A Thin Line

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Not lovin' the love bugs

I recently read about a family who came to Florida for a visit, and the things that made the greatest impression on them weren't the beaches, the sunsets, the attractions...not even the orange juice. What they will remember about their trip to Florida, for the rest of their lives, are the love bugs.

For those of you in the South who've been living under a big rock, love bugs come out a couple of times a year. Boy...do they come out! They wind up all over our cars, and their little dead bodies lay all around our window sills and doorways. Lovely.

I wasn't sure what kind of bug a love bug is, so I looked it up...a love bug is a member of the march fly family, and are sometimes called the honeymoon fly, the kissing bug or the double-headed bug. Why call them double-headed, honeymoon or love bugs? Simple. When they're buzzing around, smacking into our car grills and windshields, they're joined together in, um, well, let's just say, "love."

Well, you can't blame the little boogers for, um, lovin' mid-air...everywhere. The females only live for three or four days after they hatch. If I were a dude love bug, and only had a maximum of four days to find me a lady, I'll probably behave in much the same fashion.

There is an urban legend that these bugs are actually synthetic, and are the result of a University of Florida experiment gone wrong. The legend goes that UF weirdos created them by manipulating DNA to control mosquito populations.

Well...Florida and other parts of the Southeast are still full of mosquitoes each year, so thanks for your major contribution, Gators.

In reality, the bugs migrated here from Central America. They are attracted to diesel and gasoline exhaust fumes, which explains why they seem to congregate around gas pumps, thereby making it more difficult – in addition to the hives and severe twitching brought on by gas prices – to pump gas in early summer and fall.

And here I'd thought they gathered there for the romantic ambiance.

Love bugs are usually more active between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and their mating season lasts for about four weeks in May and in September. Considering that a female has such a short life span, that's a heckuva lotta bugs.

The good news about love bugs is that although they float like a butterfly, they don't sting like a bee.

So armed with all of this information, and knowing there is now a family of yankees who will forever remember Florida for its love bugs, I propose that we change our state bird. Instead of the mockingbird, why not change it to the love bug?

Technically, I know, the love bug is, well, a bug, not a bird. But we should just embrace it. They're everywhere, a couple of times a year, and doesn't LOVE bug sound better than MOCKING bird? And we don't have to worry about them ever becoming extinct...ever. Seriously. They will never go away.

So who's with me?

Posted: Jun 16 2010, 03:19 PM by IdentityTheft | with no comments
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