If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Guerillas

The crate stood tall as a man.  It's wooden sides were marked with a multitude of international customs stamps.
The man eyed it suspiciously.  He envisioned all sorts of things the crate might hold. 
The first being a guerrilla. 
He chuckled at the thought.  Why would he think there was a guerrilla in this wooden crate.  Duh! There were no air holes in it.  Couldn't be a guerrilla in there or it would suffocate.
He sat down on another crate and let his imagination run wild as to what it might be.
The fog horns on the old rust bucket bellowed into the emptiness of the ocean signaling midnight.

The old ship had once been an esteemed cruise liner and an honorary member of the Queens fleet.  Now it was reduced to a cargo ship whose hold still held remnants of the maroon carpet with a gold paisley pattern upon it.

The man spat on the carpet and watched as the brownish tobacco spit sank into the fibers. 
"Fuck it", he said aloud.  "I'm gonna take a peek inside."

He thought if anyone asked he would tell them it tipped over and the lid popped off.
What's the worse that could happen?  Jap Juice would come spilling out of it?

He pulled a crowbar from the maintenance closet and began prying the lid off the crate.

Prying, pulling and pushing he managed to wrestle the lid from it's grasp.
He slid another crate over next to the box and stepped up on it.
Slowly he stretched his head over the top of the crate.

Had there been any passengers on the ship they may have heard him but in the end the foghorn drowned out the sounds of the screaming and eventually the sounds of the chewing.

Once the meal was over the Five Spotted Hawk Moth waited patiently for another victim to feed it's young.


Every time I see a tomato worm I swear it must have been a laboratory creation sent over on some creepy ship to destroy our hard work.
The Five Spotted Hawk Moth is the beast that eats our tomato plants.  Well sort of.  She lays her eggs on the underside of the leaves and they go from this

Five Spotted Hawk Moth

 To This

Tomato Horn worm

Vile creatures they are.
I'm not a big fan of pesticides but when it comes to these guerrillas I sometimes use them.
I also get my revenge another way.
Hunt them down and roast them in a fire.
These caterpillars come out at night to feed.  It's almost impossible to find them in the day.
Just wait till about an hour after dark and take a flash light into the garden.  They like to feed at the top leaves where it's more tender.  You can pick 'em off the plant and put them in a bucket.  Chickens love to eat them.
You can tell they have invaded by looking for chewed up stems and also little black pellets of poo on the ground.
Last year my daughter and I went hunting for them.  We had excellent success and wiped them out clean in a couple nights. 

The only way to make a horn worm look half way decent is to have it pose with this cute girl !

In all seriousness they are harmless.  Just pick em off and destroy them.  Tilling your soil in the spring will kill off any remaining pupae that are buried in the soil.  Once these buggers are done munching they bury themselves in the dirt and pop out in  the spring as the moth version.
Could you imagine Tokyo under attack from this guy?

Happy hunting!

ps.  Jap Juice is a story I wrote a few years ago.  It has about 12 chapters to it.  It's all here.  Mired in these pages.


  1. I like your blend of the fiction and fact in this post. The story is great and embarrassingly I wasn't sure whether there was such a thing as man eating moth I'd never heard of.

    I know nothing about tomatoes, insects or nature. So thanks for informing and entertaining.

  2. Glad you've trained your beautiful daughter to go into combat against the Tomato Horn Worms! Great story, but I'm sorry they've caused you so much trouble.


  3. Man eating moths...okay.
    Now if there were such things as Man Eating Tomatoes....

  4. Yuck! I would never eat a moth! To kiss a man after he ate a moth... gross! I would hope he warned me first. Cute girl! When I was younger I would play with those worms... I thought they were adorable and felt so strange. Soft yet sticky, like when you rub a blade of grass the wrong way.
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests

  5. I read this shortly after you posted it - but I was on the fly...couldn't figure out how to fire off a comment from my featured location...so here I am finally finding myself in front of my favourite laptop...fingers at the ready.

    Ah...what a great lead into your topic, and how brave of your daughter to be handling the enemy with bare hands.

    I'd go fishing in your blog archives for your Jap Juice stories but without post titles to help me along I'm a goner...wouldn't know where to cast my rod. (in reference to my G post)

    I love the entertainment factor of your posts for this A-Z Challenge!


    1. Oops...just caught the link back in the post...was busy looking for it at the end. One should look first before rambling on... *said with a sheepish grin*

  6. I really don't like those things. Great writing--as usual! happy G day!



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