at Christmas. At a time for reflection and compassion, maybe God thinks, ‘ Ok, one more chance’, and then they completely f*ck up again and he sends them back for on-going training for the next ten months.
But no amount of training seems to resolve their landing issue, does it?
Ever seen a Christmas beetle land upright? I didn’t think so.
The Christmas Beetle landing is an unrefined skid to a halt, usually on their back and with about as much control and grace as a remote control aircraft in the hands of a toddler. The only sign of any aviation skill might be if their target actually WAS food or your freshly poured drink or Grandma’s hair.
Christmas beetles are the free spirits of the insect world. They don’t do anything as mainstream as hanging out surreptitiously behind door frames or car sun visors; they don’t fraternise with their insect mates in spider webs or around fluorescent lights. They are the crazy, impulsive, f*cked up insects of the animal kingdom with no understanding of social clues or need to fit in; they survive on a wealth of attitude and a huge appetite for life (albeit short).