Bubba Onboard | A Considerable Town | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Bubba Onboard 

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positions her mouth next to my right ear ‰ and says something that sounds like, “ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma.” After about 10 seconds, a robed disciple shoves a flower petal and a Hershey’s Kiss in my hand. It’s over.

Disappointed that I waited five hours for that, I walk over to a friend of mine who received the hug two years ago.

“You don’t really feel it for a couple of days,” he informs me.

I hope he’s right, because right now I could really use a hug.

—Dan Kapelovitz

Appetite for Destruction

The world’s largest termite is 20 feet high and 60 feet long. At the Los Angeles Zoo last Thursday, during the final hours of the termite’s three-day L.A. tour, children ran into the big bug’s anus and scurried around inside its belly. They pitched baby termites into plastic cups with miniature catapults. And then, when they got bored, they left through the termite’s giant open mouth. Anus to mouth to anus to mouth. They ran in endless circles in the summer heat.

Of course, the Termidor termite is not an actual termite, but a yellow-and-brown inflatable one. On the road for several months now spreading the virtues of odor-free, liquid Termidor, it travels in its own purple truck with a roving flea circus of science exhibits, including a half-eaten Masonic Temple accounting book sandwiched in acrylic, a National Geographic magazine wormed through and through, and two live colonies blindly devouring two cardboard houses. Perched just outside the zoo entrance, beyond the meerkats and giraffes, the termite’s as big as a house and filled with hot, muggy air. Its head bobbed in the breeze. Its feet swayed. The greenhouse effect in the abdomen was intense. Doesn’t this bug come with air conditioning?

“So these are the little suckers that bit me,” said a sweaty woman in a white tank top, peering at a colony of termites under glass. “Don’t look like much, do they?”

White and mealy-looking, the termites appeared smaller than maggots, bigger than ants. A young, exhausted man in a purple Termidor T-shirt, sitting on a metal folding chair near the mouth, called out, “I’ve never known them to bite anyone, ma’am.”

“Eeeew!” cried the kids.

“Gross!”

Meanwhile, the termites on display chewed their way through brown paper and burrowed through sand.

—Gendy Alimurung

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