Friday, September 19, 2008

Bug Zapper Racket

Has anyone ever seen one of these?

It is possibly the scariest and most inhumane little invention I've ever come across. So of course my fourteen year old little brother absolutely adores it. He thinks its God wrapped up in bug-zapping form. I think its mildly grotesque.

I didn't even know what this thing was. I knew it sat on the ledge in our exercise room and I knew it had been there for a while. What I didn't know was that this little thing had a button allowing one to send a current of electricity through its metal netting and subsequently kill whatever small winged creature it came in contact with, which vaguely reminds me of a medieval torture device. Fun right?

I might not be so biased against these things if not for the horrific display of bug homicide that was its first demonstration in front of me. The problem with this bug zapper is that it seems to be designed for small bugs. Flies. Bees. Mosquitoes. Well, I live in Utah - land of the ants that could possibly eat your dog for dinner and the beetles that chase you down with pincher's the size of a small crowbar, so the bug zapper is a little bit out of its league here. That however, does not stop my little brother from using it. Not even a little bit. So when a moth the size of vampire bat comes fluttering into my kitchen the first thing he does is book it out of the room in search for any death-by-electrocution-tennis-paraphernalia while us girls cower in the corners of the room, trying to avoid getting the wretched thing caught in our hair, and have completely forgotten the "It's Just As Scared As You Are..." rule. Whatever.

So Little Brother comes back into the room, hauling ass, in hopes that the giant winged bug will still be there. Unfortunately it is. Its landed all carefree like on the fireplace, completely unaware of the chaos its causing, and generally minding its own business except for the fact that its in my house. I can practically hear the thing singing "The hills are alive..." in all its nonchalance. Little Sister and Mom and I are all still freaking out shouting things like "Get it out! Get it out" "Its going to tell its friends to come back here if we let it stay!" "It probably has rabies!" and god knows what else while Little Brother slowly creeps forward, arm outstretched, racket in hand, and finger poised on the button that I'm sure is labeled "Emit Cruel, Unusual, and Surely Fatal Death Shock".

The room gets quiet as Little Brother brings the racket only inches away from the moth which is still perched on our mantle. We're holding our breaths. He fires up his miniature piece of electric sports equipment. And then.


If you've ever lit some of your own hair on fire (yes I've done this - both to myself and other people) then you can understand the horribly disgusting smell that this bug was giving as it burned. And I do mean burned. Because, as boys tend to be, Little Brother was thrilled with his new found power as Bug Executioner, and so even after the moth fell to the ground and was clearly dead he continued to roast the thing with the tennis racket. I am plainly horrified and am burying my head in my sweater to avoid breathing in the dead bug fumes which are now wafting through the house. Little Sister and Mom are egging Little Brother on with the type of chanting one would expect to hear at an ancient Roman gladiator match.

It would be one thing if it had ended there. Instead Little Brother gets down on all fours and presses the racket into the bug on the ground like one would with a spatula to a pancake causing it to not only smoke and sizzle but to emit even more of the awful smell.

"Just wait." Mom tells me.

"It gets better!" Little Sister adds.

Better how? I get my silent question answered when the moth, which is now stuck to the racket - held on by its 9th degree burns- crackles and finally gives a loud pop, accompanied by a small white-ish blue-ish ball of light which apparently means moths have a tendency to spontaneously combust after 50,000 volts. I'm immediately having flashbacks to the first time I saw The Green Mile.

"That was awful" I remark, staring at the mini cremation site our kitchen floor has become. No one agrees with me.

What is our world coming to if we can't be happy killing bugs with acidic spray and blunt force like we used to?


Michelle said...

I think I need one of those for the abundance of wasps we have here. I'm getting tired of them and I think I was stung by one this morning and didn't know it.

They're getting annoying.

Codys! said...

Just because something is annoying, that doesn't mean one should kill it. If that were the case, I would have been snuffed off long ago...

Mike M said...

Haha, I love your writing style.

Hey, at least with the racket, it's quick.

Heck, in our grandparents' day, they'd slowly burn them with a magnifying glass.

Elizabeth Marie said...

Michelle - I know just how you feel. We have a dreadful amount of wasps that love to hang around our front door and terrify us.

Codys - I highly doubt that lol - do you find that people view you as annoying then? ;-)

Mike M - Thank you for the compliment and you have a very good point. I seem to recall my cousins pouring salt on snails too. Uncomfortable way to die I imagine.

Mary Jason and boys said...

I believe we once owned a bug zapper! They are pretty twisted, you're right.

Sarah said...

I don't think I can comment on this post because I uh..kinda..liked using the bug zapper.

But in my defense the bugs are small, quite small.

Folding Bike Destinations said...

I have to admit, I side with your brother on the bug zapping controversy. You write well, I enjoy reading your blog.

Erica said...

I think I might enjoy using one, too. However, if I get one, I will use it as it's meant to be used, and try not to inflict unnecessary, inhumane suffering!